Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Get on Down With Bobby Bland: Smooth and Lowdown

Bobby "Blue" Bland - Do What You Set Out To Do

Bobby Bland, "the sepia Sinatra," as he was sometimes called, was as comfortable doing relaxed, soft ballads as he was stronger stuff. He could take a song like "You're the One (That I Adore)" and melt a woman's heart, but could rebuke the same woman with a song like "Cry, Cry, Cry." Today's selection finds him being both sweet and rough, to great effect. "Do What You Set Out To Do" starts with a simple bass riff and strings, over which Bland sets the scene: here's a man who knows his woman is going to break his heart and has resigned himself to the fact. After the intial chorus, the groove shifts to one of lowdown blues, as Bobby tells the story in stronger tones. The bass and strings come back to close it out, and Bobby slides back into the gentle bag. It's one of my favorite ballads of Bland's.

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