Sunday, August 26, 2012

Make Way for the Ninth Wonder of the World!

Ironing Board Sam - Cherry Pie

Have you ever been so busy, etc., that you stop at some point and say "I meant to do [blank] AGES ago!?!" This post is an example, unfortunately, as I intended to post it back in July!

Ironing Board Sam was first mentioned here way back in 2006, and I am glad to say that Sam is still with us. I am even more glad to say that Sam is now involved with efforts by the Music Maker Relief Foundation, an organization dedicated to getting great but terminally obscure artists' names and performances in front of the public.

Under the Foundation's auspices, a fantastic artifact from Sam's career has received its first formal release. In the '70s, as Sam's career began to hit the brick wall of disco and the accompanying death of the nightclub scene for many live performers, he recorded an album and sent 100 copies to booking agencies. The album failed to keep Sam afloat as a gigging performer, however, and it vanished for over thirty years.

The album, now entitled The Ninth Wonder of the World of Music, was released recently by the Foundation, and it joins my list of "It's Not Eccentric ... It's Awesome" recordings. Sam sings and plays every instrument except for drums, played by "George" (whose last name Sam has long forgotten). The tunes run the gamut from a jaunty, Caribbean-flavored version of Stevie Wonder's "Boogie on Reggae Woman" to another island-flavored tune, "Do the Ironing Board," to awesome soul balladry ("Purple Raindrops"), to today's selection, a great version of the doo-wop classic "Cherry Pie."

"Cherry Pie" perfectly captures the "after hours" vibe of the whole set as well as the album's DIY nature, but Sam's warm vocals (double-tracked on the choruses) are by no means rudimentary. There are videos of Sam doing the song live on YouTube, which suggests that it has been a favorite of his for no short time.

The album is available for purchase at the Foundation's website, and I think after hearing it (and reviewing the materials and videos on the MMRF website) you will understand why Sam is indeed worthy of Living Blues's honor as "Comeback Artist of the Year."

1 comment:

Music Maker Relief Foundation said...

Thanks for the great write-up! We're very proud of the work we've been able to do with Ironing Board Sam and what we continue to accomplish. We just sat down with him the other day to listen to some new recordings and it was awesome (in the literal sense!)

-Whitney, Music Maker Relief Foundation