You may not recognize the name Don Nix. He is known best for the hits he wrote for others. Tunes such as "Palace Of The King", "Lucinda" and the legendary "Going Down" are all too familiar with anyone who has listened to rock radio over the past 25 years. Memphis may have spawned the dawn of rock and roll but no Memphis music story is complete without mentioning Don Nix. His first recording in 9 years has a country rock feel throughout it's 50 minutes. As all tunes are Nix originals it is only appropriate that he handles most vocals and co-produced the project. Overall the disc could be the soundtrack to That 70s Show. Most tracks have a sound of 70s Stones, 70s Clapton and 70s southern rock. This is ironic as 7 of the songs were written for Freddie/Albert King and/or first recorded by them.
"On The Road Again" has a lazy and relaxed rhythm. Susan Marshall and Jackie Johnson's background vocals on "Right Where You Want Me" are pure bliss. The tune takes place at the crossroads where Memphis soul meets southern rock. "Lucinda" is a hot-rockin', piano-pounding, cruising tune. Listeners are transplanted to late 60s/early 70s Muscle Shoals. On your maiden listen, the highly contagious beat of "One More Repossession" may be mistaken for the Eagles. "Plastic Flowers" is light-hearted but comes with a strong message. It preaches the powers of the real thing versus imitation. On "Same Old Blues", Steve Cropper proves himself to be a lurid blues guitarist. The song features the best blues guitar playing on the disc. Dan Penn and Bonnie Bramlett's vocals are hypnotic. They vocally partner again for "Like A Road Leading Home" where extreme emotions exude. Penn's chops are more raw than Nix's as heard on "Palace Of The King" with its supremo organ fills courtesy of Wynans and ripping guitar of Audley Freed. Tony Joe White's guitar sounds a lot like EC on "Going Back To Iuka". The song has an irresistible rhythm and the edgy harp of John Mayall. Fronted with Johnny Winter-esqe vocals, Nix's most known anthem "Going Down" contains a surplus of red-hot guest guitarists. Bobby Whitlock's seismic organ pulsates tremors through your brain.
You may balk at the sight of an '& Friends' disc but this is not your typical disjointed, doomed and slack special guests platter. Sure, a plethora of cohorts are present (most noticeable on vocals) but the truth is that the core band (Billy Crain/Jon Tiven guitar, Mike Duke piano, Reese Wynans organ, David Hood bass & Greg Morrow drums) does not require reinforcement. Evidence has long backed the underdog, underrated, unknown and generally forgotten artists. Like Jody Williams' Return Of A Legend release, this Nix disc is also a piece of history. The CD's strength lie in the songs, the musicians who play them, the lyrics and putting Nix in the limelight where he belongs. It leaves you thinking what Nix may have been able to achieve had he not lived in the excessive seventies or at least resisted the era's temptations.
For further information, contact: Evidence Music Inc., 1110 E. Hector Street, Suite 392, Conshohocken, PA 19428 USA Tel: (800) 474-5131 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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