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 …

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Shakura S’aida – The Blueprint (2008)

FrontCover1Blues singer Shakura S’Aida (pronounced “Shack-oora Sigh-ee-da”) was born in Brooklyn and raised in Switzerland before settling in Toronto. She first began singing professionally with a Toronto band called Mystique, after which she worked with the world music band Kaleefah. Simultaneously, she pursued a legitimate stage career, appearing in Canadian productions of such shows as Ain’t Misbehavin’, and acted on television and in films. As a singer, she provided backup vocals for Patti LaBelle, performed in a Ray Charles tribute band, and appeared on albums by Bill King and Saturday Nite Fish Fry. Her own debut solo album, Blueprint, released by UMI on February 19, 2008, was a collection of blues songs of the 1940s and ‘50s. Two years later, the German label Ruf Records released her second album, Brown Sugar, which consisted largely of her own original compositions, co-written with her guitarist, Donna Grantis. (by William Ruhlmann)

Shakuras debut solo album signals a new beginning with some old music. She did songs that she felt gave her something to sing about. Songs that were once sung by Big Maybelle, Memphis Minnie, Big Mama Thornton and other phenomenal women of the time become Shakuras personal anthems. Recording with the best of Toronto talent gave Shakuras blues a new canvas to paint on. (Editorial Reviews, amazon)

Blues and soul with very much emotional singing, shouting, screaming. her best (Hugo V.)

We should remember her name … what a great voice !

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Personnel:
Howard Ayee (bass)
Michelle Josef (drums)
Dennis Keldie (keyboards)
Shakura S’Aida (vocals)
Simon Wallis (saxophone)
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Harrison Kennedy (guitar, vocals, harmonica on 09., harmonica on 10.)
David Rotundo (harmonica on 07.)
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background vocals:
Jackie Richardson – Shannon Maracle

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Tracklist:
01. No More Troubles Out Of Me (McCoy/Singleton) 3.30
02. He Doesn’t Care (About My Broken Heart) (Pryce) 5.35
03. One Monkey Don’t Stop The Show (McCoy/Singleton) 3.33
04. Getting Along Alright (Sharp/Singleton) 5.07
05. Stop It Baby (King) 3.44
06. Rain Down Rain (Chase) 5.09
07. Las Vegas Blues (S’Aida) 5.45
08. Me And My Chauffeur Blues (Lawlar) 4.11
09. Big City Lights (Have U Seen My Baby) (Randle) 3.29
10. I’m Living With The Blues (B.McGhee/R.McGhee) 2.53
11. Gotta Live (S’Aida) 5.01

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Various Artists – Jingle Bell Rock (1987)

FrontCover1And here´s a nice sampler withRok N Roll and Soul songs about Christmas, publish  by Time Life. And this sampler was a part of the “The Rock N Roll Era”.

Time-Life’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Era: Jingle Bell Rock collects 25 classic tracks of the holiday genre including “Run, Rudolph, Run” (Chuck Berry), “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (the Jackson 5), “Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms), “Sleigh Ride” (the Ventures) and “Step into Christmas” (Elton John). Many of these artists will appeal to a broad range of ages, making it perfect for family gatherings. (by Al Campbell)

in 1987, I guess I was bitten by the same CD buying bug that many were: I bought into the Time-Life “Rock ‘n’ Roll Era” series of CDs. Thankfully I found that the musical selection on these were fine for my purposes, although the sound often suffered a bit. It did enable me to amass a good collection of “oldies” that I otherwise never would have bought. One surprising favorite came my way during the holidays–the compilation Jingle Bell Rock. A couple of the Motown tracks need to be skipped (the Temptations’ “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is narcoleptic at best), but for the most part it is a very enjoyable and crowd-pleasing collection of holiday favorites.

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On here are tracks by Jan and Dean (“Frosty the Snowman”, rescued from obscurity), The Ventures (“Sleigh Ride”), Jack Scott (“There’s Trouble Brewin’”), The O’Jays (“Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without The One You Love”) and Dodie Stevens (“Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”). The usual suspects are here also (“JIngle Bell Rock”, “Run, Rudolph Run” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”) and Elton John’s “Step into Christmas” finishes out the disc with the most recent song in the collection. (by rudyscorner.com)

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Tracklist:
01. Bobby Helms: Jingle Bell Rock (Boothe/Beal) 2.08
02. Chuck Berry: Run, Rudolph, Run (Berry) 2.43
03. Otis Redding: Merry Christmas Baby (Moore/Baxter) 2.29
04. Smokey Robinson And The Miracles: Go Tell It On The Mountain (Traditional) 3.40
05. The Supremes: My Favorite Things (Hammerstein/Rodgers) 2.45
06. The Drifters: White Christmas (Berlin) 2.35
07. The Beach Boys: The Man With All The Toys (Wilson) 1.30
08. Booker T. And The MG’s: Jingle Bells (Pierpont) 2.27
09. The Temptations: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.55
10. Carla Thomas: Gee Whiz, It’s Christmas (Thomas/Cropper) 2.38
11. The Jackson 5: Someday At Christmas (Wells/Mills) 2.38
12. Jan And Dean: Frosty The Snow Man (Rollins/Nelson) 2.04
13. King Curtis: The Christmas Song (Tormé/Wells) 2.55
14. Brenda Lee: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree (Marks) 2.03
15. Smokey Robinson And The Miracles: Medley: Deck The Halls / Bring A Torch (Traditional) 3.55
16. Marvin & Johnny: It’s Christmas (Josea/Phillips) 2.14
17. The Temptations: My Christmas Tree (Webb) 3.05
18. The Ventures: Sleigh Ride (Anderson) 2.20
19. The O’Jays: Christmas Ain’t Christmas Without The One You Love (Gamble/Huff) 2.12
20. The Jackson 5: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (Connor) 2.59
21. Jack Scott: There’s Trouble Brewin’ (Veronica) 2.22
22. Dodie Stevens: Merry, Merry Christmas Baby (Lopez/Sylvia) 2.11
23. Aretha Franklin: Winter Wonderland (Smith/Bernard) 2.09
24. Donny Hathaway: This Christmas (Hathaway/McKinnor) 3.26
25. Elton John: Step Into Christmas (John/Taupin) 4.22

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Marva Wright – Marvalous (1995)

FrontCover1Down in Louisiana, Marva Wright is called the Blues Queen. Fans of her energy-filled performances, both live and recorded, call her a lot of other things, too, like “Marvalous Marva.” The “bluesiana” numbers she favors are a strong showcase for her dynamic, gospel-rooted voice. One listen would be enough to convince any newcomer of her strengths, which is surprising in light of the fact that the vocalist was a late bloomer who didn’t turn professional until 1987, when she was creeping up on 40. Even then, she only began singing as a way to support her family with a second job. Bourbon Street in the Big Easy led to more than she had dreamed, ultimately landing her gigs in Europe and across the world, with stops in France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Norway, Sweden, and Brazil. Her appearances in the U.S. include Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, as well as Texas, California, Vermont, Colorado, and Florida.

Although she made a career out of music late in life, Wright actually began to sing much earlier, when she was nine years old. Like many artists, her first public singing efforts were heard in church, with her mother as her accompanist.

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Top honors in a school-sponsored singing competition followed. Later in life, she credited her mother, a piano player and singer in a gospel quartet, as one of her main influences. Mahalia Jackson, the esteemed gospel singer, was an early friend of the family. Early in 1989 during a live set at Tipitina’s in New Orleans, Wright made her first recording, “Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean.” She made her debut on national television in 1991 when her hometown was the setting for a special that revolved around the Super Bowl. Heartbreakin’ Woman, Wright’s first full-length release, appeared later that year and garnered honors from the Louisiana Music Critics Association as Blues Album of the Year. The Times-Picayune placed it among the year’s Top Ten albums in the city. She has sung backup for such artists as Allen Toussaint, Glen Campbell, and Joe Cocker. The long list of others Wright has performed with includes Harry Connick Jr., Bobby McFerrin, Aaron Neville, Fats Domino, Lou Rawls, and Marcia Ball. (by Linda Seida)

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Marva Wright, who sings in clubs in New Orleans, has previously released a cassette tape from Tipitina’s (club), but this better-quality production shows what the lady can do. Big, belting gospel sound is burnished by wit and finesse. Her anthem “I Aint Built for Comfort, I’m Built for Speed” is here, along with some Irma Thomas and Koko Taylor covers (“It’s Raining” might make you forget Miss Thomas’s version) and more. “Members Only” (new to me) is great. Marva Wright deserves a national audience…she follows boldly in the footsteps of the queens of the blues, with her signature upbeat touch. Marvalous!!!!! (by an amazon customer)

A real superb blues & soul album from the blues queen of New Orleans !

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Personnel:
Thomas Bingham (guitar)
Lannie McMIllian (saxophone)
Lester Snell (keyboards)
Staff (bass, drums)
Marva Wright (vocals)
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background vocals:
Bertram Brown – William Brown – William C. Brown – Mashaa

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Tracklist:
01.  Members Only (Addison) 4.21
02. I Had A Talk With My Man (Davis/Caston) 4.18
03. Shake A Hand (Morris) 3.52
04. Driving Wheel (Burnett) 3.54
05. Further On Up The Road (Robey/Veasey) 3.29
06. Mr. Big Stuff (Broussard/Washington/Williams) 3.59
07. Built For Comfort (Dixon) 3.43
08. Wang Dang Doodle (Dixon) 5.14
09. You Can Have My Husband (LaBostrie) 3.06
10. Down Home Blues (Jackson) 4.04
11. (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean (Lance/Singleton/Wallace) 3.03
12. You Send Me (Cooke) 3.54
13. It’s Raining (Neville) 4.02

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… but her website is still alive and well … great !

Percy Sledge – Live In Kentucky (2006)

FrontCover1Percy Tyrone Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015) was an American R&B, soul and gospel singer. He is best known for the song “When a Man Loves a Woman”, a No. 1 hit on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts in 1966. It was awarded a million-selling, Gold-certified disc from the RIAA.

Having previously worked as a hospital orderly in the early 1960s, Sledge achieved his strongest success in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a series of emotional soul songs. In later years, Sledge received the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Career Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

Sledge was born on November 25, 1940, in Leighton, Alabama. He worked in a series of agricultural jobs in the fields in Leighton before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A former patient and mutual friend of Sledge and record producer Quin Ivy introduced the two. An audition followed, and Sledge was signed to a recording contract.

Sledge’s soulful voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called “emotional classics for romantics of all ages”. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was Sledge’s first song recorded under the contract, and was released in March 1966. According to Sledge, the inspiration for the PercySledge03song came when his girlfriend left him for a modelling career after he was laid off from a construction job in late 1965, and, because bassist Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright helped him with the song, he gave all the songwriting credits to them. It reached No. 1 in the US and went on to become an international hit. “When a Man Loves a Woman” was a hit twice in the UK, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked at No. 2 in 1987. The song was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge’s career, and was followed by “Warm and Tender Love” (covered by British singer Elkie Brooks in 1981), “It Tears Me Up”, “Take Time to Know Her” (his second biggest US hit, reaching No. 11; the song’s lyric was written by Steve Davis), “Love Me Tender”, and “Cover Me”.

Sledge charted with “I’ll Be Your Everything” and “Sunshine” during the 1970s, and became an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in the Netherlands, Germany, and on the African continent; he averaged 100 concerts a year in South Africa.

Sledge’s career enjoyed a renaissance in the 1980s when “When a Man Loves a Woman” re-entered the UK Singles Chart, peaking at No. 2 behind the reissued Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me”, after being used in a Levi’s commercial.[3] In the early 1990s, Michael Bolton brought “When a Man Loves a Woman” back into the limelight again on his hit album Time, Love, & Tenderness. On the week of November 17 to November 23, 1991, Bolton’s version also hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, exactly 25½ years to the week after Percy’s did in 1966.

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In 1994, Saul Davis and Barry Goldberg produced Sledge’s album, Blue Night, for Philippe Le Bras’ Sky Ranch label and Virgin Records. It featured Bobby Womack, Steve Cropper, and Mick Taylor among others. Blue Night received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album, Vocal or Instrumental, and in 1996 it won the W.C. Handy Award for best soul or blues album.

In 2004, Davis and Goldberg also produced the Shining Through the Rain album, which preceded his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Songs on the CD were written by Mikael Rickfors, Steve Earle, the Bee Gees, Carla Olson, Denny Freeman, Allan Clarke and Jackie Lomax. The same year Percy recorded a live album with his band Sunset Drive entitled Percy Sledge and Sunset Drive – Live in Virginia on WRM Records produced by Warren Rodgers.

In May 2007, Percy was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in his home city of Baton Rouge, LA.

In December 2010, Rhino Handmade issued a four-CD retrospective, The Atlantic Recordings, which covers all of the issued Atlantic masters, as well as many of the tracks unissued in the United States (although some were simply the mono versions of songs originally issued in stereo; Disc 1 comprises Sledge’s first two LPs which were not recorded on stereo equipment). In 2011 Sledge toured with Sir Cliff Richard during his Soulicious tour, performing “I’m Your Puppet” (by wikipedia)

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And here´s a very rare live album …orginal released as a DVD … a perfect show with all these soul music from the Sixties …  what a night !

Recorded live at the Mountain Arts Center, Prestenburg, Kentucky,
July 2006

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Personnel:
Percy Sledge (vocals)
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a bunch of unknown musicians

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Tracklist:
01. My Special Prayer (Simon/Scott) 4.44
02. Cover Me (Greene/Hinton) 4.05
03. Take Time To Know Her (Davis) 3.44
04. My Girl (Robinson/White) 4.34
05. Warm And Tender Love (Robinson) 5.13
06. Bring It Home To Me (Cooke) 4.39
07. At The Dark End Of The Street (Penn/Moman) 3.02
08. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Cropper/Redding) 3.39
09. 24-7-365 (Herron/Sutton) 3.45
10. It Tears Me Up (Oldham/Penn) 2.54
11. I’ll Be Your Everything (Souke) 3.29
12. Blue Water (James) 4.12
13. Out Of Left Field (Oldham/Penn) 4.13
14. Big Blue Diamonds (Carson) 3.37
15. A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Brooker/Reid) 5.05
16. Sudden Stop (Russell 3.16
17. Going Home Tomorrow (Domino/Young 3.53
18. When A Man Loves A Woman (Lewis/Wright) 5.52

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Percy Sledge (November 25, 1940 – April 14, 2015

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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Van Morrison – It’s Too Late To Stop Now (1973)

FrontCover1It’s Too Late to Stop Now is a 1974 live double album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It features performances that were recorded in concerts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California; the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and the Rainbow in London, during Morrison’s three-month tour with his eleven-piece band, the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, from May to July 1973. Frequently named as one of the best live albums ever, It’s Too Late to Stop Now was recorded during what has often been said to be the singer’s greatest phase as a live performer.It’s Too Late to Stop Now is a 1974 live double album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. It features performances that were recorded in concerts at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California; the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, and the Rainbow in London, during Morrison’s three-month tour with his eleven-piece band, the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, from May to July 1973. Frequently named as one of the best live albums ever, It’s Too Late to Stop Now was recorded during what has often been said to be the singer’s greatest phase as a live performer.

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Noted for being a mercurial and temperamental live performer, during this short period of time in 1973, Morrison went on one of his most diligent tours in years. With his eleven-piece band, The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, which included a horn and string section, he has often been said to have been at his live performing peak.

Morrison said about touring during this period:
I am getting more into performing. It’s incredible. When I played Carnegie Hall in the fall something just happened. All of a sudden I felt like ‘you’re back into performing’ and it just happened like that…A lot of times in the past I’ve done gigs and it was rough to get through them. But now the combination seems to be right and it’s been clicking a lot.[9]
It’s like watching a tiger. The tiger isn’t thinking about where he’s going to put his paws or how he’s going to kill… and [it’s the] same thing with Van. He’s just so there that you’re completely drawn to it.“”-Jim Rothernel

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Evidence of his newly invigorated joy in performing was on display during the ending of the over-ten-minute-long dynamic performance of “Cyprus Avenue”. When an audience member shouts out, “Turn it on!”, Morrison good-naturedly replies, “It’s turned on already.” At the very end he finished the concert with a final heartfelt, “It’s too late to stop now!” giving the album its title (this line first appeared on the song “Into the Mystic”).
The concert performances were described by Erik Hage as “sequences of a young soul lion whipping the crowd into a frenzy and then stopping on a dime—teasing out anticipation, rushing, receding, and coaxing every drop out of his band.”

Guitarist John Platania says “He had a funeral for a lot of his old songs on stage. With Caledonia, he really got off on performing. There was definitely joy getting onstage at that point. That was a wonderful time for everybody. It was really like a family. Ordinarily, with rock ‘n’ rollers, jazzers and classical musicians in the band, you’d think it was a three-headed serpent but everybody got along famously.”

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The performances on the live album were from tapes made at the beginning of the tour in Los Angeles and also in Santa Monica and London. Marco Bario, who attended the opening night concert at The Troubadour, said in Playgirl: “he was exceptional. The mood was right, the audience was receptive, and the music left no comparisons to be made. It was the finest opening night performance by a consummate musician that I have ever witnessed.”A large cream-coloured and tiled building stands at the intersection of two roads. Dark grey clouds dominate an overcast sky. Two flags are flying from the fascia of the building, which is covered mostly by a large advertising hoarding.The Rainbow Theatre in London
The London concerts were the first time he had appeared in that city since performing with Them, six years earlier. The two concerts at the Rainbow Theatre in London were referred to as “the rock event of the year” by critics according to Ritchie Yorke in his biography. The 24 July 1973 London Rainbow concert was the first BBC simulcast broadcast simultaneously on BBC 2 television and Radio 2 stereo so that viewers with strategically sited loudspeakers could enjoy “stereo TV”. The broadcast took place on 27 May 1974.

VanMorrison03A mixture of songs that inspired his own musical development, together with some of his own compositions, allied to a backing band and orchestra (The Caledonia Soul Orchestra) and several performances (as noted in the album’s liner notes) that were recorded in concerts at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, California (24–27 May 1973), the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (29 June 1973) and The Rainbow (23–24 July 1973) in London.

These performance result in what Myles Palmer of the Times reviewed as demolishing “all barriers between the soul, blues, jazz and rock genres”. The songs chosen went back to his days with Them with versions of “Gloria” and “Here Comes the Night”. His first solo hit “Brown Eyed Girl” was performed but not included on the album until the reissue in 2008. M. Mark called the album “an intelligent selection of songs that draws on six of Morrison’s records and five of the musicians he learned from.” These musicians were Bobby Bland, (“Ain’t Nothing You Can Do”), Ray Charles, (“I Believe to My Soul”), Sam Cooke (“Bring It On Home to Me”), two songs by Sonny Boy Williamson II (“Help Me” and “Take Your Hands Out of My Pocket”) and a cover of a Willie Dixon song, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” that was popularized by Muddy Waters.

Unlike most live rock albums, there was no studio overdubbing allowed by Morrison, which resulted in the exclusion of “Moondance” from the album due to one wrong guitar note. Morrison strictly adhered to his concept of authenticity in presenting the live performance but his musical perfectionism prevented him from including “Moondance”.[15] “It’s common practice to go back and fix things, but not with Van,” bass player David Hayes said, “I think that’s what makes it one of the best ever.” It is thought to be one of the first live albums with no overdubs and the first live album to have string players.

Fellow biographer Johnny Rogan said that “Morrison was in the midst of what was arguably his greatest phase as a performer.”

It’s Too Late to Stop Now has been on lists of greatest live albums of all time. (by wikipedia)

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Named for the mighty Belfast singer’s exhortation at the close of his song, Into The Mystic, It’s Too Late…is oft-referred to as one of the greatest live albums ever recorded. Included in the first batch of remasters of the ‘Man”s back catalogue, now’s your chance to argue the toss again.

When Morrison hit the road in the Summer of 1973 -ITLTSN collects material from gigs in LA, Santa Monic and London – he’d not only notched up a run of six absolutely flawless collections of what would probably now be referred to as ‘soul jazz’, but he’d also assembled a team of players that were the equal of his own perfectionism. Such was this perfectionism that the original running order was shorn of his most widely-known tune, Moondance, due to one bum guitar note. In other words this is one of the few live albums you’ll ever hear with NO overdubs.

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When you hear ITLTSN you realise why this had to be the case: Morrison’s blend of his own classics along with a fair smattering of tracks that influenced him is delivered with such passion, and belief that any studio tinkering would be like throwing a tin of paint over the Mona Lisa. In a live setting all the hyperbole about Morrison’s blend of genres into one Celtic, mystic vision makes perfect sense. This is soul music in a very real sense.

It was also a sign of how Van had matured that he can deliver classics like Ray Charles’ I Believe To My Soul or Sonny Boy Williamson’s Help Me and make them his own. Not only this he improves on his own compositions. Cypress Avenue, complete with the strings of the Caledonian Soul orchestra may even be better than the original on Astral Weeks. Quite a feat. And just listen to how playful Morrison is on the improvised breaks (”You say in France!”): grunting, wailing, going beyond mere words in his striving to convey the heart of this music. This is a master live performer at work. And enjoying it.

With just one bonus track (a version of Brown Eyed Girl) this polished edition gives you the chance to hear one of the best bands and their genius of a singer deliver the goods one more time, 35 years on. It’s never too late… (Chris Jones, BBC, 2008)

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Personnel:
Teressa Adams (cello)
Bill Atwood (trumpet, background vocals)
Nancy Ellis (viola)
Tom Halpin (vocals)
David Hayes (bass, background vocals)
Tim Kovatch (violin)
Jef Labes (keyboards)
Van Morrison (vocals)
John Platania (guitar, background vocals)
Nathan Rubin (violin)
Dahaud Shaar (David Shaw) (drums, background vocals)
Jack Schroer (saxophone, tambourine, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Ain’t Nothin’ You Can Do (MaloneScott) 3.48
02. Warm Love (Morrison) 3.05
03. Into The Mystic (Morrison) 4.31
04. These Dreams Of You (Morrison) 3.37
05. I Believe To My Soul (Charles) 4.09
06. I’ve Been Working (Morrison) 3.55
07. Help Me (Williamson/Bass/Dixon) 3.25
08. Wild Children (Morrison) 5.04
09. Domino (Morrison) 4.48
10. I Just Want To Make Love To You (Dixon) 5.16
11. Bring It On Home To Me (Cooke)4.43
12. Saint Dominic’s Preview (Morrison) 6.18
13. Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket (Williamson) 4.05
14. Listen To The Lion (Morrison) 8.44
15. Here Comes The Night (Berns) 3.14
16. Gloria (Morrison) 4.15
17. Caravan (Morrison) 9.21
18. Cyprus Avenue (Morrison) 10.28
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19. Brown Eyed Girl (Morrison) 3.26

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