Search - Ray Charles :: It's a Blues Thing: Live

It's a Blues Thing: Live
Ray Charles
It's a Blues Thing: Live
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Track Listing — 1. Eleanor Rigby(3:36) — 2. Let's Go Get Stoned(3:19) — 3. Soul Segue{cryin' time-you are my sunshine}(6:59) — 4. ESTHER PHILLIPS guest medley(15:29) Moondog/You Must Be Crazy/Long John Blues/Jelly Jelly Jelly ...  more »


CD Details

All Artists: Ray Charles
Title: It's a Blues Thing: Live
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Monad Records
Release Date: 8/22/1995
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Styles: Piano Blues, Classic R&B, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 600298060146, 794521050322, 794521050346


Product Description
Track Listing
1. Eleanor Rigby(3:36)
2. Let's Go Get Stoned(3:19)
3. Soul Segue{cryin' time-you are my sunshine}(6:59)
4. ESTHER PHILLIPS guest medley(15:29) Moondog/You Must Be Crazy/Long John Blues/Jelly Jelly Jelly
5. The Girl I Used To Know(4:31)
6. Ode To Billie Jo(6:45)
7. I Won't Leave You 'Til I Get What I Come For

CD Reviews

Live, little-known album is a hidden treasure.
David J. Rosen | Birmingham, AL USA | 04/27/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Many Ray Charles fans might not even know this album exists. It is on a small label and information about it is not readily available. The liner notes give a glowing review of the concert, but do not offer any information on the location or date.This concert was most likely was recorded in 1968 or 1969. Based on the guttural but strong sound of Ray's voice and the setlist, consisting of tunes he recorded from the early 1960s to late 60s, we already have clues that the concert dates from at least the late 60s. He plays two tunes from his 1968 release, "A Portrait of Ray" ("Eleanor Rigby" and "I Won't Leave"). In Michael Lydon's recent biography, "Ray Charles--Man and Music," he writes of some 1967 Las Vegas shows which included "the band, the Raelets, Billy Preston, and Ray." During the opening Ray's rendition of "Let's Go Get Stoned," we can listen as Ray talks briefly about how he sometimes feels lonely despite being around 1,000 people. Ray continues preacher-style, "When I feel like that...what I do...I call up Mr. Billy Preston and I say...," then starts in with the chorus. Thus, we can deduce that Preston is playing organ during this concert. According to Lydon, the Ray Charles Show, as it was called, went on the road and continued through at least 1968, probably into 1969 (Lydon writes, "Billy Preston wouldn't be back in 1970..."). This album is a hidden treasure for several reasons:1) This is the only known live recording from this era of Ray's career.2) This is the only known recording of Ray playing any of the included songs.3) Ray is in amazing voice, singing, during this period, in a gruff style that sounds drastically different from just a few years before and after. It is a snapshot taken as his voice was maturing beyond the softer, innocent sound from his Atlantic and early ABC years.4) Ray heavily features Billy Preston's soulful and wise organ playing. This gives way to #5...5) "A Girl I Used to Know", with Billy's organ surrounding Ray's voice and piano, becomes an entirely different, more powerful, church-influenced tune than the studio version. Ray gives it the same treatment as he has often given other live versions of ballads (think of the 6 minute version of "Drown in My Own Tears" or the 7 minute edition of "A Fool For You" from "Ray Charles Live"), slowing it down to squeeze every bit of emotion from every single note played and every single word sung. Ray leads us on a journey as he weaves in and out of softly stated, emotionally quivering verses and gospel-drenched screams. It is one of the greatest, inspired performances in Ray's catalog.The only blip on this recording is a 15:29 straight blues medley with Esther Phillips singing lead vocals. I have my doubts that this actually took place during one of Ray's shows. The sound consistency seems to change slightly, and there is no evidence that Ray nor Billy is playing behind her. Plus, the audience sounds more sparse--for the only time, you can hear the individual yells and applause of people reacting to Phillips, as opposed to the full indistinguishable crowd noise that marks the rest of the disc. It sounds as if the audience for Phillips is in a blues bar and Ray's audience is in an auditorium. There is one other track where Ray invites a singer by the name of Sister Clydie (possibly a Raelet?) to sing the lead exclusively on "Ode to Billy Jo," but we hear Ray introducing the singer and the sound of this recording is consistent with the songs that Ray sings. There is no such introduction on this record for Esther Phillips. Ray's fans are unlikely to be disappointed by Sister Clydie's feature. Esther Phillips performance, however, seems to be of a lower quality, as well as different style, than what Ray was likely to feature. Although I can not prove without a doubt that Phillips' medley has nothing to do with Ray's concert, this type of inclusion has been known to occur with small record labels issues in the past. Esther Phillips' performance, along with Sister Clydie's, makes up 22:14 minutes of this recording. With the full album clocking at 44:48, that leaves Ray singing for only 22:34, half the album. Despite the short time we hear Ray singing, his playing and singing, along with Preston's and the rest of the band's, is so rich (and rare) that "It's a Blues Thing" is a must-buy for all of Ray's fans. Ray's contributions taken alone are 5 stars, however, Phillips' drawn-out, unremarkable medley, along with Ray's short time at center stage, weighs the album down.The tracklisting:
1) Eleanor Rigby (3:26)
2) Let's Go Get Stoned (3:19)
3) Crying Time (3:28)
4) You Are My Sunshine (3:30)
5) Esther Phillips guest Medley: Monolog / You Must Be Crazy / Long John Blues / Jelly Jelly Jelly (15:29)
6) A Girl I Used to Know (4:31)
7) Ode to Billy Jo (Sister Clydie) (6:45)
8) I Won't Leave (4:05)"