Friday, March 17, 2017

The Heart of Rock and Soul # 667 Etta James

'Etta made her excursion to Muscle Shoals during a brief intermission from heroin addiction, and turned out one of the best two-sided female soul singles of all time. The hit was Tell Mama but the unforgettable side was I'd Rather Go Blind, a more languorous version of the Southern soul groove. Although she came from California by way of Chess in Chicago, Etta sang those Muscle Shoal blues like she'd been born to them. Of course, the fact that the song provides a great metaphor for her drug addiction intensifies the story, even if lyrical discretion requires replacing smack with booze. But what you're here for is just as much Jimmy Johnson's great guitar and the grand Bowlegs Miller-led horn section.'

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