Deep, Dapper Blues for Gamblers, Casino and Otherwise


Before you decide to take that casino vacation package and head to Mississippi for a gambling weekend, you might consult Moody Scott’s masterful version of George Jackson’s “Last Two Dollars.” Simply Moody We Gotta Bust Outta the Ghetto brims with cautionary tales—the title track exhorts Moody’s hometown of Hammond, Louisiana (as well as Argentina and South Africa), to clean up the drugs and violence—but “Last Two Dollars” provides a glimpse into a joyous, fucked-up, and desperate reality that more Americans should contemplate: “Lady at the casino/She lost all her money/She said, ‘Don’t feel sorry/Don’t feel sorry, honey.’ ” So Moody lends her two bucks, and what does the lady do? “One goes for the bus fare/The other for the jukebox/Hear me some blues,” she explains. Simply Moody modernizes Deep South blues as effectively as anything on the Malaco label in the last 20 years—it’s a lively, New Orleans–accented hybrid. The similarly titled Bustin’ Out of the Ghetto collects funk sides he cut for Nashville’s Sound Stage 7 label in 1968, and proves Scott understands readymades as well as casino culture. Both records reveal a performer as eternally youthful as Sharon Jones, and a lot more dapper.