Friday, November 08, 2013

Lou Pride Finds Ain’t No More Love In This House.

There is a bittersweet feeling Severn Records’ David Earl expresses in his brief liner notes to his label’s release of the final recording by the late soul-singer Lou Pride, Ain’t No More Love In This House. While he has great joy in releasing this final recording by Pride for his fans a year after he passed away, Earl notes “Maybe as the years go by I will be able to listen as [his loyal fans] will.”

Like recent Severn releases, this is handsomely produced with an excellent studio band of guitarist Johnny Moeller, keyboard whiz Benjie Porecki, bassist Steve Gomes and drummer Robb Stupka. Trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse arranged and conducted the punchy horn section and the backing vocals are well integrated into the recordings. What a marvelous recording this is with memorable originals and choice covers, excellent musicianship and Pride being in top form.

One of the themes of the songs are marriages and relationships breaking apart such as the title song that Pride penned where he comes home to discover that his wife has moved out and left a note that Pride hadn't done anything wrong, just that she found another. Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast has a similar theme with his marriage is over and as he is leaving his child cries for him not to leave. I Didn’t Take Your Woman is a wonderful recasting of an Ann Peebles recording as Pride tells a man that he didn’t take the man’s woman, rather it was the man's his failure to take care of her. It is set against a smoldering backing in the manner of classic Willie Mitchell productions for Hi Records.

Take It Slow is a marvelous slow jam, soul ballad, while She Boom Boom Me is a blues with Moeller playing sizzling guitar with riffing horns in support. Here Pride sings about his Mississippi woman and whom he has a special package for delivery (maybe a mojo or black cat bone or maybe her ya ya that Lou just can’t leave alone). I’m Gotta Move On Up is an strong uptown reworking of a 45 odd year old Luther Allison recording that Pride nails with his controlled, yet fervent, vocal. Pride’s lovely We Can Do What We Want, is listed as a duet with Caleb Green. Knowing Caleb Green from his singing the National Anthem at Washington, DC sporting events, I would never have guessed that was Green's falsetto providing harmony here.

The closing interpretation of the Simply Red pop hit Holding Back The Tears sounds like it was from a classic R&B album from the seventies. It fits in seamlessly with the other songs on this recording. Fans of Bobby Bland, Artie 'Blues Boy' White and the like will love this. Lou Pride may be gone but his music more than lingers on and Ain’t No More Love In This House, stands up as amongst the finest soul recordings of the past couple decades.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is a clip of Lou in performance from the Severn Records 10th Anniversary Show.

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