CD Start With the Soul (CD 194469),
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Start With the Soul
Alvin Youngblood Hart
1. Fightin' Hard
2. Manos Arriba
3. Treat Her Like a Lady
4. Once Again
5. Porch Monkey's Theme
6. Electric Eel
7. Back to Memphis
8. Cowboy Boots
9. Prophet's Mission, A
10. Cryin' Shame
11. Hustler, The
12. Maxwell Street Jimmy
13. Will I Ever Get Back Home
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1449
Personnel: Alvin Youngblood Hart (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Jim Spake (saxophone); Scott Thompson (trumpet); East Memphis Slim (keyboards); Larry Fulcher, Bill MacBeath (bass); Daren Dortin, Frosty Smith (drums); Susan Marshall, Jackie Johnson (background vocals).
Recorded at Sounds Unreel Studio, Memphis, Tennessee.
Personnel: Alvin Youngblood Hart (guitar); Jackie Johnson (vocals); Jim Spake (saxophone); Scott Thompson (trumpet); Daren Dortin, Barry "Frosty" Smith (drums).
Recording information: Sounds Unreel Studio, Memphis, TN.
Photographer: Ben Pearson .
Guitarist Alvin Youngblood Hart dedicates his third release Start With the Soul to, among others, the late Thin Lizzy leader Phil Lynott. This isn't just lip service, as you can immediately hear when the opening roar of "Fightin' Hard" comes blaring through. Hart doesn't go out of his way to appeal only to blues followers. He has the natural ability to fuse twangy country, Hendrix, funk, and reggae into his Delta blues style without regard to genres. Start With the Soul is unlike other releases from artists who at the beginning of their career display an acoustic Delta approach only to end up incorporating a very commercial soul sound for the sake of reaching a wider audience or receiving minuscule radio airplay. The choice of cover versions is revealing; Chuck Berry's "Back to Memphis," Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose's 1971 hit "Treat Her Like a Lady," and the Sonics' mid-'60s garage rocker "The Hustler" lose none of the vigor of the originals. Credit should be given to the legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson for capturing the gritty sound critical to this kind of undertaking.
It will be interesting to see where Hart goes with future releases. ~ Al Campbell
Q (8/00, p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...A curate's egg, indeed, but thoroughly entertaining."
CMJ (6/00, p.61) - "...As greasy and tasty as good barbecue....This is the sound of a man searching for the heart of American music, and quite possibly finding it..."
JazzTimes (11/00, p.120) - "...An ambitious record....[Hart] focuses exclusively on electric guitar and dredges up some nasty tones on hard-edged rock numbers..."
No Depression (7-8/00, p.104) - "...Combines '70s soul, rock and jazz in the company of Big Star and Replacements producer Jim Dickinson....proving Hart can do just about anything as well as anybody..."
Mojo (Publisher) (6/00, p.112) - "...a fragmented post-modernist album, often startling, always fascinating."
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Hannibal Records HNCD 1449
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