Blessed with a voice that sounds as if it were touched by Midas, Lou Pride would have been an absolute sensation a number of decades ago and able to easily compete with people like Pickett or Redding when their blend of Southern soul was heard all over the radio. If there's any unfortunate side here, it's simply that 98% of what lands on radio today is completely vacant of any human emotion, unless you consider rage. This 47-minute gem is laced with phat grooves and Lou Pride's enormous voice, plus a cast of sidemen that can work magic; Jon Moeller handling guitar, Steve Gomes and Robb Stupka holding down the anchors, and Benjie Porecki behind the piano and organ. That's plenty of support, but add a handful of background singers and a half-dozen horn players, and the outcome is bound to be big.
The title track kicks off the disc on the right foot with a swelling groove and Pride's voice charging the surroundings then Moeller spices things up with a tactful and concise guitar opening for "Love Sometimes," a funked-up-and-lowdown slice of R&B brimming with tight horn charts and powerful dynamics. "You Were Never Mine" sounds eerily close to the classic era of Pickett or Redding and offers that same timeless feel and "Love For My Baby" proves everyone's versatility with its simmering undertones that combine a number of musical genres, and Moeller tosses out a few sparks for good measure. "Don't Blame The Man" picks things up with a little more commercial appeal and the cast gets into some seriously funky blues on "I Found My Baby Gone," but on "Livin' A Lie," they work off a 'Thrill Is Gone' groove that flows as smooth as honey. "You Are My Rainbow" is Pride's offering to the Higher Power that causes the emotions inside each of us to rise with the level of sincerity reached by this man's incredibly passionate vocals and the heavenly voices behind harmonize perfectly. "Beware!" picks things up with a complete reversal on this smoldering slice of soulful blues that grinds like a jackhammer and certainly leaves the listener wanting more.
This is roots-based music at its best and Lou Pride's "Words of Caution" delivers from beginning to end. While the feelings change with the varied selection of grooves, the outcome is all uplifting, whether he's singing of the trials and tribulations that come with each and every relationship, or the inspiration that one feels with their better half. The crew in support does just that by staying out of the limelight adding that shot-in-the-arm to raise the bar wherever it fits best, and Pride's voice is one of conviction, having that 'been-there-done-that' grit that comes only from experience. Severn Records continues to issue a great cross-section of blues and blues-based discs, and the entrance of Lou Pride is worthy of a large welcoming and following. Check out www.severnrecords.com where you can find more information on this platter and a host of others, including Sugar Ray Norcia, Louisiana Red, Mike Morgan, and many more. Hopefully we'll be hearing more from this man soon.
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