Lightnin' Hopkins: Happy New Year
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The standards are great but just because it's the holidays doesn't mean we don't need soul. Here are handful with soul to sprinkle on your egg nog. Good God!
James Brown: Soulful Christmas
The Godfather's holiday thank you to his fans.
Donny Hathaway: This Christmas
I guess you could call this a classic by now. It's certainly one of my favorites and you won't find a voice much smoother than the great Mr. Hathaway. From the 1971 self titled release.
Ike & Tina Turner: Merry Christmas Baby
We lost Ike Turner this year and as tribute I give you one of the toughest, in-your-face versions of this Baxter-Moore classic (see previous post). That beat is relentless and Tina really belts it out.
John Legend & Stephen Colbert: Nutmeg
I don't know how many of you saw the Stephen Colbert Christmas Special, but I'm still laughing! A definite highlight was John Legend's Al Greenesque jam to his favorite spice.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
How many blues artists remained at the absolute top of their game after more than a half-century of performing? One immediately leaps to mind: Charles Brown. His incredible piano skills and laid-back vocal delivery remained every bit as mesmerizing at the end of his life as they were way back in 1945, when his groundbreaking waxing of "Drifting Blues" invented an entirely new blues genre for sophisticated postwar revelers: an ultra-mellow, jazz-inflected sound perfect for sipping a late-night libation in some hip after-hours joint. Two of Brown's biggest hits happened to be Christmas songs and they are the first in our series holiday posts. Pour some egg nog, kick back and enjoy!
Charles Brown: Merry Christmas Baby
Composed by Lou Baxter and Johnny Moore, this tune has grown to be a standard at Christmas time and nobody delivers it better than Charles Brown.
Charles Brown: Please Come Home for Christmas
This Brown penned 1960 classic will always be one of my favorites. You can find both of these tracks here.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
It's hard to comprehend that 28 years have passed since the tragic killing of John Lennon. His music and the music of The Beatles are still very much alive and with next year's eventual release of the remastered albums and digital release there are no signs of slowing. Here are a few soulful covers as tribute to my favorite songwriter.
Joe Bataan: This Boy
Arguably one of Lennon-McCartney's first "great" songs cooly delivered by the amazing Joe Bataan. That bridge gets me every time. Get it on Bataan's 1972 release Sweet Soul
Jackie Robinson: In My Life
This is a tune I often turn to to remind me of John Lennon's genius. It never fails to move me and Jackie Robinson's sweet vocals captures the nostalgia of the lyrics. You can find this track on Trojan's uneven Beatles Tribute Box Set.
Donny Hathaway: Jealous Guy
A touching rendition of one of John Lennon's greatest solo tunes. Get it on Donny Hathaway's 1972 Live release or also on fellow blogger Oliver Wang's Soul Sides, Vol 1 compilation.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
The Babymaker, The Quiet Storm, Slow Jamz Vol. 1.....call it what you will but if you can't seal the deal with this mix then you have problems. It's a story of love lost and then found in just over 67 minutes. Enjoy it with that special someone and if you have any ideas for what to call this beast please let me know in the comments and you just may receive a limited edition CD. Close the door, dim the lights...hit play...be gentle.
The Dramatics: In The Rain
Teddy Pendergrass: Love TKO
Marvin Gaye: I Want You
Barry White: Dreamin'
Isaac Hayes: Something
The Isley Brothers: Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
Willie Hutch: Gimme Some of That Good Old Love
Minnie Riperton: Inside My Love
Staple Singers: After Sex
Marvin Gaye: Since I Had You
Curtis Mayfield: P.S. I Love You
Al Green: Livin' For You
Earth, Wind & Fire: It's All About Love
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Curtis Mayfield: We Got to Have Peace
Idealistic anthems were the norm in 1971, but leave it to Curtis to make it something special. Get it on Roots.
Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes: A Chance For Peace
Smooth, funky soul-jazz with a message. Get it on 1975's Visions of a New World.