17 January 2017, No. 231, Eddie Bo, ‘Can You Handle It’

If you see a thing, want it, after you get it, can you handle it?

I saw the title of No. 231 and my mind sprang to No. 247. Both tunes are called “Can You Handle It,” and Sharon’s Redd’s No. 247 is way more disco than Eddie Bo’s funky No. 231. The disco-fied and mislabeled Sharon Redd song in my mind made me think I might be further confusing my titles/songs with No. 181 from Bo, “When You’re Fingers on the Funk” [sic], which is the most disco of the Eddie Bo tunes I have on file.

No. 231 has one of those big organic bwahs from the bass guitar and low horns (trombones, I think) playing a sustained note in unison. The main riff’s last two and a half beats are the full stop at the end of a two-bar sentence skeptical of your ability to handle it after all. Musically there’s not much else that pops out. From the background the guitarist noodles around at times and the piano player’s highest pitched embellishments peek through.

Don’t let your eyes bring on a load that they can’t carry. The lyrical content seems a simple enough cautionary tale: Be sure you’re equipped to deal with the implications of getting what you want. I’m trying to figure out how the hard head and consequent soft backside form a corollary. I guess if one repeatedly goes after something one can’t handle, therein lies true folly. If you can’t handle it, leave it alone.