Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dr Feelgood Potts Going Down To Memphis

I was very pleased to hear that Robert"Feelgood" Potts has a new CD out called Going Down To Memphis.

Here is what Blues Critic had to say about the CD:

Those only familiar with Potts' two enjoyable "Southern Soul/Blues" discs for Ecko Records may be stunned by this sizzling set of harmonica blues recorded in the heart of Memphis. Potts had a sizable chitlin' circuit hit or two, most notably his cheeky answer song to Theodis Ealey called "Make It Talk" but "Going Back To Memphis" should catapult the Dr to another plateau. Word on the grapevine was that Potts, who's the father of Ecko recording artist Sheba Potts-Wright, ended his tenure with the label because he wanted to cut "real Blues". He did show off his mouthharp chops on a couple of instrumentals from his last LP (also called "Make It Talk") but that skill is front and center here.

10 originals tunes were completed at Sam Phillips' (of Sun Records fame) Recording Studio with a small unit of session musicians, including bassists James Coleman & Chiemi "the Ice Lady" Fujio, guitarists Coleman & Harrell Otis, drummers James McMullen & Calvin King and piano by "Professor" Ross Fowler. The LP's template is definitely Willie Dixon. Vintage 12-bar Chicago-styled shuffles like "My In-Laws" & "A Dab Of Your Love", slow from-the-bottom blues like "Greenwood Mississippi Town" & "Ramblin' Mind Blues"; plus erstwhile pounders like "I Love You Baby" & "Pistol Packing Mama" that could've fit on a Howlin' Wolf record. This kind of blues isn't offering anything original so the key's how well you sing, play and produce it. All three are superb on this record.

Potts sounds like he's found his true voice on the mic, easing up on the breathless vibrato he uses to end his phrases and resorting to good ol' blues shoutin'. The title track, which has the promise of many a cover, says it all. "I'm going down to Memphis where they're really plain' the Blues... People come from all over the world to hear the blues on Beale Street". Of course they also come to hear Southern Soul/Blues as well and now Potts has conquered both.

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