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Archive for January 15th, 2014

Omnivore Spotlights Memphis Soul and Funky Fusion On Upcoming Reissues

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Sid Selvidge - Cold of the MorningCold weather got you down?  Omnivore Recordings is heating things up with a pair of gems – hidden no more – due on March 11.  The label will bring a lost Memphis classic from artist Sid Selvidge (and Big Star producer Jim Dickinson) to CD for the first time in over two decades, along with a funk-filled fusion excursion courtesy of Bayeté, a.k.a. Todd Cochran (writer of Santana’s “Free Angela”).

Though born in Mississippi, singer-guitarist Sid Selvidge was a fixture on the Memphis music scene right up through his death last year at the age of 69 following a long battle with cancer.  Founder and executive producer of the still-thriving Beale Street Caravan radio program, Selvidge’s recording career included albums for Stax and Elektra, as well as on his own Peabody label.  Selvidge played a key role in the recording and release of the late Alex Chilton’s first official solo album, 1979’s Like Flies on Sherbert, and his C.V. also included recordings by Cybill Shepherd and baseball all-star Tim McCarver!  The Cold of the Morning, recorded for Peabody in 1975, is soon to be arriving in an expanded and remastered edition by Omnivore.

For the album sessions, Selvidge was joined by Memphis stalwarts Mudboy and the Neutrons, and producer Dickinson on piano.  The eclectic tunestack included selections ranging from “Danny Boy” to “Then I’d Be Satisfied with Life” (also recorded by none other than Tiny Tim).  But the Cold of the Morning almost didn’t see the light of day.  Omnivore explains, “With a cover photo taken by William Eggleston, it was destined for greatness, but when Peabody Records’ benefactor decided not to put the record out at the last minute, he gave the rights to the recently pressed LP to Selvidge, who drove down to the plant, loaded up his car and distributed them himself. The album eventually found its way into regional stores and the national press, even reaching the Cashbox charts, and was enough to take Selvidge to New York, but life intervened, and bigger record deals were not in the cards.”

This expanded reissue has been produced with the cooperation of Selvidge’s son Steve of The Hold Steady, and features six previously unissued bonus tracks from the album sessions.  (The CD will contain the full 18 track playlist, while the LP has the original 12 tracks with a download card for the full 18 songs.  The initial LP pressing will be on translucent blue vinyl.  Finally, the album will also be available in digital form.) Journalist Bob Mehr of The Commercial Appeal provides in-depth new liner notes.  Steve Selvidge sums it up: “He said, ‘Look, I’ve made my classic record.  It was almost like he was apart from it. It really was the perfect capturing of the perfect moment, and it made for his most perfect statement.”

After the jump: the lowdown on Bayeté’s Worlds Around the Sun! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 15, 2014 at 09:46