r&b Archive

Album Review: The “5” Royales – Soul & Swagger

There are a select few acts in musical history that didn’t sell a ton of records, yet exerted influence far beyond what their chart action might suggest. Among the most celebrated examples are The Velvet Underground and Big Star. Both groups have had said about them – apocryphally or otherwise – that they sold few

Capsule Reviews: Still More from Real Gone Music

Wrapping up the series (for now, at least), here’s the last of four entries presenting short looks at recently-released reissues and/or compilations from Real Gone Music. Vanilla Fudge – The Complete ATCO Singles Most rock fans with any sort of memory are familiar with Vanilla Fudge, and they know the band’s deceptively simple approach to

Capsule Reviews: And Yet Three More from Real Gone Music

Here’s the third of four collections of brief reviews of recently-released reissues and/or compilations from Real Gone Music. Dr. John, The Night Tripper – GRIS-gris Dr. John (aka Mac Rebbenack) was a well-known fixture on the New Orleans music scene long before he cut this, his debut album in 1968. And while he’d later enjoy

Capsule Reviews: Three More from Real Gone Music

Continuing from yesterday’s collection, here are more quick looks at recently-released reissues and/or compilations from Real Gone Music. Toomorrow: Original Soundtrack Album Seeing the names Harry Saltzman (of James Bond film fame) and Don Kirshner (of, well, Don Kirshner fame/infamy) emblazoned across the cover of this 1970 curio suggests we’re in for something that might

Capsule Reviews: Three from Real Gone Music

Because there’s so much of a backlog here at Musoscribe’s palatial new World HQ ( I moved recently), here’s the first of at least three collections of short reviews. These are all reissues or compilations on the Real Gone Music label, renowned (along with Rock Beat, Omnivore, Numero and a select few others) for their

Book Review: Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues

One need not dig very deep into the collected history of popular music to discover tales of artists who’ve been ripped off, gotten the short end of the stick, been robbed or gotten screwed. And for a long list of reasons – many of which have to do with our country’s history of racism –

Album Review: David Ruffin – My Whole World Ended / Feelin’ Good

Sure, everybody knows The Temptations, and their many hits, including “My Girl,” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” both featuring lead vocals of David Ruffin. But fewer – especially those who followed the pop charts rather than the R&B one – are familiar with Ruffin’s solo work. This set pairs Ruffin’s first two albums (both

Ask Me Some Questions: The Graham Parker Interview, Part 4

Continued from Part Three… Bill Kopp: As much as I love your songwriting, two of my favorite tunes of yours have always been “Hold Back the Night” and “I Want You Back,” both soul/r&b covers. How did you discover that sort of music when you were young, and – since it has clearly influenced your

Ask Me Some Questions: The Graham Parker Interview, Part 3

Continued from Part Two… Bill Kopp: As the new Ask Me No Questions documentary points out, you parted ways with The Rumour after The Up Escalator (1980), but with the exception of Another Grey Area (1982), you pretty much continued to work with guitarist Brinsley Schwarz on many of your recordings. What was it about

Ask Me Some Questions: The Graham Parker Interview, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: In the new documentary film Don’t Ask Me Questions, you come off very authentically as a sensitive, soft-spoken individual. But back in the 80s, like many people, I think, I was convinced of your reputation as an angry, sort of perhaps even confrontational artist. How and why do you