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Solomon BurkeSolomon Burke | Make Do With What You Got
a radio bobo-k review

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Old school R&B (rhythm and blues) has disappeared in favor of drum machines, samples, and singers concentrating on tremolos instead of just hitting the damned note (I hope you're reading this, Mariah). Despite the popularity of the new-fangled R&B, it's a relief to know that the godfathers of the genre are still recording, and are still recording fresh new albums with a touch of the old sound.

Solomon Burke is one of those artists keeping the true R&B/soul sound alive. Despite never having that one big breakout commercial hit of like a Percy Sledge, Burke is recording some of the most exciting music of the genre today. His 2002 album Don't Give Up On Me was a Grammy® winner for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

Produced by Don Was, 'Make Do With What You Got' features songs penned by a wide variety of artists, including Van Morrison, Hank Williams, Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, Dr. John, and The Rolling Stones (who themselves have covered Burke's "Cry to me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love").

Like many old school R&B artists, Burke's deep voice has just enough rasp to sound like a man who has been there, seen it all. "After All These Years" is a love song co-penned by Burke to the woman who has shared his life, sung with such emotion that you can't help but feel his love when he belts out "So how would I get by baby?/How would I make it through the night precious lady?" … or when he sings "I'm tired of running around in circles and I want to come home" (from The Van Morrison penned "At the Crossroads") it made me want to come home, and I already was.

I think everyone who calls themselves an R&B artist should be required to listen to Solomon Burke. He knows how to sing a song, when to be subtle and when to belt it out. Burke knows how to sell a song, and I'm buying!
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Tracks:

1. I Need Your Love In My Life
2. What Good Am I?
3. It Makes No Difference
4. Let Somebody Love Me
5. After All These Years
6. Fading Footsteps
7. At The Crossroads
8. I Got The Blues
9. Make Do With What You Got
10. Wealth Won’t Save Your Soul

 

 

 


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