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"Etta James Rocks The House"
August 26, 2012 4:09 PM   Subscribe

On September 27, 1963, at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee, Etta James rocked the house. The result was "simply one of the greatest live blues albums ever captured on tape".

Great voices are also difficult to describe, so much so that obituaries seldom try, although Peter Keepnews recalled a few useful words from Jon Pareles in The New York Times: "a huge range, a multiplicity of tones and vast reserves of volume." All true, and relevant, but if range and volume did the trick there'd be great voices by the thousand--it's in those unspecified tones that the vocal "grain" resides. Preliminarily, say that James, who began recording at 15, was often girlish and always not, and that her jailbait clarity coexisted readily with her big-mama grit. Combined with her range, volume, and knack for drama, those contradictions rendered her a sing-the-phone-book original... - Robert Christgau
posted by Egg Shen (7 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Etta James is divine.

Christgau...meh.
posted by goethean at 4:20 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Been looking for blues albums that matches the energy of live blues performances I've seen. This looks like it'll fit the bill quite nicely. Thanks!
posted by comradechu at 5:00 PM on August 26, 2012


I quite agree with the praise for this album. The energy is palpable--just listen to the shoutbacks from the audience during the chorus of "Something's Got A Hold On Me." I'd liken the sense of intimacy in the recordings to that on some classic jazz recordings--only this is brassy, greasy R&B. I love it.
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 6:44 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you've got Spotify, the album's on there. (Warning: if you've already got Spotify open, this link will just start the album right up).
posted by Maaik at 7:27 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Happy owner of the original LP. We have about the same number of scratches and are both well-loved.
posted by issue #1 at 9:10 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perfect timing for this. Been rocking a lot of Sam Cook, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard, and whatnot. This slots nicely into the time period. Seeing as I only knew the classics from her, it's nice to have a good starting point. Thanks.
posted by Ephelump Jockey at 2:36 AM on August 27, 2012


Sometimes, I get a good feeling, yeah. And I, I get a feelin I never never had before, no.
posted by Diablevert at 5:48 AM on August 27, 2012


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