Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Ann PEEBLES – Straight From The Heart 1971
Ann Peebles sings straight from the heart on this classic early set for Hi Records -- a record that's to female vocals what Al Green's work of the time meant to male soul! As with Green's Hi Records of the time, Willie Mitchell is firmly in charge of production and backings -- working with that warmly glowing Memphis soul style that carved whole new territory in soul music for the 70s -- a maturing and mellowing of earlier southern modes, in a way that helps Peebles hit some fresh and uncliched sounds with her vocals. At a time when so many other singers were trying to copy Aretha, Ann's approach is mighty fresh -- as you'll hear on tracks that include "I Take What I Want", "Slipped Tripped & Fell In Love", "What You Laid On Me", "Trouble Heartaches & Sadness", "99 Pounds", "I've Been There Before", and "Somebody's On Your Case".
From Dusty Groove.
A lean, tough set that was not only a triumph for Peebles, but illustrated how the Hi label had surpassed its crosstown Stax rival for quality Memphis soul in the early '70s. The guitars are spare, funky, and bluesy, the horn section punchy, and the material far earthier and down-home than the increasingly formulaic grooves at Stax. There were three modest R&B hits on the album ("Slipped, Tripped and Fell in Love," "I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody's Home," "Somebody's on Your Case"), much of which was penned by Peebles or her husband Don Bryant. Peebles' vocals were convincingly biting, and she never, unlike many other singers of the era, tried too hard for her own good. The main flaw of the record is its length (26 minutes), which was short even by early-'70s standards.
By Richie Unterberger. AMG.
I was blessed with a copy of this from Paul Taylor, who had worked on some graphic design for a Syl Johnson album. The album features the same Hodges Bros./Hi-Rhythm Section that was behind Al Green, various other Hi-Records recording artists, and even recently the indie act, Cat Power. Ann Peebles voice, while complemeted immensely by the Hodges Bros. tight and thick 70's funk/soul soundings, offers up an album as strong as any Al Green album released around the same period. Definitely a missing "must have" among the many exhaustive lists of "must haves," "Straight From the Heart" reveals the power of an awesome rhythm section when pushed and challenged by an accomplished singer. While this album is relatively short by today's album standards, it satisfies none the less.
By Brandon Buckner.
James Mitchell- Bass, Bass (Vocal)
Ann Peebles- Vocals
Charles Rhodes- Vocals (Background)
Sandra Chalmers- Vocals (Background)
Howard Grimes- Drums
Jack Hale- Trombone
Charles Hodges- Organ, Piano
Leroy Hodges- Bass
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges- Guitar
Wayne Jackson- Trumpet
Ed Logan- Sax (Tenor), Tenor (Vocal)
Andrew Love- Sax (Tenor), Tenor (Vocal)
A1. Slipped, Tripped, Fell In Love 2:25
A2. Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness 2:37
A3. What You Laid On Me 2:22
A4. How Strong Is A Woman 2:57
A5. Somebody's On Your Case 2:22
B1. Breaking Up Somebody's Home 2:28
B2. I've Been There Before 3:06
B3. I Pity The Fool 2:53
B4. 99 Pounds 2:15
B5. I Take What I Want 2:30