Friday, 14 October 2016

Joe Tex

Soul Country

For those musical adventurers in search for something special that lies nestled in the rock/soul/funk/country categories, Joe Tex is a winner.

This is my copy of country soul. There's almost more crackle than melody, which I know would drive some people up the wall, but sound quality in that sense has never really bothered me, which is helpful (and appropriately suited) for my bank balance.

Along with other soul artists of his generation, he touched on many musical genres throughout his career, but this is the style I prefer him doing.  Being based in Nashville he had plenty of access to country players, and as the sleeve notes say, one of his earliest idols was Hank Williams. It initially begins very much in soul territory (he covers Dark End of The Street, and Ode to Billie Joe) and ends side one somewhat bizarrely in country territory with Roger Miller's Engine Engine Number 9. Side two is mixed again with a lovely Green Green Grass of Home and By The Time I Get To Memphis, but let down by Set Me Free, which I think does not demonstrate his high vocal standard fairly. It's not tender enough and seems fairly throwaway.

So 9/10 ain't bad!
His voice is mellow and warm, and this is a lovely set of songs.

If you would like to follow up on some more Joe Tex, you could take the direction of his earlier work, tracks like Pneumonia (he wasn't allocated a writing credit for the song 'Fever' so wrote his own answer song based on the same theme). His sense of humour is often evident.

Skinny Legs
Bear in mind it's very much of it's time lyrically. 

Buying a Book

Or follow his later soul funk period, where his and James Brown's feud rumbled along for years, a bitchy whirl of capes, splits and sequins. James Brown thinks he's No 1, Joe Tex is offended because he thinks Little Willie John is No.1, Little Richard wades in and says James Brown stole all Joe Tex's moves, Joe Tex thinks James Brown stole his ex and backing singer, James Brown is generally dismissive, yaddayaddayadda....
This song is is directly to James Brown, and it's downright rude. Most offensively to her.
You Keep Her

I Gotcha
Check out the amazing Damita Jo Freeman, queen of moves on Soul Train

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