The Jookhouse: Songs of the Month
Vince Offers a Few Favorite Summertime Grooves
1. Charles Bradley – “You Put a Flame on It”
This former James Brown impersonator is backed up impressively by the Menahan Street Band on this latest 2013 release from Daptone Records. This upbeat love song features Bradley’s gruff, weathered voice, Motown backing vocals, and a sharp snare drum crack.
2. JJ Grey & MOFRO – “Write a Letter”
For the past decade JJ has been one of soul and funk music’s finest voices and most assured songwriters. This smoldering track off of the group’s 2013 release “This River” starts like a traditional soul ballad before opening up into a full-on horn-laden jam. Of note are Grey’s stuttering guitar solo and Anthony Farrell’s twinkling piano.
3. Otis Redding – “Free Me”
This track was recently included on 2013’s “Lonely & Blue: The Deepest Soul of Otis Redding.” This ranks as one of Redding’s most hearbreaking vocals, as he urges a lover to just let him move on. “I’m so weak, so weak, so walk away” pleads Redding over top of a quiet electric guitar and ride cymbal. There’s so much depth and nuance in Redding’s delivery. This is one not to be missed.
4. Albert King – “Untitled Instrumental”
As the name implies, this is an instrumental without a name. This track was a part of the 2013 re-release of Albert King’s seminal “Born Under a Bad Sign” record. King’s funky, jagged lead guitar is accented by the Memphis Horns and Booker T. & the M.G.’s who serve as King’s backing band.
5. Son Seals Blues Band – “Sitting at My Window”
This is Son’s 1973 debut release on Chicago’s Alligator Records. It is quite simply one of the best produced blues albums of the era. While his voice is gruff and workmanlike, Son’s guitar tone is clean, smooth, and distinct. The rhythm section really stands out as well. The lumbering bass and thick organ set this track apart from the slick overproduction characteristic of the decade’s later years.
Written by Vince Meserko.Check out the Jookhouse every Saturday evenings from 6-8pm on 90.7fm KJHK.