The best music playing at the Jookhouse right now, courtesy of Vince Meserko
“Proud Woman” – Johnny Adams
Adams usually gets called a soul singer, and the slinky guitar riff and syncopated horns on this track would seem to confirm this. What’s interesting however, is that Adams’ voice almost has a country twang to it. It almost ends up sounding like country-funk music. The horns really drive the melody as they cascade into the chorus. The drums move into double-time at the chorus which really propel this song forward. This one should get you moving.
“Good Times” – The Persuasions
This a capella gospel group will send shivers down your spine. The voices all blend together flawlessly. This is a song about really being down and broke etc., but it somehow leaves the listener feeling affirmed that “the only thing that matters is keeping you right here with me.” It’s all about sticking together in a relationship and loving each other. “We don’t need a whole lot of money, Good God, all we need is a little bit of honey.” Yeah!
“I Found My Way” – Dusty Springfield
This is an extra track from Dusty’s reknowned “Dusty in Memphis” album. This song sounds like a full-on gospel revival after the sullen intro and early verses. It’s a song about perseverance and Dusty’s voice is so soulful and moving that it’s hard not to believe her that you can “find your way through the darkness.” The rhythm section on this song sounds about as good as you can possibly sound. Gene Chrisman’s drums are fat and dry and his open hi-hat during the verses and pounding fills at the end are relentless. Bassist Tommy Cogbill’s bass drops bombs all over the place and really carry the melody. Listen for Dusty’s voice first, but don’t forget that rhythm section.
“Cissy Strut” – The Meters
Quite possibly New Orleans funkiest band. This song grooves as hard as you can possibly groove. Leo Nocentelli’s guitar riff is a true classic. George Porter Jr.’s right hand and Zigaboo Modeliste’s right foot lock in perfectly. Modeliste’s impossible drum pattern keeps everything anchored. Art Neville throws in some nice organ about halfway through. This instrumental is a dance party classic.
“Mercy, Mercy” – Don Covay
Don isn’t nearly as well known as some of his contemporaries in 60s soul music, but this song proves he was doing things a bit differently than his peers. The song has harmony vocals and a funky but very understated guitar riff that underlays Don’s punchy vocals. The song also incorporates a weird upstroked guitar that shows a definite reggae influence. The hi-hat and rim-click seem to confirm this influence. “Mercy Mercy” is an interesting song that demonstrates Covay’s overlooked talent.