2 Shades of Grey

Songs from the soundtrack of your life

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Nathaniel Rateliff…………echoes of the Stax soul sound

Kindadukish's Blog - I am not a number, I am a free man (The Prisoner)

Every Christmas my daughter usually buys me a CD (along with other presents I may add) and in recent years has bought me albums by Charlie Haden and Keith Jarrett much to my utter delight and subsequent hours of musical enjoyment.

Sort of expecting something similar this year I was a little taken aback when one of her choices was by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. Now I must confess that I had never heard of this band but my daughter assured me I would like them, and who am I to question my daughter’s musical taste.

Well I put the CD into the player in the car and sat back to listen, and what came out brought a huge smile to my face. The obvious influences on the band are the Stax stable of soul artists along with a “soupçon” of Motown thrown in for good measure.


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Steve Cropper – guitar legend

As a young guitarist I was in awe of Steve Cropper, guitarist with Booker T and the MGs (Memphis Group). Listening to him play guitar licks such as those on Green Onions or  Soul Man which were simple but his technique made them sound special.

P1000442We’d seen the Stax revue when it came to Manchester in the mid-60s and three years ago I had the chance to see Steve Cropper play at the Ramsbottom Music Festival supported by The Animals.

The Animals were good but I went to see Steve. It was a rain-sodden day but worth waiting for.

P1000454Steve played, and sang, a number of the songs he’d written for Stax artists. He wasn’t playing the Fender Telecaster that I remembered but what might have been a Schecter tele-style guitar – but it sounded good.












He also told stories about how some songs came to be written, for example “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”.

Otis Redding couldn’t really play guitar that well so he had his guitar tuned to an open E major chord.

All he had to do to change different chords was to slide his fingers up the neck. So there are no minor chords in that song.

Steve said he also wondered about which ships Otis was referring to until he went down to ‘Frisco Bay and saw the roll-on-roll-off container ships.P1000468

It was a great evening. I was cold and wet but it was worth it!


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Was this the best soul music concert ever?

SCAN0023We saw this show at the Palace theatre in Manchester in 1967, before Otis Redding had recorded “Dock of the Bay” – which was the first posthumous record to reach No 1 in the charts.

Booker T and the MGs provided the backing for all the artists and it was truly a night to remember.Otis

Inside this outer wrapper was a programme titled the Otis Redding Show with photographs and biographies of all the artists, starting with Otis Redding.

Then Arthur Conley with his hit “Sweet Soul Music”, Booker T & the MGs famous for “GreenOnions”, Sam and Dave, and finally Eddie Floyd who had a hit with “Knock on Wood” at the time.

Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of Otis’s debut album “Pain in my heart” (which is being re-released in a limited edition).