The Second Disc

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Archive for August 21st, 2012

WE HAVE A WINNER! Want to Win a Complete Set of Deluxe Reissues from SUEDE?

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Written by Joe Marchese

August 21, 2012 at 10:27

Posted in Giveaways!, News, Suede

Lipstick Traces (On a New CD): Benny Spellman’s “Fortune Teller” Rounds Up New Orleans Singles

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The name on the new CD is that of Benny Spellman, but Fortune Teller: A Singles Collection might as well have been co-credited to Allen Toussaint, the writer or co-writer of 24 of this new anthology’s 30 tracks.  The recently released collection from Cherry Red’s Shout! label brings together singles from Spellman’s illustrious career dating between 1960 and 1967, accurately subtitled “New Orleans Hits and Northern Soul Gems,” and you might just find each song to truly be a gem.  It’s hands-down the most comprehensive collection available on CD of the artist’s work, and even debuts five new-to-CD tracks (two of which are previously unreleased anywhere).

The stamp of legendary producer/arranger/musician Toussaint is all over these soulful tracks, from his sly, trademark piano to his sultry horns, but the new disc should go a long way in reminding listeners that Benny Spellman belongs on any “Who’s Who” of New Orleans music alongside Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Ernie K-Doe and the rest.  Though Florida native Spellman introduced soul staples “Fortune Teller” (famously recorded by the Rolling Stones and other luminaries like Robert Plant and Allison Krauss) and “Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)” on two sides of one 1962 single, his voice might be most recognizable as the answer voice to K-Doe on Toussaint’s No. 1 Pop and R&B hit “Mother-in-Law,” intoning the title phrase about the lady “sent from down below.”   Though not credited to Spellman, “Mother-in-Law” still appears on the new compilation.  But Spellman released a string of singles in his own name, and all were imbued with that signature New Orleans R&B style, supporting the singer’s own expressive, resonant baritone.

Spellman was familiar with New Orleans, having attended Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s Southern University on a football scholarship.  A chance encounter with Huey “Piano” Smith (“Sea Cruise”) and the Clowns brought Spellman back to the city a few years later, following a stint in the U.S. Army.  He was on the ground floor of the founding of Minit Records, and in 1960, when Allen Toussaint asked him to join the session for “Mother-in-Law,” he complied.  He repeated the same (uncredited) response duties on K-Doe and Toussaint’s “A Certain Girl,” and became in demand as a background vocalist, as well.  By 1962, Toussaint was producing tracks for Spellman as a top-tier artist, and he’s also heard on many of the tracks here as a prominent background vocalist himself.

Hit the jump for more details, including the full track listing with discography and an order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 21, 2012 at 10:09

Release Round-Up: Week of August 21

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KISS, Destroyer: Resurrected (Mercury/UMe)

The 1976 classic gets a new mix from original producer Bob Ezrin for its 35th anniversary. (It’s also available on vinyl, too!)

Taj Mahal, The Hidden Treasures of Taj Mahal (Columbia/Legacy)

Tomorrow may not be your day, but today certainly is if you’re a Taj Mahal fan: two discs of unreleased material – one of studio tracks, one from a 1970 show at the Royal Albert Hall.

Los Lobos, Kiko: 20th Anniversary Edition Kiko Live (Shout! Factory)

Arguably the finest album from that band from east L.A., Kiko has been expanded with five unreleased bonus cuts and a separate CD/DVD or CD/Blu-Ray set featuring a 2006 performance of that record in its entirety.

Madness, Total Madness: All the Greatest Hits and More! (Salvo/Union Square)

A pretty simple, brand-new compilation with which you can acquaint yourself with one of everyone’s favorite U.K. ska bands.

Written by Mike Duquette

August 21, 2012 at 08:19