Friday, June 27, 2008

"Hi" School?

Eric Tigg - Treat Her Right

Kiddie soul is always an exercise in "grin and bear it," because often the little soulsters' singing is, well, not equivalent to the enthusiasm they bring to it. The bigger players in the soul game as it existed in the '60s and '70s did not succumb all-out to the temptation to look for their own Michael Jackson at the expense of finding good singers, so it's surprising to hear Eric Tigg's take on the Roy Head classic "Treat Her Right" for Hi Records. It's doubly surprising that, after hearing Tigg's unsuccessful singing effort, you want to play it again, because the Hi Rhythm Section and Memphis Horns are truly on-point. The arrangement strips away the Texas stomp of Head's original and replaces it with the customary mid-tempo Hi groove, which really works well. Unfortunately, they didn't give this song to Syl Johnson or Otis Clay instead of little Master Tigg, but at least one of the more unusual records in the Hi catalog came out of the deal.

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