Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sweet Soul Music Redux

Last night was the Steve Cropper Classic at The Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, Cropper's annual fund raiser for the T.J. Martell Foundation. I teched it last year, and was asked to do it again this year. Two of my favorites players could not make it this year - Robben Ford and James Burton- but the talent list was pretty amazing, even in their absence.

The house band was lead by bassist Dave Santos, with Cropper on guitar, Brent Rowan on guitar, Mark Jordan on Hammond and piano, Mark Beckett on drums , the horn section of Roy Agee, Steve Herrman, Sam Levine and Randy Leago and backing vocalists Robert Bailey, Vicki Hampton and Wendy Moten.

T.G. Sheppard was the host for the evening and he brought on famed vocalists and players Con Hunley, Ray Benson (from Asleep at the Wheel), Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals), Grand Funk's Mark Farner, Sam the Sham (sans Pharaohs), Tanya Tucker, Lee Roy Parnell, Delbert McClinton, Gary Morris, Kim Carnes, Eddie Floyd ("Knock On Wood", William Bell ("You Don't Miss Your Water"), Craig White, Rob Haynes and B .B. Cunningham.

Everybody was on their game, especially Hunley's version of "Georgia", a song you'd better be able to sing at a Ray Charles/Willie Nelson level...Hunley did. Sam the Sham was very humorous and had a great vibe about him. He did his two novelty hits "Wooly Bully" and "Little Red Riding Hood" and the crowd sang along to every word. Delbert was Delbert, always a wonder to hear that amazingly expressive voice. He was joined by Lee Roy for one song and Parnell ripped off a slide guitar solo - as he often does- that was so vocal-like, it could have been Delbert singing. Lee Roy's own set was excellent and it was a pleasure to see and hear him again (I was his tech and road manager years ago).

Hearing William Bell and Eddie Floyd live for the first time was a revelation. Of course, all of these singers came up in an era when there was no AutoTune to remedy bad intonation. AutoTune back then was called Talent. They sounded great, sang their hits and then took turns with the Cropper/Otis Redding anthem "Dock of the Bay" and the encore, Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign".

All in all, a highly enjoyable evening at work for a great cause. I'm glad I'm not burnt out and jaded on muisc just's THE great perk of this job.


Blogger JBlog said...

Steve Cropper without Duck Dunn?

That's like eggs without ham. Fries without ketchup. Baseball without hot dogs.

Must have been a fun night though -- what a varied and interesting line-up.

14/10/07 17:00  

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