Saturday, 18 June 2011

Junior Parker - Love Ain't Nothin' But A Business Goin' On (1971)

Bluesman Junior Parker was born in Mississippi in 1932. As a teen he worked with and learned from some of the early greats of Blues music, from Sonny Boy Williamson to Howlin' Wolf to Bobby "Blue" Bland to B.B. King. Parker released a string of singles through the 50's and 60's, with many scoring well on the R&B charts. He died from a brain tumour in 1971, the same year that "Love Ain't Nothin'..." was released. The album - a real gem from start to finish - combines soul, funk and blues in a hip pot-pourri that avoids many of the clichés of other blues albums of the time. Parker's velvet-smooth, honeyed vocals shine through on the title track, along with "Outside Man" and "River's Invitation," while three Beatles covers - "Taxman," "Lady Madonna" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" - are pure quality. Al Green, on his 1974 album "...Explores Your Mind," dedicated the song "Take Me To The River" to Parker, describing him as "a cousin of mine who's gone on, and we'd kinda like to carry on in his name." Strong tribute indeed!

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