Thursday, November 16, 2017

Joe Tex, Sugar & Salt

I've been grooving to the rough and ready sounds of Joe Tex lately, loving his blend of Southern looseness and soulful gruffness. These three are faves. Never mind for now his one-again, off-again chart successes or his feud with James Brown, and just turn up these killer Dial sides recorded in Memphis and Nashville.

single, 1965

I've long loved the rolling, perpetual motion machine of this one, a number one R&B hit in 1965.

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b-side, 1966

Like many of my generation, I heard Rockpile's killer version of this first. Tex's muscular original—the flip side to "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)"—is taken a bit slower, the dusty horns and loping beat impossible to resist. He had a hell of a band.

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Live And Lively, 1968

Some social consciousness in this, from a faux live album. An inspiring, mid-paced groove chronicling a poor childhood, Tex ends the tune with an exhortation both hopeful and melancholy: "I think this will be the year for underprivileged children." Alas....

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