11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

You might call Johnny Rawls a survivor, except that this veteran bluesman is having too much fun to be a mere relic of the past. On Memphis Still Got Soul, the singer/guitarist salutes his influences in a spirited batch of mostly self-written tunes. Rawls has a gift for reconciling the raw feeling of classic blues with the tailored sounds of Stax-style R&B. Recorded in Texas and Montana with two different bands, this album benefits from sharp performances by such players as guitarist Johnny McGhee, organists Doug Skoogs and Dan Ferguson, and saxophonists Andy Roman and Michael Kakuk. Rawls confesses heartache in “Stop the Rain,” pours on the charm in “Give What You Need," and confronts a cheating lover in “Don’t Act So Innocent.” Tracks like “My Guitar,” “Blues Woman," and the title number testify to his abiding love for his musical heritage. He pays special homage to his mentor O.V. Wright by delivering a smoldering version of “Blind, Crippled and Crazy,” first recorded by Wright in 1968.

EDITORS’ NOTES

You might call Johnny Rawls a survivor, except that this veteran bluesman is having too much fun to be a mere relic of the past. On Memphis Still Got Soul, the singer/guitarist salutes his influences in a spirited batch of mostly self-written tunes. Rawls has a gift for reconciling the raw feeling of classic blues with the tailored sounds of Stax-style R&B. Recorded in Texas and Montana with two different bands, this album benefits from sharp performances by such players as guitarist Johnny McGhee, organists Doug Skoogs and Dan Ferguson, and saxophonists Andy Roman and Michael Kakuk. Rawls confesses heartache in “Stop the Rain,” pours on the charm in “Give What You Need," and confronts a cheating lover in “Don’t Act So Innocent.” Tracks like “My Guitar,” “Blues Woman," and the title number testify to his abiding love for his musical heritage. He pays special homage to his mentor O.V. Wright by delivering a smoldering version of “Blind, Crippled and Crazy,” first recorded by Wright in 1968.

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