r&b Archive

Album Review: Jimmie Vaughan – The Pleasure’s All Mine

Among the wider population, Jimmie Vaughan is known as the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, as the founding guitarist in the Fabulous Thunderbirds and for his work with that group during its most high-profile period. But blues aficionados have long appreciated the Texas-born musician for the music he has made under his own name

Things Get Better: Soul Man Eddie Floyd (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two … That success extended well beyond Eddie Floyd’s records. In fact – as he recounts in detail in his new memoir, Knock! Knock! Knock! On Wood: My Life in Soul – Floyd got his start at Stax as a songwriter, not a performer. His first success as a Stax house writer

Things Get Better: Soul Man Eddie Floyd (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … During that “Knock on Wood” writing session, there was a torrential rainstorm going on outside. “In Alabama where I live,” explains Floyd, “the rainstorms can be fierce.” Even though “Knock on Wood” was shaping up to be a love song, he decided put that idea into it: “It’s like thunder,

Things Get Better: Soul Man Eddie Floyd (Part 1 of 3)

On the occasion of the publishing of his memoir, Knock! Knock! Knock! On Wood: My Life in Soul, I spoke at length with soul legend Eddie Floyd. The feature based on that conversation – first appearing in Record Collector – follows. – bk Between 1966 and 1974, soul singer Eddie Floyd scored an impressive number

Album Review: Little Richard — The Rill Thing

By the end of the 1960s, it was reasonable to assume that Little Richard’s rock ‘n’ roll career was moribund. Though he was one of music’s most important figures, by 1958 he had forsaken secular music in favor of gospel. And while he would return to rock in the ‘60s, too often he and his

Album Review: Little Richard — King of Rock and Roll

Just slightly more than a year after releasing a well-received (if non-charting) comeback album in The Rill Thing, Little Richard returned with the audaciously-titled King of Rock and Roll in September 1971. But while The Rill Thing’s defining aesthetic was a Southern soul sound (thanks in large part to its being made at FAME Studio

Album Reviews: Three from Little Richard

Quite recently, Omnivore Recordings reissued a pair of long out-of-print Little Richard albums, The Rill Thing and King of Rock and Roll. The first was an impressive updating of Little Richard’s style into soul, and the second was an only-sometimes-successful attempt at making a thematically cohesive album. But there exist more albums from that era

Album Review: Dedicated Men of Zion — Can’t Turn Me Around

Right out of the gate, the strolling and assertive introduction to “Father, Guide Me, Teach Me” signals that Can’t Turn Me Around is not your typical gospel album. Music lovers raised on a diet of ‘70s arena rock may find that thoughts of Foghat and Bad Co. spring to mind. It’s not until the close

Album Reviews: Five from the Coed Record Label

Doo-wop – or r&b vocal, if you prefer – is an important part of the rock and roll story. The style began just after World War II, and doo-wop enjoyed its heyday in the early (read: pre-Beatles) 1960s. Doo-wop was primarily an African-American phenomenon, but many white groups got into it as well (and there

Album Review: Swingadelic — Bluesville

The point at which big band vocal jazz and r&b meets is one I enjoy exploring. And so, too, does the aggregation known as Swingadelic. On the New York City swing orchestra’s latest release, a wide net is cast, drawing from Willie Dixon, Mose Allison, Ray Charles, Doc Pomus, Duke Ellington and others, casting their