Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Knight of Birmingham!

Frederick Knight - You've Never Really Lived

Frederick Knight scored an oddball hit in 1972 on Stax with "I've Been Lonely For So Long," which was recorded in Birmingham, Alabama with the crew at Neal Hemphill's Sounds of Birmingham studio. In keeping with the "Hemphill sound," among the percussion on the record is a drum stool being hit by a two-by-four! Knight revisited the quirky groove of his biggest hit on the 45 "Trouble," a nice reggae-tinged tune that Ry Cooder would later cover. Although Knight's more unconventional songs are best known today, he was also a very strong singer and writer of straight-ahead '70s Southern soul, as demonstrated by his last Stax hit, "I Betcha Didn't Know That" (also a hit for K.C. & The Sunshine Band in its latter days) and today's selection, an unreleased track that saw the light of day on the great The Birmingham Sound comp. "You've Never Really Lived" is as warm as a down comforter, with rich electric horn lines and a nice slide guitar line in the intro. Knight's falsetto tenderly addresses the great lyrics. This really should've been released, but thanks to John Ciba for getting it out there!

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