Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday Is Blues (By Way of Chicago Soul) Day!

B.B. King - Just Can't Please You

The late Jimmy "Preacher" Robins' "I Can't Please You" is one of my favorite Chicago soul records, and I hastily posted it some time ago on the blog when I didn't have time to do a fuller write-up. That's a shame, because at the time I learned that, although Robert Pruter's Chicago Soul made it sound like Robins fell off the end of the world after "I Can't Please You" made noise, the truth is that Robins continued to record and, by the time he died on Christmas Eve 2007, he had established quite a CV in New York as "The King of Harlem Soul," an all-around entertainer (including acting credits), and as a businessman (in addition to musical enterprises, he owned a limousine service).

The neat thing about the classic soul era was that cover versions of lots of tunes abounded, which demonstrate the strength of the songs. B.B. King, no stranger to cutting soul-slanted sides by 1972, did a version of "I Can't Please You" (now entitled "Just Can't Please You") for his Guess Who LP. The bouncy blues feel King gives the tune is light years away from the darker, heavier groove of the original, but King's vocals do the song justice and Lucille gets some tasty licks in there. It's a nice toe tapper that, although not as good as the original, still brings home the goods for the listener.

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