All In The Blues
Bump ‘n Grind Southern R&B Drenched Soul Encased In a Coat of Fun, Fun, Fun!
We loved Willie Jackson’s last album CHOSEN BY THE BLUES in 2018; so I was really excited a couple of weeks ago when this arrived through the letterbox; but sadly because of the release date, a host of other more imminent releases and my day job, it lay unopened until last weekend.
This is my kinda Funky-Ass Soul music!
Unlike his previous album; Jackson sound like he’s really at home on these ‘earthy’ and sometimes risque Southern Soul belters; the type that were the domain of the Chitlin’ Circuit back in the 90’s or if you know your history; the type of sexy and sassy Soul that made famous by John Ward’s late lamented Ecko Records; the home of Denise LaSalle, Barbara Carr and my personal favourite Lee ‘Shot’ Williams.
ALL IN THE BLUES opens with a bunch of kids shouting and laughing in the background as the Tybee Blues Band hit their groove on I’m Your Landlord, before Jackson slinks into the mix, with a song full of so many double entres that will make Maiden Aunts flush and the Tea Party Members protesting at his concerts ….. but they will be shuffling their feet and twerking their hips on the picket line!
The risqué factor is cranked up to 11 on The Whole Book is Wet which follows; and I defy anyone who hears it not to go into automated dance mode with an ‘idiot grin’ on their face when it comes onto the turntable.
This my friends is good old-fashioned Rhythm and Blues with the emphasis on bump n grind encased in a coat of fun, fun, fun!
If you get past that first song you’re in for a veritable treat, with Jackson’s take on L.O.VE. being unlike anyone else on the circuit these days; as his take on infatuation with Beautiful Disease and Old Man Luv being even better and more intimate than even that title would suggest.
As is a regular theme in Classic Rhythm ‘n Blues; jealousy come to the fore on Sticky Hands Blues and Jackson tells his tale better than most; and I’m sure the lady in question will be very appreciative of his fighting for her ‘honour’.
Speaking of ‘honour’; Jackson takes a bit of a left turn on Hey Gangster, when he takes issue with his daughter’s beau; the Gangster in question ….. I ain’t spoiling it for you …… but it’ll have parents all across the land raising a clenched fist and calling out “Do right brother!” as the chorus rings out.
I’ve played this album many times now and I’m still no further forward understanding Stranger in My Hole; so if someone can DM me an interpretation I’d be most grateful.
Jackson even finds time to relive the advice his Mother and Father gave him growing up; and like many of us today ….. this is continued by his wife on the fabulous Come Here Junior; which also features the finest guitar breaks on the album btw.
Which awkwardly brings me to my Favourite Song here; which isn’t easy as in another world every song here would be a Hit Single; even if that was a Jukebox Hit; but I’ve narrowed it down to two; the slow and salacious heartbreaker Give Me My Rib Back; which is a really clever take on the Bible Story and transferred to how he feels in a volatile relationship (or of course they may just be arguing over the dinner table!); but the other, which probably just shades it tonight is the even more salacious She Needs Satisfied, which features some howling harmonica as Jackson takes us on a low down sexy love song from the point of view of an elder gentleman and his much younger lover …… and I bloody love it!!!
Since the demise of Ecko Records I’ve been in a bit of a musical wilderness where this type of Raw R&B drenched Southern Soul is concerned; but in the last year I’ve reviewed a superb album by Miss Robbin Kapsalis and of course the (Grammy Award Winning!) Bobby Rush too; so perhaps and hopefully there’s going to be a resurgence ….. I can only hope and dream.
Released November 5th 2021
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