Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Tuesday Is Blues Day!

Junior Parker - Ain't Gon' A Be No Cuttin' Loose

Blues singer/harmonica player Junior Parker started out as one of the legendary Beale Streeters, the loose aggregation of early '50s Memphis talent which included Roscoe Gordon and Bobby Bland. Parker recorded the legendary "Mystery Train" and "Feeling Good" for Sun in the label's early, pre-Elvis-and-rockabilly years. These songs, along with classics recorded for Duke, such as "Driving Wheel," adequately cement Junior's place in blues history. Fortunately for us soul fans, Parker was able to record some great soul-flavored blues for Duke, Mercury, Blue Rock, Capitol and Groove Merchant (for whom he recorded You Don't Have to Be Black to Love the Blues, the notorious cover of which appears here) before his untimely death in 1971. Today's selection was a Blue Rock release. Parker's cover of the Ricky Allen song "Ain't Gon' A Be No Cuttin' Loose" finds Parker's light, swinging singing fitting nicely with the horn-heavy, loping Chicago soul groove. It's a nice toe-tapper and a highlight of the now out-of-print Lost and Found: The Blue Rock Records Story compilation, which is worth seeking out.

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