Sunday, September 02, 2012

Joe Weaver's Baby I Love You So

This image is a customer upload on Amazon and is the picture of Joe on the CD cover.
The recent passing of Johnnie Bassett is the latest of veterans of the pre-Motown Detroit music scene. Another person who passed some years ago was Joe Weaver. I wrote the following review for the DC Blues Calendar and it appeared in the June 2000 issue. I had the privilege of seeing Joe at the Pocono Blues Festival as part of a review at the 2000 Pocono Blues Festival with Bassett and the wonderful Alberta Adams. I have edited out a reference to that appearance that was in the original review and have made some stylistic and other corrections that I missed when this appeared originally. It is still available from Black Magic although some sources may be out of stock.

Joe Weaver is a veteran Detroit musician and songwriter whose group Joe Weaver & the Blue Notes served as house band for Fortune Records. Later Weaver was in the house band at the fledging Motown operation, even touring with the Four Tops. He eventually joined the Ford workforce in secure of a more secure financial footing.

As Johnnie Bassett was able to revive his career, he started introducing audiences to some of his friends including Weaver and Weaver joined Bassett at the 1998 Blues Estaffe in the Netherlands. In Spring 1999, with Johnnie Bassett and company in the studio, Joe Weaver & His New Blue Note Orchestra recorded Baby I Love You So for Black Magic. With Bassett leading the way with his swinging guitar, Weaver gets to sing in a most ingratiating manner with Keith Kaminski’s saxophone, Bill Heid’s piano, Bob Connor’s bass and R.J. Spangler’s drums.

Most of the songs here are Weaver originals from the rocking Do You Want To Work, and Soft Pillow, which comes off like Charles Brown in a jump blues vein. Other songs recall the glory days of 50’s R&B such as Looka Here Pretty Baby, and the nice personalized version of Chuck Willis’ What Am I Living For. Weaver may not be able to match the heights Wilson Pickett of the falcons attained on I Found a Love, but in invests plenty of soul in his performance.

There is plenty of wailing and swinging, jumping and jiving to be heard on this blues recording that also shows what swing is all about.

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