Archive for the ‘Booker T & The MG’s’ Category

Brian Auger & The Trinity

Monday, December 16th, 2013

DEFINITELY WHAT! / Brian Auger & The Trinity:

Side 1:

Listen: Red Beans And Rice / Brian Auger & The Trinity
Red

Side 2:

Listen: George Bruno Money / Brian Auger & The Trinity
George

It was February 2001 when my assistant Steve, at Sony, buzzed me about an incoming cold call from a Brian Auger.

“He sounds English” was the helpful detail.

I just figured it was one of my pals lazily playing our game. We’d often ring each other’s office and announce ourselves as an impossibly impossible famous caller, a person from our ultimate wish list.

But shockingly it was the real Brian Auger, making the label rounds via phone, shopping his daughter Ali Auger’s then current album, as well his catalog, including all the full lengths by Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and even earlier titles like DEFINITELY WHAT!, the first as Brian Auger & The Trinity, from which these two songs come. I still have his letter from the huge package that arrived a few days later.

Atlantic and sister label Atco issued a handful of these 7″ promotional EP’s to radio during the late 60′s and early 70′s, all in similar generic information/picture sleeves with short explanatory notes on the back cover from the head of radio promotion or press. Oddly, most had simply one song per side, thereby not in keeping with the EP’s original configuration of two per side, four total.

In this case though, both tracks from DEFINITELY WHAT!, including Booker T & The MG’s ‘Red Beans And Rice’ were quite long, essentially filling out the same time as two shorter, single length tracks would have.

You don’t see the Atlantic series EP’s much these days, and hardly ever in the rather thin plain paper stock information/picture covers mentioned above.

Hank Jacobs

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Listen: So Far Away / Hank Jacobs
So

Those orange, black and white Sue labels still have an addictive visual to them. Not only the color, but the font too. As do their red and yellow UK counterparts. I can’t pass one up, not ever. Well, when they’re at a reasonable price that is, which is becoming less frequent these days.

Best place to find some at affordably would have to be current vinyl stores catering to indie rock. They always have $1 boxes and never seem to have a clue about 60′s soul. I always seem to find at least one. It’s very handy.

As with labelmate Jimmy McGriff, these guys specialized in the Hammond organ instrumentals Mods latched onto in the UK, welcoming those releases into their collections along side not only American contemporaries Jimmy Smith and Billy Preston, but also home based copyists, in the most complimentary way, like The Graham Bond Organtization or Brian Auger & The Trintiy.

‘So Far Away’ is admittedly interchangeable with many early singles by those mentioned or Booker T & The MG’s, Willie Mitchell, even James Brown’s Smash label instrumentals. Yet it’s one that I think of first, and seems to have graduated toward the top of an essentials list in general.

Eddie Floyd

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

eddiefloydraise, eddie floyd, steve cropper, stax, janis joplin

Listen: Raise Your Hand / Eddie Floyd EddieFloydRaise.mp3

It wasn’t hard to love Eddie Floyd’s ‘Raise Your Hand’. The pure grit of his voice would have you enjoying the phone book if he decided to sing it. Like all things Stax, you got the added value of Booker T & The MG’s on backup, and many times Booker T and/or Issac Hayes producing. In the ‘Midnight Hour’ groove of the day, it was a big favorite. Along comes Janis Joplin and her Kozmic Blues Band to hurricane it into a riot inciting opening live number. That’s just what happened on May 2, 1969 at the Syracuse War Memorial. Already an hour and a half late on stage, due, as I found out many years later, to a heroin slump that had tour manager and band dunking her head in buckets of ice water usually reserved to keep the dressing room drinks cold.

Yeah, she had a really great manager, Albert Grossman. Praise has been showered on this many for his guidance of Bob Dylan and The Band. But when it comes to Janis Joplin, it sure does have a stink all over it. Clearly, he didn’t help her, just put her on tour to rake it in. Why not, he’s already destoyed Big Brother & The Holding Comapny with cohort Clive Davis, what’s the point of stopping now?

Well when she hit the stage, the place errupted. There was no stopping the mayhem, even after she pushed a sercurity officer right into the crowd (the world’s first stage dive?) who by now, with about ten others, had engulfed she and the band to try calming the crowd by threatening to end the show early. Not a smart move. Great fun to see as a youngster.


Watch: Raise Your Hand / Tom Jones & Janis Joplin

Just to prove the power of her delivery, check out the above clip with Tom Jones from his 1969 US TV series. Tom’s undeniably a great soul singer, but by the end, even he was indeed no match for Janis. Still hugely powerful on both parts.

eddiefloydbringuka, eddie floyd, steve cropper, stax

Listen: Bring It One Home To Me / Eddie Floyd EddieFloydBring.mp3

I always had a soft spot for Eddie’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me’, despite it’s tame formula. Let’s face it, Stax became a dependable assembly line. Even despite that reality, this was of favorite.

Johnnie Taylor

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

johnnietaylortestifyuk1, johnnie taylor, stax

Listen: Testify (I Wonna) / Johnnie Taylor JohnnieTaylorTestify.mp3

Okay, so the title isn’t as good as his ‘Cheaper To Keep Her’, but the groove is crazy. I own just about every single Johnnie Taylor ever made, and definitely all the ones on Stax. None of them can touch this. Like with most, Booker T & The MG’s are clearly playing all over it and unbelievably, ‘Testify (I Wonna)’, never gets props. It wasn’t even included on the box set, THE COMPLETE STAX SINGLES. Sorry. I’m confused. Not only was it a single, but a classic Don Davis production.