Don Covay and the Jefferson Lemon Blues Band – Different Strokes for Different Folks (Indie Exclusive, Red Colored Vinyl)
Soul singer Don Covay is better known for the songs he wrote for others than his own recordings. Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” and Chubby Checker’s “Pony Time” are but two hits he penned in the 1960s.
At the end of the ‘60s, Covay formed the Jefferson Lemon Blues Band, which despite its name is fine- tuned funk ensemble. The original lineup only lasted one album. By the time of 1972’s Different Strokes for Different Folks, the Lemon Jefferson group was really the Swampers, the hot studio musicians in Muscle Shoals, Ala. responsible for a slew of hits from everyone to Wilson Pickett and the Staple Singers to Leon Russell and Paul Simon.
Different Strokes is steeped in Southern R&B. Covay’s versatile voice is capable of plenty of grit to the hard funk of “Hitching a Ride” and “Why Did You Put Your Shoes Under My Bed.” He also brings a warm and gentle tone to ballads “In the Sweet By and By” and “Stop By.”
“Daddy Please Don’t Go Out Tonight” tells the poignant story of a returning military veteran struggling to adjust to domestic life after deployment. Closing number “What’s in the Headlines” is a socially conscious country blues number complete with kazoo. Resting between these heavier numbers is the supremely funky “Standing in the Grits Line” and the slow, deep groove of “Bad Luck.”
Only pressed once since its original release 50 years ago, Different Strokes is finally available again. Fans of Joe Tex, William Bell and other lesser-known Southern soul titans will want to pick this up. – Joel Francis