Friday, August 28, 2009

CeDell Davis

CeDell Davis wurde 1927 in Helena, Arkansas geboren, wo seine Eltern auf eine Plantage arbeiteten. Mit 10 Jahren erkrankte er an Polio, die Lähmungen an beiden Händen verursachten. Doch anstatt das Gitarrespielen aufzugeben, setzte er alles daran, eine Möglichkeit zu finden, die ihm erlaubte weiter zu spielen. Was dabei herauskam ist faszinierend.
CeDell benutzt ein hundsgewoehnliches Messer als slide und kreiert so den aussergewöhnlichen Klang, der ihm unter Blueskennern erhebliche Bewunderung bescherte.
Als sei es nicht genug, daß er mit der Behinderung seiner Hände leben mußte, wurde er bei einer Panik, die anläßlich einer Polizeirazzia in einem Nachtclub ausbrach, so schwer verletzt, daß er an den Rollstuhl gefesselt blieb. In seinen Liedern setzt sich der Künstler mit diesem schweren Schicksal auseinander.
Sein Album Feel Like Doing Something Wrong, produziert von Robert Palmer, gilt als “zeitlos” und erhielt aussergewöhnliches Lob von Pitchwork Media. nennt das Album sogar eines der "besten des zeitgenössischen Blues" ein.
Auf diesen Künstler bin ich in einem Bluesforum auf MySpace gestoßen, wo er von einem Poster namens Travis vorgestellt wurde.

Thanks Travis!

Einfach bewundernswert!

Da kann ich doch nur noch staunen! Dieser Song geht unter die Haut ...

I don't Know Why von CeDell Davis' Album Feel Like Doing Something Wrong (1994)

The O'Jays -- "Let It All Out", "Lonely Drifter"

Let It All Out and Lonely Drifter are two early O'Jays titles I like very much. They're from their 1965 album Comin' Through.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three Times "Wish It Would Rain"

The Temptations I Wish It Would Rain

I wish It Would Rain is one of the modern classics, and quite a few singers have covered it. While my favorite version still is the one by David (my David) Ruffin and The Temptations, I also listen to Johnny Adams' version very often. Then, there is the Sea/Edwards/Kendricks cover; and that one remains unrivaled in terms of uniting three of the most remarkable voices ever. The track is from David Sea's Born To Sing Album -- and in my opinion, the singing is phenominal.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A bucketful of songs for you!

I am currently packing for a trip to my old "Heimat," Germany. I also noticed that I am in desperate need of a few more clothing items -- and have to go shopping real quick! So time is a little tight ... I'm sure you understand.

But there's always enough time for a song or two .. or three.

Do What You Wanna Do -- The Dramatics (Find the song here!)
How Can I Say Goodbye -- Dale Darby
For The Chance of Loving You -- Courtship
Lying To Myself -- The Delfonics
Plastic People -- The Dells R.I.P Johnnie Carter

Little Walter "Sad Hours"

Ich weiss nicht, ob's an der Aufnahmetechnik alleine liegt, aber die Harmonika klingt einfach schaurig-schoen!

"Walter's eternally vicious temper led to his violent undoing in 1968. He was involved in a street fight (apparently on the losing end, judging from the outcome) and died from the incident's after-effects at age 37. His influence remains inescapable to this day -- it's unlikely that a blues harpist exists on the face of this earth who doesn't worship Little Walter." ~ Bill Dahl

Lionel Richie: "Zoomin'"

NOTICE:  I had to take this post down due to a request by the DMC/chilling effects people.

Here is what I have to say:

I'm sorry Lionel, but the all too eager people from "chilling effects" want me to NOT have people check out your albums.  Doesn't make any sense to me -- but maybe they know what they're doing. From now on -- no more Lionel Richie posts on this blog.

This is what is left of the original post:
Lionel Richie has enough songs worth listening to over and again. But I was just checking out some of his not so well known albums. "There's got to be something else than Easy and Three Times A Lady I can post," I thought. And lo and behold, I actually found something that made it into my special Play-in-the-car collection. The title is from his 1998 album Time. I think it's worth for you to check it out. I also love Touch and the title track Time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sad, Sad News! John Carter of the Dells has died!

I have several posts about the Dells on my blog -- they are simply incomparable. Marvin Junior's baritone and John Carter's tenor are simply unique. Their music came from the heart, sparking a wide array of emotions in its listeners.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the death of the most beautiful tenor from soul's heyday is breaking my heart. I feel like crying. It is so hard to take leave of a man with such an extraordinary voice. He sure brought joy into my life and brightened up more than a few dark days of for me.

There was no other tenor that could warm a heart and touch a soul as his did.

A founding member of the legendary Flamingos (I Only Have Eyes For You), John joined the Dells in 1960, replacing their lead tenor Johnny Funches. John Carter stayed with the Dells for the rest of his life -- 49 years.
He died of lung cancer at the age of 75.

Waiting For You and Betcha Never Been Loved are from The Dells' They Said It Couldn't Be Done album (Mercury, 1977).

Stay_ In_ My_ Corner

Betcha_Been_ Never_ Loved (Like This Before)

Waiting_ For_ You

Hooked on Deepies: Willie Johnson "Glory of Love"

Whatever, Willie Johnson is a soul singer who should command the absolute respect of every fan. They really don’t come much better. (Sir
... and that's for sure! Sir Shambling knows what he's talking about when it comes to Deep Soul.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Two Versions of "Lovers Concerto" : The Toys vs The Delfonics

How surprised do you think your ol' raggedy was when she happened to find the Delfonics' cover of A Lovers Concerto in her very own music library? Well ... she was very surprised. I knew that the song had been covered by dozens others, and of all, I loved both Cilla Black's and the Toys versions best. But I had not heard the Delfonics interpretation.
The Toys recorded the song first in 1965, and it is said that the musicians are in fact the mighty Funk Bros. I have no idea whether that is true or not. But they sure sound like them. I have never heard of the label DynoVoiceRecords that released the Toys version and whether it was a studio where the Funk Bros. did some of their well-known (despite unauthorized)
moonlighting ...

Anyway, the song is great and I'm going to post both versions for you to compare.
The Delfonics version is from their 1968 album La-La Means I Love You from which a remastered CD is available .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Als der Blues noch echt war! Hound Dog Taylor and The House Rockers (Little Walter, Harmonika)

Als ich diesen clip hier per Zufall auf YouTube fand, war ich doch ganz aus dem Haeuschen. Hound Dog und Little Walter! Einfach toll. Ich habe noch nie eine Aufnahme mit Little Walter gefunden ... Bin ganz gluecklich.

Revelation: "Without Love", "I Never Forget Your Eyes", "It's That Time Again", "What Good Am I"

(Cover of Revelation 1980, LP available at DustyGrooveAmerica. )

"A silky New York group that never got their due despite a fair amount of support ..." (
And I could not agree more to that statement. To be honest, I was swept away when I first heard What Good Am I (Without You). The deeply emotional, yet well measured, singing and skillful harmonizing had me wonder why I've never heard the group before. (I found their LP's over at jc's sogoodmusic blog). Although most of their material is from the latter part of the seventies and early 80's, the feeling is pure 70's. Listening to the mp3 tracks, I was trying to imagine how the music would sound on vinyl. I bet it sounds fantastic.

Without Love
I Never Forget Your Eyes
It's That Time Again
What Good Am I

There's only one question -- why in this world did they cover "Yellow Submarine?" Okay, there are some more fillers, but I guess one has to take the bitter with the sweet.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That Deep, Deep Soul ...

I am a hopeless sucker for some good Deepies ... I won't lie about it. Although my taste for that genre has earned me lots of funny looks (especially from my husband.) But no persecution or intimidation will keep me from delving into that sound of pain and misery and longing and crying and -- you know what else.

Here's a little bit of info about the genre which I consider the all-inclusive one, because it includes elements of blues, rock, country & western and, of course, a huge dose of gospel. Deep Soul is not about words; it is all about feeling. Rhythm is the key to Deep Soul -- the all embracing genre in American music which originated from the African-American churches of the South. Funny enough, however, the majority of its creators have been whites. I say "funny" because, to me Deep Soul sounds as black as music can probably sound compared to the relatively white-scrubbed Motown sound, for example, which was almost exclusively the creation of black artists.

Pioneering Southern/Deep Soul artists were such greats as Ray Charles, James Brown (yes), Bobby Blue Bland, Rufus Thomas or Allen Toussaint.

So, how come my otherwise very nice husband, frowns at the genre? I think I know. It's the simplicity, or rather the lack of highly "manicured" arrangements. And that's exactly what I love about Deep Soul: Give me just the basics -- but send them straight to my heart.

During the 60's Memphis Soul era, Deep Soul was at its best with Stax artists like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke , Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, and .... Wilson Pickett's stepping stone into his ever so glorious solo career was -- you may have guessed it -- the sound of Deep Southern Soul. But there is a host of artists who were not quite as successful as those I've just mentioned. These are the ones I would like to showcase in my Deep Soul posts.


Obrey Wilson -- Break Away Baby
Roy Arlington -- Everybody Makes A Mistake Sometimes
Tiny Watkins -- Forbidden Fruit

For everyone who wants to start a Deep/Southern Soul collection, I would recommend Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures series.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Temptations Introducing Bare Back on Soul Train

This is a must see for all the Temptation fans around. I have not seen this one before. I just love the footage.

The Ebonys: "You're The Reason Why"

The group formed in the early 70's in Camden, New Jersey. Their style was clearly fashioned after the mighty Dells with a sweet falsetto and distinct baritone interacting. Discovered by Gamble & Huff, they recorded for PIR and scored two considerable: You're The Reason Why and It's Forever. Their last hit Making Love Ain't No Fun (Without The One You Love) made it to # 83 in the R&B charts (1976).
Their CD's are available here.

Today's pick: 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sam Taylor Jr., James Carr "Dark End of the Street"

Dark End of the Street is one of the most beautiful forbidden-love-songs ever! I've heard quite a few grand covers of the song over the years.

It was first recorded by James Carr whose voice, heavily laced both with melancholy and masculinity, was the perfect match for the tune. James Carr's version is hard to beat when it comes to powerful singing, polished horn and distinct piano parts. In my opinion, even Aretha's perfectionist and Percy Sledge's warm and soft delivery won't come close to the original version. (Although I love the Percy Sledge cover.) It surprised me therefore that I truly liked Sam Taylor Jr.'s version when I stumbled upon it. With its minimal instrumentation, crispy-clean background vocals and heart-warming organ part around the middle of the song. Of course, I had to post this gem.
If anyone knows where to find Sam Taylor's album The Tunnels of my Mind from which this track has been taken, please let me know.
Sam's version of Dark End of the Street had me fall in love with the old favorite all over again.

The song was written by Dan Penn and Chip Moman. Dan Penn's idols, Bobby Blue Bland and Sam Cooke, surely have influenced his compositions, and he wrote for such exquisite soul singers as Aretha Franklin and Percy Sledge. As I mentioned, the song was first recorded by James Carr and became a Top Ten hit in 1967.  By the time the two men met, Chip Moman was already an established session guitarist, working with Phil Spector. Both men arranged and produced the beautiful song, with Penn delivering the "church-like harmonies" according to

Enough words now. You have to hear the music to judge. I'll post the original version by James Carr and Sam Taylor's cover of the song.

Sam Taylor

James Carr

You can find this track on James's The Complete Goldwax Singles collection -- a CD I highly recommend.

I really, really would like for you to listen to Oscar Toney's cover, too. Just listen to the beautiful guitar and strings ...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Barrino Brothers "I Had It ALL", "Trapped In A Love"

The Barrino Brothers is a quartet from North Carolina that was signed to the HDH label Invictus in the early 70's. Livin' High Off The Goodness Of Your Love (1973) was the Barrino Bros. only album release. It is available as a collector's item in a limited Japanese edition and comes as an import with -- this is a nice touch -- a mini LP sleeve.

Despite their wonderful vocal harmonizing and the production from the famous HDH team, the group never enjoyed the success they deserved.

I'll post the two tracks for you that caught my attention right away. I Had It All and Trapped In A Love.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reggae Wednesday!

Hey y'all! I just wanted to let you know that I'm having a reggaeful Wednesday today. Temperature is in the 100's (38 C) and no end of the heat in sight. What could be more refreshing than some ol' reggae?

So, here's the playlist:

Jimmy Cliff -- My Ancestors
Jimmy Cliff -- Sufferin' In The Land
Third World -- 96 Degrees In The Shade
John Holt -- What You Gonna Do
Roland Alphonso -- Song For My Father

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From the Deep Soul Department: Sam Dees

I've posted about Sam Dees a while ago. He is another great vocalist who never achieved the fame he certainly deserves. When I heard his version of It's All Wrong (But It's All Right), I was even more convinced that he definitely belongs to the best. (My favorite version is by Percy Sledge.) The second track by Sam Dees, After All is the example of singing at its best. If you shouldn't be convinced by these two tracks, just listen to So Tied Up from his album The Show Must Go On. In this song he shows off the many facets of his voice.
I do recommend his albums; they belong into the collection of a sophisticated soul fan.

Fly, Angel Fly I had to put this clip up. I don't have the record, though. This voice is fascinating!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Johnny Bristol -- A voice full of emotion!

I love Johnny Bristol's voice. He and Levi Stubbs seem to have emotion built into their voices. Even the most moving, urgent and expressive tune they present in a seemingly effortless way.
So, when I came across Bristol's Creme, Johnny Bristol's third album, I was not really surprised about the beautiful songs it contains. But I definitely became painfully aware of the great loss his death in 2004 constitutes.
Everyone who loves uncomplicated beauty should get this album.

If you listen to You Turned Me On, just give in to the playful guitar, the seductive saxophone, and, most of all, Johnny Bristol's charismatic voice.

Another title from the 1976 album I mentioned above: Do It To My Mind

More from Johnny on my blog.

Oh, how I miss it!

I can't believe how much I actually miss blogging about music. Each time I find a song I love, I think I should post it -- share it. Some music simply deserves to be brought to the attention to as many listeners as possible ...