This is what happens when you start down a path… sometimes the floodgates open.
This is one of my favorite albums… and no, it is not about my brother’s trip to Tennessee…
Toots Hibbert – Toots in Memphis
Most of the time one hears of Toots and the Maytals… who are on tour this summer, I believe, and a must see… but he does also record under just Toots Hibbert.
This album is a cover of some of the finest 60s and 70s soul and is like the best fusion restaurant you will ever eat at. I could listen to “Knock on Wood” any way, any time and any how. Obviously Al Green and Otis Redding are amazing on their own, but with Toots’ Reggae flavors, this tasting menu becomes a full evening’s worth of delight, deliciousness and devilish entertainment.
I have seen Toots a number of times and at 65, he still prances and dances about the stage. It is always a fun show.
The Maytals were one of the most popular groups in Jamaica and recorded with the legendary producer Coxsone Dodd… When I first heard about him from Mr. Rich I thought my friend was talking about two guys named Cox and Dodd. But Coxsone was a major influence in the world of Reggae and Ska.
Toots is also a Reggae legend and innovator and took the form to new heights and audiences. I love that he is still active and on the road.
He was in the fantastic film The Harder They Come, along with star Jimmy Cliff, and both the movie and the soundtrack are must haves in your collection. I think the latest, remastered 2-disc version of the soundtrack is the way to go, and there is a Criterion version as well as some other versions with some great bonus features!
From the opening track, “(I’ve Got) Dreams To Remember” to the sassy and “horny” “Love and Happiness” to the fantastic “Hard to Handle” (no, the Black Crowes did not write this one, Otis Redding did, and his version must be listened to!) to “Freedom Train” this whole album rocks and sways and moves to so many bossy beats.
Having a party? Throw this one on, and your guests will be happy. Just tell me where to go and what to bring and I’ll be there…