Thursday, May 03, 2007

Get It While You Can...

Howard Tate- Get It While You Can, 1995, Polygram

I don't have a wealth of time or energy, but I wanted to post some new tunes on here. One of my friends mentioned to me that he would like to see more funk or soul on here. So, I'm pulling this one out of the archives. I had never heard of Howard Tate before his long lost classic S/T album from 1972 was reissued in 2001. Get It While You Can was originally released in 1966, but it was reissued on Polygram in 1995.

Howard Tate possesses one of the most incredible falsettos in the soul pantheon and his lyrics cut to the bone with gritty tales of love and loneliness. Prolific and talented artists such as Janis Joplin, B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix have covered his songs to great effect. With a spectacular rhythm section and horn charts to boot, Tate seriously brings the funk on Get It While You Can. I have posted a review from

The greatest soul singer ever to fall below '60s pop radar, Howard Tate remains a tantalizing cipher remembered only through explosive cover versions of his late '60s singles by a blue-chip array of fans including Janis Joplin, B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, and Ry Cooder. Tate's original versions were even better: his ecstatic falsetto, sinuous tenor releases, and gruff asides placed him in a category of R&B vocal stylists as lofty as his stratospheric pompadour. But the Macon-born, Philadelphia-raised former doo-wopper eluded broader acclaim despite a string of powerful performances that just dented the charts. As produced by R&B stalwart Jerry Ragovoy, Tate's sessions mixed emotive standouts, including "Ain't Nobody Home," "Stop," "Get It While You Can," and "Look at Granny Run Run," with shrewd soul updates of electric blues classics like "How Blue Can You Get" and King's signature tune, "Everyday I Have the Blues." The singer's vein-popping performances are matched by rock-solid arrangements and production, well served in this overdue anthology. As for Tate, he disappeared into legend in the early '70s, making this mother lode of deathless soul all the more valuable. --Sam Sutherland

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