THE STAPLE SINGERS – AMEN / WHY
One could make the argument that no gospel group before or since has so successfully straddled the sacred and secular worlds as has The Staple Singers. The enormously influential blues guitar stylings of Roebuck “Pops” Staples, the astonishing, wise-beyond-their-years lead vocals of Mavis Staples, and the exalted harmonies of Cleotha, Pervis, and (later) Yvonne Staples packed a punch whether singing about salvation or civil rights. Now, Real Gone Music welcomes “God’s greatest hitmakers” into the fold with its release of two classic albums by The Staple Singers, their second and third releases and first two studio records for the Epic label, both produced by Billy Sherrill. 1965’s Amen! features the infectious title track along with Pervis’ doleful recitation on the powerful “Be Careful of the Stones You Throw,” while 1966’s Why actually scored a minor hit with the timely “Why (Am I Treated So Bad),” and highlights Mavis at her deep, moaning best on “Move Along Train.” CD debuts for both records, with annotation by Gene Sculatti and remastering by Mike Piacentini at Battery Studios in New York. Two fantastic records…get ready to move and be moved!
JERRY WELDON – ON THE MOVE
A record with an unassuming cover – but a set that smokes like our favorite organ and tenor dates from years back! The album's issued under the name of tenorist Jerry Weldon, but it's more of a partnership with Hammond genius Bobby Pierce – who's still very much at the top of his game here, and wonderfully deft, wonderfully personal on the keys – playing here in the kind of really soulful, special way that only a key handful of players could do back in the day – and which you don't always find on contemporary sessions like this. Guitarist Steve Hoffman brings a lot to the quartet too – a sharp edge on the strings, which carves out some chromatic lines that illuminate the record nicely – and even drummer Mike Clark knows how to kick things in all the right ways. Titles include "Donald Duck", "Black Velvet", "On The Move", "Stringin’ The Jug", and "Do You Know A Good Thing When You See One". ~ Dusty Groove
LA YEGROS – MAGENETISMO
A great update of older cumbia modes – served up here in a style that's extremely fresh, and very fitting for the fierce vocal approach of La Yegros! Yegros spends her time between Buenos Aires and Paris, and that global range definitely shows in the music – as she mixes a host of electronic elements with an older rootsy, rhythmic core – all handled by producer King Coya, who recorded the whole album with La Yegros in Argentina. The sounds here are way beyond both classic cumbia and pop cumbia – and the rhythms are too – and titles include "Carnabailito", "Hoy", "Suenitos", "Arde", "Fragil", "Dejate Llevar", and "Atormentada". ~ Dusty Groove