Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Nappy Brown & The Heartfixers|
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
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Displays The Brilliance of Brown's Adaptable Voice
Tim Holek | 03/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"NAPPY BROWN WITH THE HEARTFIXERS
Alligator ALCD 4792
This album was originally released in 1984. It was Nappy Brown's first recording in 14 years. The disc's 11 songs are all fairly short in length. However, this less-is-more situation leaves you longing for additional music. "Who" contains a surge of energy where the horns, piano, and harp all punch out like old style newspaper delivery punch cards. If you think Tinsley Ellis is just a powerhouse blues-rock guitarist, listen to his hot, yet icy blue guitar on Ray Charles' "Losing Hand". You'll be quite spooked at how closely Lucky Peterson's vocals sound like Brown's on this track. Hear Ellis lay out more fine blues guitar during Brown's signature song from the 1950s, "Lemon Squeezin' Daddy". In the liner Brown proclaims, "Back in the '50s they wouldn't let you record that kind of song". The song's arrangement is a familiar one for those entrenched in the blues. However, it only sounds familiar now because guys like Brown educated, influenced, and past the styling to a new generation.
The fluctuating saxophones of Billy McPherson and Skip Lane blast out on "Heartbreak", while Scott Alexander's piano pays tribute to the forefathers of rock and roll - Fats Domino and Johnnie Johnson - on "Jack The Rabbit". By covering Gregg Allman's "It Ain't My Cross To Bear", Brown proves the younger generation can encourage him and reciprocate an education. The successful recipe is repeated on Bob Dylan's "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You", which displays the brilliance of Brown's adaptable voice. With the conviction of a parson, this former spiritual singer preaches during "You Can Make It If You Try".
Brown's vocals vary widely from smooth to soulful. In fact, you may well be fooled by his "vocal flexibility" to think there is more than one lead singer on the album. They don't seem to make R&B records like this anymore. This is one of the best R&B and blues CDs that I've heard. The imaginative vocals are the showcase, but The Heartfixer's support is a necessity. Although many now know Tinsley Ellis as a fiery solo artist, here he proves he can act as an expressive sideman while hinting at the guitar prowess that would appear on all of his solo recordings. For all of these reasons when you buy this disc, you buy a piece of music history. How important is Nappy Brown to the history of American roots music? The fact that this CD's liner notes were written by Peter Guralnick answers that question.
--- Tim Holek
WONDERFUL BLUES FROM A GREAT SHOUTER!
Eddie Cleveland, Georgia | Georgia | 09/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nappy Brown is in excellent form on this superb disc, originally recorded in the 80s with Tinsley Ellis and The Heartfixers. Brown's vocals shine on every track, and the backing from a full horn driven band sizzles, especially Ellis on a wonderfully eclectic group of tunes. This is one of the best from Nappy, a must for any blues and r&b lover."