Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicken Pickin' Time!

Larry Birdsong - I'll Pick My Own Chicken

Today's post continues last week's discussion of SPV's Blue Label Nashville soul and R&B compilations, focusing this time on the The Ref-O-Ree Records Story: Southern Soul volume. Ref-O-Ree was started by the ubiquitous Nashville R&B figure Ted Jarrett in the late '60s, and despite some fine recordings by Roscoe Shelton, Larry Birdsong, Freddie Waters, The Avons ("Tell Me Baby (Who Would I Be)" being one of most outstanding Nashville Northern Soul sides out there, in my opinion) and others, the lack of adequate distribution and changing times in the music business did the label in. Quite a few of the tracks on The Ref-O-Ree Records Story previously appeared on the Kent comp Music City Soul, which provided a broader overview of Jarrett's soul sides of the '60s, but there's plenty of material on the Blue Label disc to make it a worthy purchase on its own.

Larry Birdsong was covered in a post last month featuring "Digging Your Potatoes", and today he returns to the blog with his last secular 45. "I'll Pick My Own Chicken" follows up on the "take care of your homework" theme of "Potatoes" with its oddball barnyard-themed lyrics. It's pretty silly, to be frank, but the groove is nice and Birdsong brings his usual quirky intensity to the performance.

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