sábado, 27 de fevereiro de 2016
Spooner Oldham - Pot Luck 1972
So why would this obscurity be so expensive? Well, seemingly because it is so obscure ... as far as I know it only recently saw CD reissue on the Korean Big Pink Music label (paired with Oldham's "Spare Change" album) and as far as I can tell, you're looking at the only copy readily available on the web right now.
It probably isn't a major surprise that today Spooner Oldham's best know for his work as a writer - much of it with Dan Penn. Lesser known is his work as a studio musician and the fact that he's recorded a handful of intriguing solos studio efforts l. Oldham started his professional musical career in the mid 1960s while attending the University of North Alabama. Already a gifted keyboard player, he started playing sessions at Rick Hall's Muscle Shoals Fame Studios. Within a matter of months Oldham had dropped out of college and become Fame's in-house keyboard player. In 1967 Oldham went to work for Chips Moman's Memphis-based American Studios where he started his long-standing collaboration with Dan Penn, enjoying a truly amazing string of hits with the cream of mid-1960s pop and soul artists (The Box Tops, Clarence Carter, Aretha Franklin, James and Bobby Purify, Percy Sledge, etc. etc.). The late 1960s saw Oldham head for Southern California where he focused on sessions work.
Signed to a contract by Gulf + Western's short-lived Family Records subsidiary, 1973 saw Oldham release his first solo album. Produced by Ed Cobb, "Pot Luck" sported one of the year's ugliest covers, but about half of the songs made up for that lapse in marketing taste. First a quick warning. Anyone familiar with Oldham's catalog will understand why he's known for his writing and keyboards - his gruff voice managed to make Kris Kristofferson sound truly polished (in contrast, songwriting partner Dan Penn had a far more commercial voice). Still, if you could get over Oldham's raw voice, tales of life's woes and darker sides such as "The Lord Loves a Rolling Stone", "Life's Little Package of Puzzles" and "Easy Listening") had a rugged and odd charm to them. There was no way this was going to appeal to the rank and file of collectors and there are still times when I struggle to get through the collection, but the investment of time and patience does yield some charming results. a personal "best of" package with Oldham covering some of his better known compositions ("Kentucky Grass" and "Cry Like a Baby"). Again, it certainly wasn't very commercial, but the album's quirky factor made it easy to see why the album's become highly sought after by collectors.
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