Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Roy Lee Johnson "Cheer Up Daddy's Coming Home." A little Muscle Shoals produced deep soul action.

This evening's post was inspired by my completion of Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music. The book details the Soul movement in the deep south of the United States. Guralnick highlights the musical movement and its participants as well as drawing a strong parallel to the vast social and economical changes the country faced through out the 1960's. I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the music detailed in the contents. Although I'm a fan of the work I had a major gripe with it: where the fuck was any inclusion or even slightest mention of what was going on in New Orleans during the same time. There's Stax, Fame, American, Atlantic, all the major players but not once in Toussaint or Lee Dorsey's names mentioned. It seems kind of questionable, and maybe slightly biased, to leave out such large players. That small discrepancy aside the book is actually a really good read and Guralnick's writing is always enjoyable.

Getting to the tune of the day. I'm bringing you what I believe to be a near perfect deep soul ballad that stands up with the heaviest hitters ("Dark End of the Street" and "When a Man Loves a Woman" to name two as examples) but isn't talked about nearly as much. I got this record for 3 bucks because I was familiar with Johnson's other work, namely his killer tune "Boogaloo #3" on Josie, and was floored when I put the needle down on this side. This is one of those songs that completely moves my soul. Perfect arpeggiated rhythm guitar, sweet lilting organ, heartbreaking horn arrangements, and a vocal performance by Johnson that is nothing short of stunning. Top all of those ingredients off with the classic Rick Hall touch and you have one of the best representations of a very deep, sweet soul ballad. It's really hard to get the needle off this one. Hope y'all dig it.

1 comment:

  1. This is so great! Any chance of posting that killer Josie tune?

    And is this the same Roy Lee Johnson who later recorded funky stuff for Stax?