Monday, May 21, 2012

Quintus McCormick Soulfully Plays The Blues

Delmark’s Steve Wagner recalls his initial reaction when first hearing Quintus McCormick when recording his 1st Delmark album, Hey Jodie. “Wow this cat could be the next Johnnie Taylor!” Well I might suggest a bit of Tyrone Davis and Artie ‘Blues Boy’ White as well after hearing McCormick’s new Delmark release Still Called The Blues. Wagner co-produced this with McCormick with either John Chorney or Roosevelt Purify on keyboards; Lovely ‘JR’ Fuller on bass; Pete Thomas on drums; Kenny Anderson on trumpet; Dudley Owens on tenor sax; Jerry DiMuzio on flute and baritone.

There is a nice mix of urgency in the vocals and crisp backing with some funk on the opening I Gotta Go, followed by a cover of Bobby Rush’s What’s Good For The Goose which opens with a humorous spoken spot. McCormick’s What Am I Gonna Do? is a fresh original in the vein of some of Tyrone Davis’ recordings. On It Won’t Work he reaches down to the bottom range of his voice while laying down a crisply defined solo. On his interpretation of the Johnnie Taylor recording that provides this album its title, McCormick contributes a lively solo and a fervent vocal.

That’s My Baby is a soulful ballad with DiMuzio adding flute. It is followed by some hard-edged, searing guitar that opens his cover of Little Johnny Taylor’s Everybody Knows About My Good Thing. This is the longest performance on this album and McCormick pulls out all the stops on guitar. I’m In Love With You Baby is another soulful song with the horns evoking classic sixties Chicago soul recordings such as by the Impressions. A nice rendition of the Beatles’ Oh! Darling, has raspy, uncredited tenor saxophone.

Always is a lament played in an understated manner opening with just vocal and his piano before the full band joins in. This closes with a credible, if not remarkable, cover of the Bob Seger hit, Old Time Rock and Roll. Still Called the Blues will appeal to a very wide grouping of blues lovers and is further proof that Quintus McCormick is among today’s finest blues and soul performers

I received my review copy from Delmark. I have previously reviewed his prior Delmark recordings, Hey Jodie! and Put It On Me! Here is Quintus performing. 

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