Saturday, September 23, 2006

Soul-Blues Saturday: Send for the King!

Solomon Burke - Send For Me

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, Solomon Burke's remarkable comeback story, which began with the awesome Don't Give Up On Me, begins a new chapter with the release of Nashville (Shout Factory), on which Solomon returns to his country soul roots with a set of country songs and duets with luminaries such as Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. The early reviews are very positive, and I look forward to buying it and hearing it. Solomon's website features clips from the album and on initial hearing it sounds like it's going to be a smash!

Although Don't Give Up On Me is considered to be his comeback album, Burke had been recording quality material all along. Although Burke had not received any chart action after the demise of Chess Records in the mid-'70s, he had recorded some outstanding Southern soul for Swamp Dogg in the late '70s (the song "Sidewalks, Fences and Walls" should've been a hit, but Infinity Records closed up shop not long after its release), delivered the live set "Soul Alive!" to tremendous acclaim (one monologue, "The Women of Today," which I will have to feature in another post, got some airplay in the South), recorded some good gospel albums for Savoy, and recorded lots of good soul-blues stuff on several labels. Today's selection came from The Commitment, a 2001 album focusing on love and relationships, with a theme of making the way to the altar (one track of the album was an actual wedding ceremony - performed for any couples who may be listening?) "Send For Me" is a soulful, gospel-bent ballad that shows Solomon at his romantic, roaring best. The churchy groove and background vocals give tremendous support as Solomon spins a seductive web that borrows from his early-'60s hit "Cry to Me" and features some great ad-libs. By the next year, Burke would record Don't Give Up On Me, and, well, the rest is history.

An interesting post script to The Commitment can be found on Red Kelly's "The B-Side" blog: Burke performed his wedding, albeit in an unorthodox way. Read the amazing story, and if you haven't already, check out his great blog!

1 comment:

Red Kelly said...

...and unorthodox it was, stepfather!

How I wish I was at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville tonight!

Thanks for the 'shout-out', and keep up the GREAT work you're doing over here!