Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Little Milton ”Blues ‘N Soul”

Little Milton

Blues ‘N Soul
( LP Stax Records, 1974 )
Catalog # STS-5514

1. Woman Across The River 4:12
2. Behind Closed Doors 3:59
3. Sweet Woman Of Mine 3:28
4. Worried Dreamer 5:21
5. How Could You Do It To Me 4:56
6. You’re No Good 2:58
7. Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do 6:25
8. Hard Luck Blues 4:14

Personnel & Credits
The Memphis Horns (Horn)
Pete Bishop (Engineer),
(Remixing), William Brown (Engineer),
William Brown (Remixing)
Little Milton (Guitar), (Vocals), (Producer), (Main Performer)
Milton Campbell (Producer)
Willie Hall (Drums)
Bobby Manuel (Guitar)
Memphis Symphony Orchestra (Strings)
James Mitchell (Arranger)
Willie Murphy (Bass),
Richard Rosebrough (Remixing)
Lester Snell (Piano)
Michael Toles (Guitar),
David Weatherspoon (Bass)
James Michell (Arranger)
Joe Tarantion (Mastering)

Having already recorded for both Sun and Chess Records, two of the most historically significant labels in the history of blues and rock, Little Milton signed to Stax in the early ’70s, adding yet another heavyweight to his catalog. On Blues ‘N’ Soul, he is joined by many of the same musicians that backed him on his Stax studio debut, Waiting for Little Milton, including drummer Willie Hall, guitarist Bobby Manuel, bassist Willie Murphy, and pianist Lester Snell. An impassioned singer, Milton’s early-’70s output indeed began to walk the fine line between the blues and soul of the album title, a fact accentuated by the sparkling touches of the Memphis Horns. Although there are only two originals in the set, the singer’s interpretations of songs popularized by Charlie Rich (”Behind Closed Doors”), Linda Ronstadt (”You’re No Good”) and Freddie King (”Woman Across the River”) are just as convincing. Milton’s own “Sweet Woman of Mine” captures the combo in an up-tempo mode, simultaneously tough and swinging. “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do” is a tour de force of soul-blues that paces itself exquisitely across six and a half minutes, and “Hard Luck Blues” concludes the set with a hard funk groove. Throughout the album, the arranging skills of James Mitchell demonstrate how strings can be incorporated into a hard blues setting. Though they provide ample color to these productions, they do little to dilute the essential nature of the music. Excluding the singles collection Walking the Back Streets, Blues ‘N’ Soul may very well be Milton’s best set for Stax.
By Nathan Bush (AMG)

Despite the dismal length of the vinyl original (I also owned that,) this is part of the Little Milton (Campbell) legacy. His version of of “Behind Closed Doors” puts the pedal to the wonderful Charlie Rich original. Equally fine is the stinging version of “You’re No Good” which found its way into easily a half-dozen mix cassettes of mine. “Hard Luck Blues” features his hard BB King styled, but not as liquid guitar, and his grainy voice. “Sweet Woman of Man” is also a stand-out cut with more guitar. Since I first heard this some nearly thirty years ago, I am not an objective observer. But “Grits Ain’t Groceries” and Milton was most certainly the real deal. (He also renders a fine version of the Billie Holiday tune “Tain’t Nobody’s Business… ” on this disc. ) I can’t imagine not liking this album.
By Mark N. Russell (Amazon)

By Pier

1 comment:

raf gol said...



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