Sister Rosetta Tharpe – The Gospel Truth (1959 – 2018; expanded edition)

LPFrontCover1Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s electric gospel sound was crucial in paving the way for rock and roll, and the late singer and guitarist is finally getting her day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She joins this a class of inductees that includes big-name rock bands like Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and The Cars.

Rosetta Tharpe was a huge star in her time. Born in a small town in Arkansas in 1915, she was raised in the Pentecostal church. Tharpe honed her musical talent at tent revivals and churches, but found fame after moving to New York City in the 1930s. Her electric sanctified sound was an overnight sensation in the city’s nightclubs, and secular audiences fell in love with her ecstatic guitar playing.

Her fame faded by the 1960s as a new generation of musicians began to expand upon her style. She found new audiences in Europe, but otherwise settled into a quiet life in Philadelphia. Tharpe died in 1973 at the age of 58. Although her name fell into the shadows of history for decades, her influence did not.

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“She influenced Elvis Presley, she influenced Johnny Cash, she influenced Little Richard,” says Tharpe’s biographer Gayle Wald. “She influenced innumerable other people who we recognize as foundational figures in rock and roll.”

Sister Rosetta Tharpe is set to be posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame on May 5. Gayle Wald says the musician would be tickled by the honor.

“When people would ask her about her music,” Wald says, “she would say, ‘Oh, these kids and rock and roll — this is just sped up rhythm and blues. I’ve been doing that forever.’ (by Bruce Warren)

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And here´s a pretty good live recording (Recorded at the Church of God in Christ in New York) and we can hear this great mix between Gospel and Rock N Roll !

Tharpe, a striking woman who performed in evening gowns with an electric guitar, cannot be categorized easily. She sang with the cadence of a blues artist but looked like the gospel queen she was, with a crowning permanent wave and flowing dresses. Second only to her guitar, her face was her most expressive instrument, punctuating her licks and strokes with winks, raised eyebrows and a smile that set everything straight. (by Craig Belcher)

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Personnel:
Sister Rosetta Tharpe (vocals, guitar)
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a bunch of unknown session musicians

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Tracklist:
01. The Lord’s Prayer (Traditional) 3.06
02. One Morning Soon (Tharpe) 3.02
03. Things That I Used To Do (And I Don’t Do No More) (Nubin) 2.22
04. It’s Me (Tharpe) 2.42
05. I Have Good News To Bring (Tharpe) 2.59
06. Didn’t It Rain (Tharpe) 2.00
07. Bring Back Those Happy Days (Tharpe) 4.00
08. Saviour Don’t Pass Me By (Tharpe) 3.31
09. Go Get The Water (Tharpe) 2.17
10. Beams Of Heaven (Tharpe) 3.55
11. Steal Away (Tharpe) 3.15
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12. Let It Shine (Tharpe) 1.58
13. Let’s Be Happy (Tharpe) 2.17
14. I’m Gonna Take A Trip On That Old Ship (Tharpe) 2.43
15. Honor (Tharpe) 1.47

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Sister Rosetta Tharpe (March 20, 1915 – October 9, 1973)

Aretha Franklin – Songs Of Faith (1956)

LPFrontCover1Songs of Faith is the debut studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released in 1956 by J.V.B./Battle Records. The album was recorded live when Franklin was aged 14 at New Bethel Baptist Church, the church of her father Reverend C. L. Franklin.

The album was originally issued on JVB LP 100 and Battle LP 6105. It is always known on Checker Records as Checker LPS-10009. Songs of Faith has been reissued many times under various names. It is known also as The Gospel Soul of Aretha Franklin, Aretha’s Gospel, Precious Lord, You Grow Closer, Never Grow Old, and The First Album. (by wikipedia)

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Aretha Franklin’s birthplace, 406 Lucy Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

One of the key voices in the R&B world, Aretha Franklin has enjoyed a six decade reign as the Queen of Soul. Her hits include some of the most iconic songs of the era, including such classics as Respect, Until You Come Back To Me and Think. Like many of her peers, Arethas career began in the church, and it is this period of her career that is the subject of this album. With the aid of local Detroit record label JVB, primitive and basic recording equipment was installed into the New Bethel Baptist Church where her father was minister. Nine tracks were recorded, featuring Aretha on vocals and piano accompaniment, with others in the congregation offering words of encouragement during the course of the recording. The historical and captivating performance is featured here in all its glory.

Taped live when the singer was 14, the noise of the congregation clearly audible over her voice and piano, Aretha Franklin’s debut album, Songs of Faith, remains a genuinely haunting, faintly eerie doc. ument of at least one side of life in her father’s New Bethel Baptist church. (by theguardian.com)

Listen … and you´ll know and understand, why Aretha Franklin was one of the finest singers in her time.

Beautiful gospel singing and piano from this 14-year-old superstar. (by Opal Nations)

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Aretha Franklin with choreographer Cholly Atkins

Personnel:
Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano)
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unknown background choir

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Tracklist:
01. There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood (Cowper) 4.26
02. Precious Lord (Part One) (Dorsey) 3.23
03. Precious Lord (Part Two) (Dorsey) 2.51
04. You Grow Closer (Traditional) 2.43
05. Never Grow Old (Traditional) 2.55
06. The Day Is Past And Gone (Traditional) 4.57
07. He Will Wash You White As Snow (Traditional) 4.18
08. While The Blood Runs Warm (Traditional) 3.03
09. Yield Not To Temptation (Traditional) 2.56

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Ruth Brown – Gospel Time (1963)

FrontCover1.jpgRuth Alston Brown (née Weston, January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and actress, sometimes known as the “Queen of R&B”. She was noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as “So Long”, “Teardrops from My Eyes” and “(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean”. For these contributions, Atlantic became known as “the house that Ruth built” (alluding to the popular nickname for the old Yankee Stadium).

Following a resurgence that began in the mid-1970s and peaked in the 1980s, Brown used her influence to press for musicians’ rights regarding royalties and contracts; these efforts led to the founding of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Her performances in the Broadway musical Black and Blue earned Brown a Tony Award, and the original cast recording won a Grammy Award. (by wikipedia)

Gospel Time, Ruth Brown’s first and only gospel album, was recorded in 1963 in Nashville under Shelby Singleton’s direction, using country musicians. Ray Stevens of “Ahab the Arab” fame plays organ. Vocal backgrounds are by the Milestone Singers. The most impressive cuts are “Closer Walk With Thee,” with soulful guitar licks from Jerry Kennedy and Harold Bradley; “Peace in the Valley,” with nice piano triplets by Harold “Pig” Robbins; the beautiful “Walk With Me”; and a fabulous version of “Milky White Way.” Brown even tries her hand at preaching in a rocking version of “Morning Train.” This is a surprisingly fine album. (by Opal Nations)

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Personnel:
Harold Bradley (guitar)
Ruth Brown (vocals)
Buddy Harmon (drums)
Jerry Kennedy (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
Hargus “Pig” Robbins (piano)
Ray Stevens (organ)
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The Milestone Singers (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Morning Train (Traditional) 2.45
02. Satisfied (Carson) 2.44
02. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Habershom/Gabriel) 3.24
04. Deep River (Traditional) 3.23
05. Milky White Way (Traditional) 3.39
06. He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands (Traditional) 2.36
07. Just A Closer Walk With Thee (Traditional) 4.33
08. I’ve Got Shoes (Traditional) 2.31
09. (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me) (Dorsey) 3.20
10. Walk With Me Lord (Dargan) 2.37
11. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Traditional) 2.51

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Ruth Alston Brown (née Weston, January 12, 1928 – November 17, 2006)

Louis Armstrong And The Sy Oliver Choir – Louis And The Good Book (1958)

BrunswickFrontCover1.jpgLouis and the Good Book is a 1958 jazz and spirituals album by Louis Armstrong.

Singles included “I’ll String Along with You” / “On My Way (Out on My Traveling Shoes)” 1959, also known as I’m On My Way.

An unusual album in the Louis Armstrong canon, this collection of gospel songs, spirituals, homilies, and comic vignettes was the only religious album this determinedly secular musician recorded. Backed by a gospel vocal group led by the celebrated jazz arranger Sy Oliver, Armstrong performs a variety of religious-themed favorites, including “Ezekiel Saw De Wheel,” “Go Down Moses,” and “Didn’t it Rain,” as well as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot“. There’s an affecting version of the traditional spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.

Louis made many divine recordings, but this 1958 LP was the only one specifically devoted to spiritual songs. At times joyous, solemn, whimsical and moving, this uplifting classic Spirituals.

GermanLabels1970.jpgI highly recommend this album as representative of Armstrong’s religious devotions and background. The accompanying singers are excellent and his vocals as well as instrumentals solo’s are simply perfection….

Reverend Eatmore is comedy in a most refined and humorous mode that can be enjoyed when listened to numerous times….

His rendition of “Motherless Child” is heartfelt and poignant given Armstrongs own background… (Edward J. Cox)

This 1958 recording contains eighteen wonderful spirituals with the Sy Oliver choir and two mock “sermons.” Louis Armstrong is obviously having a ball and enjoying every second he’s singing and playing his trumpet. The choir is excellent and the whole recording just works; it’s one to play over and over again. (Joe Graphics)

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Personnel:
Louis Armstrong (trumpet, vocals)
Everett Barksdale (guitar)
George Barnes (guitar)
Hank D’Amico (clarinet)
Barrett Deems (drums)
Edmond Hall (clarinet)
Mort Herbert (bass)
Billy Kyle (piano)
Dave McRae (clarinet)
Nickie Tagg (organ)
Trummy Young (trombone)
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The
The Sy Oliver Choir conducted by Sy Oliver

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Tracklist:
01. Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen (Traditional) 3.01
02. Shadrack (MacGimsey) 2.46
03. Go Down Moses (Traditional) 3.39
04. Rock My Soul (In The Bosom O Abraham) (Huey) 2.57
05. Ezekiel Saw The Wheel (Traditional) 2.32
06. On My Way (Got On My Travelin’ Shoes) (Chapman/Carroll) 3.04
07. Down By The Riverside (Traditional) 3.10
08. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Traditional) 3.09
09. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child (Traditional) 3.29
10. Jonah And The Whale (MacGimsey) 2.40
11. Didn’t It Rain (Traditional) 2.50
12. This Train (Tharpe) 2.27

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Louis Armstrong asked Richard Nixon to carry his bags through customs.
The bags had marijuana in them.

I guess this was the first and last time, Mr. Nixon did a great Job !

Don Nix – Gone Too Long (1976)

FrontCover1.JPGDon Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, composer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being “obscure”[by whom?], he is a key figure in several genres of Southern rock and soul, R&B, and the blues. He was instrumental in the creation of the distinctive “Memphis soul” developed at Stax Records.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix came from a musical family (his brother, Larry Nix, became a mastering engineer for Stax and for the Ardent Recording Studios in Memphis). Don Nix began his career playing saxophone for the Mar-Keys, which also featured Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and others. The hit instrumental single “Last Night” (composed by the band as a whole) was the first of many successful hits to Nix’s credit. Without Nix, the Mar-Keys evolved into Booker T. & the M.G.’s.

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The Mar-Keys in the studio, from left, Charlies “Packy” Axton, Wayne Jackson, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Don Nix, Terry Johnson, Steve Cropper and Jerry Lee “Smoochie” Smith. (Phillip Rauls photo)

As a producer, Nix worked with other artists and producers, such as Leon Russell of Shelter Records; Gary Lewis and the Playboys in Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars; George Harrison, of the Beatles; and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. One notable achievement was his collaboration with Harrison, Russell, and many others in the production of the “Concert for Bangladesh”, a star-studded benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in 1971.

DonNix01Throughout his career, Nix worked behind the scenes as producer, arranger, and musician and in other roles for artists including Lonnie Mack, Furry Lewis, Freddie King, Albert King, Delaney, Bonnie & Friends, Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Jeff Beck, Brian May, Eric Clapton, and many others. He wrote and produced albums for solo artists and for groups, such as Don Nix and the Alabama State Troupers, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers.

The song “Going Down”, originally released by the band Moloch on their eponymous album in 1969, has become a rock-and-roll standard, having been covered by Freddie King, Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, JJ Cale, Marc Ford, Chicken Shack, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Gov’t Mule, Sam Kinison, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Satriani, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Sammy Hagar, Joe Bonamassa, Sturgill Simpson, and others. Nix released a version of the song as a single for Elektra Records in 1972. The song “Black Cat Moan” was covered on the 1973 album Beck, Bogert & Appice. The Rolling Stones performed “Goin’ Down” with John Mayer and Gary Clark, Jr. live on Pay-Per-View television on December 15, 2012, as part of the Stones’ 50th Anniversary Tour.

He did the first time performance in Japan, Tokyo and Kobe, in March 2013 with his friends Terry Wall and Joel Williams.

In 2014, “Alabama State Troupers Road Show” was released as a CD. A celebration event was held in Stax Museum in Memphis (by wikipedia)

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And here´s another solo album by Don Nix … a brilliant nix between Rock, Blues, Gospel and S misuc ..Soul music … he was one of the most underrated musicians in the history of this music !!!

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George Harrison & Don Nix

Personnel:
Don Nix (vocals, saxophone)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians (with spiritual guidance from George Harrison)

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Tracklist:
01. Goin’ Thru Another Change (Nix) 3.02
02. Feel A Whole Lot Better (Clark) 3.55
03. Gone Too Long (Nix) 3.16
04. Backstreet Girl (Jagger/Richards) 4.01
05. Rollin’ In My Dreams (Nix) 2.50
06. Yazoo City Jail (Nix) 3.37
07. Harpoon Arkansas Turnaround (Nix) 2.28
08. Forgotten Town (Nix) 3.14
09. A Demain (Until Tomorrow) (Denimal/Nix) 4.53

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Don Nix talks …

The Edwin Hawkins Singers – Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord (1968)

SAMSUNG CSCEdwin Reuben Hawkins (August 19, 1943 – January 15, 2018) was an American gospel musician, pianist, choir master, composer, and arranger. He was one of the originators of the urban contemporary gospel sound. He (as leader of the Edwin Hawkins Singers) was probably best known for his arrangement of “Oh Happy Day” (1968–69), which was included on the Songs of the Century list. The Edwin Hawkins Singers made a second foray into the charts exactly one year later, backing folk singer Melanie on “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)”.

Hawkins was born in Oakland, California, on August 19, 1943. At the age of seven Hawkins was already the keyboardist to accompany the family’s gospel choir. Together with Betty Watson, he was the co-founder of the Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ, which included almost fifty members. This ensemble recorded its first album Let Us Go into the House of the Lord at the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California privately (on the Century 70 custom label), hoping to sell 500 copies. “Oh Happy Day” was just one of the eight songs on the album. The soloists in the album were Elaine Kelly, Margarette Branch, Dorothy Combs Morrison (the lead singer on “Oh Happy Day”), Tramaine Davis (Hawkins), Reuben Franklin, Donald Cashmere, Betty Watson, and Ruth Lyons.

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When radio stations of the San Francisco Bay area started playing “Oh Happy Day”, it became very popular. Featuring the lead vocal of Dorothy Combs Morrison, the subsequently released single (on the newly created Pavilion label distributed by Buddah) rocketed to sales of over a million copies within two months. It crossed over to the pop charts making U.S. No.4, UK No.2,[3] No.2 on the Irish Singles Chart, and No.1 on the French Singles Charts and the German Singles Charts in 1969. It then became an international success, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide, and Hawkins was awarded his first Grammy for it. Hawkins’ arrangement of the song was eventually covered by The Four Seasons on their 1970 album Half & Half.

Their second Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 charts was the 1970 Melanie single “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” on which the label listed the performers as Melanie with The Edwin Hawkins Singers. The song peaked at No. 6 in the U.S. In 1990, Hawkins, credited as a solo performer, had a number 89 hit on the R&B chart with “If At First You Don’t Succeed (Try Again)”.[5] In the 1992 movie Leap of Faith, Hawkins is the choir master for the gospel songs.

Hawkins died of pancreatic cancer on January 15, 2018, in Pleasanton, California, at the age of 74 (by wkipedia)

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And here´s the first album of Edwin Hawkins:

You don´t have to believe in Jesus to hear the power of Gospel music … this is music directly from the heart …

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Personnel:
The Edwin Hawkins Singers:

Elaine Kelly – Margarette Branch – Dorothy Combs Morrison – Tramaine Davis (Hawkins), Reuben Franklin – Donald Cashmere – Betty Watson – Ruth Lyons.

Directed by Edwin Hawkins (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Let Us Go Into The House Of The Lord 2.14
02. Jesus, Lover Of My Soul 4.06
03. To My Father’s House (solo vocals: Elaine Kelly) 5.31
04. I’m Going Through 4.56
05. Oh Happy Day (solo vocals: Dorothy Combs Morrison) 5.14
06. I Heard The Voice Of Jesus (solo vocals: Donald Cashmere, Rueben Franklin, Trumaine Davis) 6.00
07. Early In The Morning (solo vocals: Betty Watson) 3.06
08. Joy, Joy (solo vocals: Ruth Lyons, Trumaine Davis) 5.21
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09. Oh Happy Day (Single version1969) 5.01
10. Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) (with Melanie) (Safka) 9.28

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Edwin Reuben Hawkins (August 19, 1943 – January 15, 2018)

Lucky Peterson – Triple Play (1990)

FrontCover1Lucky Peterson (born Judge Kenneth Peterson, December 13, 1964, Buffalo, New York) is an American musician who plays contemporary blues, fusing soul, R&B, gospel and rock and roll. He plays guitar and keyboards. Music journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray has said, “he may be the only blues musician to have had national television exposure in short pants.”Lucky Peterson (born Judge Kenneth Peterson, December 13, 1964, Buffalo, New York) is an American musician who plays contemporary blues, fusing soul, R&B, gospel and rock and roll. He plays guitar and keyboards. Music journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues – From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray has said, “he may be the only blues musician to have had national television exposure in short pants.”

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Peterson’s father, bluesman James Peterson, owned a nightclub in Buffalo called The Governor’s Inn. The club was a regular stop for fellow bluesmen such as Willie Dixon. Dixon saw a five-year-old Lucky Peterson performing at the club and, in Peterson’s words, “Took me under his wing.” Months later, Peterson performed on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and What’s My Line?. Millions of people watched Peterson sing “1-2-3-4”, a cover version of “Please, Please, Please” by James Brown. At the time, Peterson said “his father wrote it”. Around this time he recorded his first album, Our Future: 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson, for Today/Perception Records and appeared on the public television show, Soul!.

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As a teen, Peterson studied at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, where he played the French horn with the school symphony. Soon, he was playing backup guitar and keyboards for Etta James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Little Milton.[2]
The 1990s were a prolific period for Peterson. Two solo Bob Greenlee produced albums for the Chicago-based Alligator Records (1989’s Lucky Strikes! and the following year’s Triple Play) remain his finest recorded offerings. He then released four more for the record label, Verve Records (I’m Ready, Beyond Cool, Lifetime and Move). While with Verve, Peterson collaborated with Mavis Staples on a tribute to gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, called Spirituals & Gospel. Peterson played electronic organ behind Staples’ singing.

More albums from Peterson came after 2000. He recorded two for Blue Thumb Records (Lucky Peterson and Double Dealin’), and one for Disques Dreyfus entitled, Black Midnight Sun. In 2007, he released Tete a Tete on JSP Records.
In 2013, the Blackbird Music/55 Arts Club DVD of Live At The 55 Arts Club Berlin was nominated for a Blues Music Award.[4]Lucky Peterson in 1984.Current work and lifestyle
Today, Peterson lives in Dallas, Texas, and maintains a rigorous tour schedule performing all over the world.
Peterson has four children. (by wikipedia)

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Even more impressive than his previous Alligator set, thanks to top-flight material like “Don’t Cloud Up on Me,” “Let the Chips Fall Where They May,” and “Locked Out of Love,” the fine house band at Greenlee’s King Snake studios, and Peterson’s own rapidly developing attack on two instruments. (by Bill Dahl)

It’s a shame that Lucky Peterson has still not been discovered by some blues fans; they don’t know what they’re missing. This collection, recorded at Kingsnake Studios in Sanford, FL and released on Alligator Records in 1990, offers some great music from start to finish. Of the ten songs, I could start naming favorites such as “Six O’Clock Blues”, “Let the Chips Fall Where They May”, and the classic “I Found A Love”, but there isn’t a bad track on this disc. While it was originally released many years ago, it still sounds fresh. All in all, “Triple Play” is one well-done album. (by Blue Ox)

Lucky Peterson is a natural born musician and entertainer. He first exposed his bewildering talent during session work for Florida’s King Snake Records. Then, he progressed to holding stints with Little Milton and Bobby `Blue’ Bland. Given the number of artists and CDs that I see and hear annually, Lucky Peterson consistently rates at the top. Unlike the name of this 42-minute album, Peterson is more than a triple threat. He is an exhilarating multi-instrumentalist (capable of playing organ, guitar, bass, drums and trumpet), flamboyant songwriter, passionate singer, and a radiant live entertainer. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing his multiple talents, check out “Let The Chips Fall Where They May” with its slick and funky arrangement. Here, and throughout Peterson plays explosive lead guitar while backed by his sleek organ and vocals. Just 27-years-old at the time this album was released, Peterson shows infinite potential. (by Tim Holek)

In other words: a brilliant album !

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Personnel:
Bryan Bassett (guitar)
Bob Greenlee (bass)
Dale Horton (bass)
Ernie Lancaster (guitar)
Jim Payne (drums)
Lucky Peterson (keyboards, guitar, vocals)
William Pell Pinner III (drums)
George Taylor (guitar)
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The Kingsnake Horns:
Bob Greenlee (saxophone)
Sylvester Polk (trumpet)
Bill Samuel (saxophone)
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Ray Anderson (trombone of 10.)
Ray”Bruce Staelens (trumpet on 10.)
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Funky Ray”Lester Chambers (vocals on 05.)

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Tracklist:
01. Let The Chips Fall Where They May (Greenlee) 4.11
02. Your Lies (Greenlee/Peterson/Payne) 3.11.
03. Six O’Clock Blues (Boylston/Michel) 3.44
04. Repo Man (Payne/Peterson/Boylston/Greenlee) 3.26
05. I Found A Love (Pickett/West/Scofield) 5.47
06. Jammin’ In The Jungle (Payne/Peterson/Greenlee) 3.43
07. Locked Out Of Love (Payne/Peterson/Greenlee) 3.39
08. I’m Free (Payne/Greenlee) 5.18
09. Don’t Cloud Up On Me (Greenlee/Peterson/Boylston) 3.15
10. Funky Ray (Anderson/Peterson/Payne/Greenlee) 5.29

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