Vanthology: "A Tribute To Van Morrison"
(Evidence ECD 26128-2)
by Dick Houff
Review date: November 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
When I was a kid, a neighborhood friend brought over an album by "Them." This was my introduction to Van Morrison's songs. Morrison's "Gloria" had a major impact, and it became an overnight garage band hit in our town. Over the years, Van Morrison became a household name. The influence of blues and soul music was quite apparent in his approach-especially, the ballad form. His popularity has never waned in a thirty-five plus year career of making and performing music; the man is a genius. The fifteen artists on this disc belong on every record shelf-checkout the lineup along with the accompanying (all compositions written by Van Morrison) songs! Little Milton (give his early Chess sessions an ear! And don't forget his Stax and Malaco hits. I love this guy!): "Tupelo Honey" / Syl Johnson (Syl is an old acquaintance who played guitar for Jr. Wells): "Jackie Wilson Said" / William Bell (this is the guy that wrote "Born Under A Bad Sign" and another great Stax alumni!): "Have I Told You Lately" / Freddie Scott had an enormous hit with "Hey Girl," and he chose "Brown Eyed Girl." Most people wouldn't be familiar with Fredrick Knight. Like many artists, he chose to produce and compose his songs for other players. Mr. Knight hasn't lost the touch on his rendition of "Into The Mystic." Bettye Lavette is "The Motor City's" best kept secret-she deserves much more recognition. Ms. Lavette chose "Real Real Gone." Everyone should know Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood"-they still play it on the classic rock radio shows. Eddie picked "Crazy Love." Sir Mack Rice wrote "Mustang Sally" and "Respect Yourself"-too cool! He picked my fav., "Gloria." Otis Clay is no stranger in the ranks of soul and gospel. Mr. Clay does justice to: "Warm Love." I know Son Seals, and highly recommend checking out Alligator, and the Telarc labels for his records. Son took on "Queen Of The Slipstream." I'm not as familiar with Dan Penn-but after hearing his cover of "Bright Side Of The Road" it's going to be a trip to the racks! Bobby Patterson is a singer, producer, and songwriter for some of the best performers in the business; past and present-including Albert King. Bobby does a hell of a job on "My Lonely Sad Eyes." Henry Butler can play anything you throw at him. His piano is legendary. His cover of "I like It Like That" is one of the highlights on this record. Ellis Hooks is another unfamiliar in my terrain-but his voice is unbelievable! He did a beautiful job on "Bulbs." Chuck Jackson has been around as long as I remember. A former member of the Del-Vikings, he struck gold with the monster hit "Any Day Now." Mr. Jackson brings the album to a jazzy ending-his choice: "Moondance." This is the one you want to spin-pick it up!
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