Sunday, April 22, 2007

Southern Soul "Law & Order"!

Clarence Carter - The Court Room

Your everlovin' Stepfather of Soul was somewhat indisposed yesterday, due to a law school mock trial that he had to try, which trial he and his partner unfortunately did not win. But those are the breaks - someone has to win and someone has to lose in every lawsuit, right? At any rate, today's selection will supplant the usual "Sunday Gospel Time" feature as a result.

Thinking about the mock trial brought me to today's selection. "The Court Room," released in 1971, was one of Clarence Carter's last hits on Atlantic before he moved on to FAME. The very atmospheric yet groovy arrangement provides a great backdrop for Carter to spin a tale of the trial of Rev. Joe Henry, whose propriety toward a certain young lass is in question. The string work on this record to me is the icing on the cake, cutting through Carter's proto-rap narrative and underscoring the dramatic moments. Unfortunately I didn't have that kind of drama in my trial, but if I did, I would've wanted this groove in the courtroom with me!

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