Benny Turner and Cash McCall – Going Back Home
Sixty yeas ago Benny Turner and Cash McCall began their musical journey together in Chicago and come back together here for a fine set of tunes to relive their experiences with ten of their favorites. Recorded in Memphis, New Orleans and Chicago, the pair revisit the days when they played on Chicago’s South and West Sides. Lots of great guests appear with a core of players including Turner on bass, McCall on rhythm guitar, and Terry Saffold on drums. Turner and McCall swap the lead vocals as they work their way through this fine CD.
Horns and a full sound on “I Got To Find A Way” opens the album with soul and features Carla Davis on vocals with Benny and Benny’s daughter backing him up. It’s a great cut and it sure sets the tone for a fun ride through these tunes. “Spoonful” is next with Cash taking the front man position. Johnny Sansone on harp adds a great dimension, but Cash sells this with his emotive vocals that are full of feeling. Joe Krown on keys also makes for a nice rendition of the cut. Next up is “Poison Ivy,” another classic and here we get Benny on vocals. The organ adds a nice feel (which is uncredited). “Money” follows, the only original cut on the CD. McCall wrote the tune and sings lead. It’s a song about money getting us in trouble and McCall sells it well. Elmore James’ “Shake Your Money Maker” gets a rousing cover with Butch Mudbone on slide and Benny fronting the band. Jason Minglehoff (sax) and Barney Floyd (trumpet) are the horn section and add to the fun with some nice backing and a solo. Raishene Webb is on keys, adding a great dimension to the cut.
More James with “It Hurts Me Too” is next with McCall up front. Billy Branch appears on harp and gives us a cool solo along with more good slide by Butch. “It’s A Man Down There” picks up the pace well beyond the original and Benny gets to lead us. Both Krown and Webb are on keys and organ and make this an even jumpier frolic through this tune. Well done! McCall takes his turn with “The Dirty Dozens,” an old Little Johnny James song. Krown adds keys as McCall testifies and gives us an inspired performance. “Built For Comfort” features Sansone’s dirty harp and Turner on vocals. Krown and Webb both appear and fill in sweetly. It’s another sweet cover. The album concludes with “Bring It On Home,” the third Willie Dixon cut. Branch returns with both harp and lead vocals, Krown and Webb also perform and Turner and McCall work respectively on bass and guitar. It’s a cool rendition and a nice close to this Chicago blues infused set of tunes.
McCall was suffering with lung cancer as he worked on this project and succumbed to it on April 19, 2019. It was sad to hear of his passing, but this album with Benny and a fine cast of musicians helps us to pay tribute to McCall’s career and his long friendship with Turner. The boys put their spin on these familiar classics and the one original cut is cool and well done. Kudos to Turner for his work on this fourth Nola Blues release and reprising his relationship with McCall.