Don Nix – In God We Trust (1971)

FrontCover1A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Nix’s musical career began back at the beginning of Stax Records. He was a member of the young record label’s house band The Mar-Keys, where he played sax. The band had a hit in 1961 with the instrumental “Last Night”, and they went on to tour extensively as well as providing studio backing for a host of Stax artists. They later broke up, members going on to form off-shoot groups The Memphis Horns and Booker T & The MGs. Nix himself went on to befriend Leon Russell, and started work behind the scenes as a producer and songwriter. One of his most notable compositions was “Goin’ Down”, first recorded by Freddie King in 1971, which has since become a blues standard. He also worked with George Harrison on the Concerts For Bangladesh, and produced an album for Albert King (1971’s Lovejoy, on Stax).
He released his first solo album the same year, on Leon Russell’s Shelter Records label. In God We Trust was a fantastic album, a rootsy blend of rock, R&B and gospel. It was recorded at Muscle Shoals, with backing provided by their house band of Barry Beckett (keyboards), Eddie Hinton (guitar), David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums). Mostly made up of original songs (many with strong Christian themes to the lyrics), it also featured versions of the traditional spirituals “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away”. Another song (“He Never Lived A Day Without Jesus”) was co-written with Bobby Whitlock, who also featured it on his own solo debut a year later.
Somewhere around this time Nix apparently befriended Furry Lewis, the old one-legged bluesman who originally recorded in the 1920s and had recently returned to popularity through the folk revival. Lewis appears in a bizarre guest spot, one short track consisting of just him talking followed by a quick bit of slide guitar. He would later go on tour with Nix. (by stuckinthepast08.blogspot)

What a great debut Album … full of souful gospel songs ! Don Nix was much more as his classic “Goin Down” !

Don Nix was one of the most underrated musiscian of all time !

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Personnel:
Barry Beckett (keyboards)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
Eddie Hinton (guitar)
David Hood (bass)
Furry Lewis (slide guitar)
Don Nix (vocals)
Larry Raspberry (guitar)
J,A, Spell (fiddle)

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Tracklist:
01  In God We Trust (Nix) 4.25
02. Golden Mansions (Nix) 4.04
03. I’ll Fly Away (Traditional) 3.26
04. He Never Lived A Day Without Jesus (Whitlock/Nix) 4.02
05. Nero My God To Thee (Traditional) 1.04
06. Amos Burke  (Nix) 2.57
07. Long Way To Nowhere (Nix/Raspberry) 3.32
08. Iuka  (Nix) 5,15
09. Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Traditional) 3.54
10. I’ve Tried (Truckers Lament) (Nix) 1.28

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Don Nix – Skyrider (1979)

FrontCover1Don Nix (born September 27, 1941, Memphis, Tennessee) is an American songwriter, composer, arranger, musician, and author. Although cited as being “obscure”, 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.[1] 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.

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, the Beatles’ George Harrison and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. One notable achievement was the 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.

Throughout his career, Nix worked behind the scenes as producer, arranger, musician and in other roles for artists such as Lonnie Mack, Furry Lewis, Freddy 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. (by wikipedia)

And this another brilliant albu by Don Nix … he´s one of these forgotten heroes of rock/soul/blues/southern rock … What a shame !

This album included one of his best Songs … “Maverick Woman Blues” (original written in 1969) … but the best version ever recorded was the version of ex-Spooky Tooth singer Mike Harrison (soming soon in this blog !)

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“Music that touches the soul. That creates emotion. Music that is real, be it the blues or some variation thereof. The blues encapsulates all of it. Like I said in the beginning, it really all comes from the blues.” (Photo: Danny Green with Levon Helm and Don Nix)

Personnel:
Ernie Chapman (bass)
John Fry (accordion)
Len Groome (keyboards)
Roy Halle (slide-guitar)
Rob Kendrick (guitar, slide-guitar)
Don Nix (guitar, vocals, saxophone)
Darell Norris (drums)
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Memphis Horns (horns)
William C. Brown lll Choir (background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Skyrider (Nix) 3.16
02. Nobody Else (Moore) 3.05
03. Maverick Woman Blues (Nix) 4.06
04. Do It Again (Nix/Kendrick) 5.54
05. Long Tall Sally (Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell) 3.58
06. I´ll Be In Your Dreams (Nix/Kendrick) 3.38
07. On The Town Again (Green/Nix/Kendrick) 2.52
08. All For The Love Of A Woman (Nix) 4.17

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Don Nix – Living By The Days (1971)

FrontCover1 Don Nix may not be a household name, but for serious fans of 1960s and 1970s music, he is an important figure: as a multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer. He also looms large in his home town of Memphis’ musical history. Nix was a member of the legendary Mar-Keys and played saxophone on the hit “Last Night.” He produced records at Stax (including Delaney & Bonnie’s Home) and, while at Ardent, he wrote “Going Down” for Freddie King (later covered by Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan quite successfully). Nix played on and arranged a boatload of records. He was on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour, and arranged the choir for George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh. Living by the Days was his second album of 1971 and appeared on Elektra. His first, In God We Trust, was released by Leon Russell’s Shelter Records. Recorded at Muscle Shoals, its lineup includes Donald “Duck” Dunn, Barry Beckett, David Hood, Jimmy Johnson, Roger Hawkins, Claudia Lennear, and Kathi McDonald. Opener “The Shape I’m In” (not the Robbie Robertson tune, but Nix’s own; he wrote or co-wrote everything but the tepid cover of Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light”), “She Don’t Want a Lover (She Just Needs a Friend),” and closer “My Train’s Done Come and Gone” sound somewhat similar to the music the Band was making. Gospel, loose Southern gothic funkiness, and roots rock all commingle, but Nix’s plaintive voice is drenched in authenticity. (And no disrespect to the Band, but the musicians here are on a wholly different — higher — level.)

NixHarrisonStomping Southern R&B and early Memphis rock & roll fuel “Olena,” and one can hear more than a trace of the sounds that the Rolling Stones would “borrow” on Sticky Fingers (on which Lennear also appeared). One can hear the influence of Russell on the honky tonk gospel of “Three Angels.” Despite the shortcomings of “I Saw the Light” (Furry Lewis’ opening narration is priceless), Nix and the Memphis bluesman were quite close. “Going Back to Iuka” begins as a conventional electric blues but becomes a tribute to “Mystery Train,” with great slide guitar work and a popping funky bassline. While Living by the Days is very much a record of its time, it is from an era that has proven timeless in appeal to subsequent generations of rock fans. Living by the Days is well worth seeking out as one of the more obscure offerings issued by a major in 1971) by Thom Jurek)

BackCover1Personnel:
Tippy Armstrong (guitar)
Barry Beckett (keyboards)
Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
David Hood (bass)
Jimmy Johnson (guitar)
Gimmer Nicholson (guitar)
Don Nix (vocals, guitar)
Wayne Perkins (guitar, background vocals)
Chris Stainton (keyboards)
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background vocals:
Claudia Lennear – Don Preston – Jeanie Greene – Joey Cooper – Kathi McDonald – Marlin Greene
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Furry Lewis (narrator)

Booklet1Tracklist:
01. The Shape I’m In (Nix) 5.40
02. Olena (Nix) 4.20
03. I Saw The Light (Williams) 3.53
04. She Don’t Want A Lover (She Just Need A Friend) (Nix) 4.19
05. Living By The Days (Nix) 3.12
06. Going Back To Iuka (Nix) 4.18
07. Three Angels (Nix/Mack) 3.43
08. Mary Louise (Nix/Greene) 2.46
09. My Train’s Done Come And Gone (Nix) 5.00

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Paris Pilot – Same (1969)

FrontCover1 Paris Pilot was a project written and produced by Don Nix, who had a long Memphis musical career in a variety of roles, including playing saxophone for the Mar-Keys (notably, on the classic “Last Night”) and producing folks such as Delaney & Bonnie.

Psych-rock combo Paris Pilot formed in Memphis under the name Load of Mischief, bringing together vocalist David Mayo, guitarist Jimmy Tarbutton, bassist Ray Sanders, keyboardist Ken Woodley and drummer Larry Wall. Signing to the Stax label’s HIP subsidiary, the group began work on its debut LP when ex-Mar-Kay Don Nix commandeered the project, signing on as songwriter, producer and engineer and insisting Load of Mischief change its name to Paris Pilot; somewhat amazingly, Nix is the only musician even credited on the resulting album, an eponymously-titled effort issued in 1969. The members of Paris Pilot disassociated themselves from the finished product, sales were dismal, and the group dissolved soon after. (by Jason Ankeny)

And I will bring more records by the grat Don Nix .. he was a fantastic songwriter … we all know his “Going Down” ! …

BackCover1Personnel:
David Mayo (vocals)
Ray Sanders (bass)
Jimmy Tarbutton (guitar)
Larry Wall (drums)
Ken Woodley (keyboards)

Larry Wall is first member of “Gentrys” (1965~1966)
Jimmy Tarbutton is also member of “Gentrys” (1969~1971)

SingleTracklist:
01. The Beat Goes On (Bono) 5.46
02. Winters Child (NIx/Woodley) 2.58
03. Shades Of Doubt (Preston/Cooper) 2.42
04. Temptations ‘Bout To Get Me (Diggs) 3.04
05. Long Way To Go (NIx) 2.49
06. Overton Park Flip (Nix) 3.49
07. Miss Rita Famous (Nix) 2.46
08. Roses And Rainbows (Hutton/Goldberg) 3.19
09. Don’t Let It (Bramlett/NIx) 3.41

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