Jackie Payne – I Saw The Blues |Album Review

jackiepaynecdJackie Payne – I Saw The Blues

www.luckymojo.com/shadesofblues.html

Blue Dot Records

12 songs time-59:39

Jackie Payne began singing professionally at the age of thirteen in his hometown of Athens, Georgia then relocated to Houston, Texas at seventeen were he recorded his regional hit “Go Go Train” on the Jetstream label. The success of that recording prompted Stax Records to ask him along on a forty-five city tour with the Stax Revue featuring Otis Redding, Sam And Dave and Rufus and Carla Thomas. After that he was the featured vocalist with The Johnny Otis Orchestra for fifteen years. He and blues guitarist Steve Edmonson formed the Jackie Payne-Steve Edmonson Band in the late 1990s. This CD was finished in the spring of 2014, but plans to release it were thwarted when in October of that year Jackie suffered a major stroke. Guitarists Kid Anderson and Anthony Paule picked up the baton to make Jackie’s longing to it release it come to fruition. Six of the twelve tunes on this CD were written or co-written by Jackie.

Jackie’s blues-rhythm & blues approach owes a lot to old school blues supper club artists, mainly Bobby “Blue” Bland. He knows his way around the blues and isn’t afraid to get a little bawdy at times. He also interjects some spoken comments, which is somewhat of a blues tradition. The production by himself, Kid Anderson and Anthony Paule is solid as a rock and benefits greatly from the top rate musicians assembled here.

Jackie leads right off with his warm and smooth with rough edges voice with the melancholy “Back To Normal” with tinkling piano, horns and Kid Anderson’s tasteful guitar solos. The self-penned title track is a nice stroll through Jackie’s recollections of his blues life featuring Aki Kumar on harmonica and Lorenzo Farrell on organ. Anthony Paule’s slide guitar and Aki’s harp give “Full Moon Blues” a nice and lazy blues vibe that takes you right to a Chicago blues joint.

Jackie’s rougher vocal performance on “When The Blues Comes Knockin'” brings the best moments of Bobby “Blue” Bland to mind. Kid Anderson plays B.B. King to Jackie’s vocal. He delivers an old school blues ballad on “Wife, Woman, Hootchie”. Kid Anderson on rhythm guitar and Anthony Paule’s lead guitar along with Lorenzo Farrell’s organ and Bob Welsh’s piano sync-in with the horn section to conjure up some feel good blues on “Kicking Back With The Blues”.

Bob Welsh’s boogie-woogie piano energizes the ode to clubbing “Feel Like Doing My Thing”. “Six Million Dollar Man” is sheer love=making braggadocio and bravado. Bob Welsh’s late night piano features on the smooth and sexy ballad “Rock Me With A Steady Roll”. It also includes some nice horn solos. Ari Kumar’s harp blends in nicely with the horn section on the bouncy “Somewhere Down The Line”, a lovely “you’ll be back” narrative. Sadly things end on kind of a sour note. Jackie delves into dirty old man territory on “I’ll Drink Your Bathwater Baby”. It includes too much talking and is over long. It isn’t the subject matter that bothers me, it’s the poor execution of the song.

So we get a fine blues and rhythm & blues album with one minor flaw. The song writing is solid and backed by top notch players. Here’s hoping Jackie recovers to deliver more of his classy music.

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