88

Mighty Sam McClain: Soul Survivor: The Best of Mighty Sam McClain

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
Mighty Sam McClain: Soul Survivor: The Best of Mighty Sam McClain
Soul Survivor compiles the best material from Mighty Sam McClain's four Audioquest releases, all recorded during the 1990s.

As much a soul singer as a bluesman, Sam McClain writes songs that are emotional and very personal. McClain has a powerful voice not unlike Otis Redding's or Bobby "Blue" Bland's. The strongest material here is on the second half of the 13-track CD, including the organ-propelled "What You Want Me To Do," the fast-paced and previously unreleased "I'm Gonna Love You," and the soul-blues tune "When The Hurt Is Over."

The title Soul Survivor befits the 58-year-old McClain, who has certainly earned the right to sing the blues. Kicked out of his Monroe, Louisiana, home by a jealous stepfather when he was 13, young Sam hooked up with a local R&B band before earning his big break, a recording session produced by a Florida deejay. That session spawned the vocalist's only hit, a gospel-inflected version of Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams." Unfortunately the singer's career quickly fizzled, and he was forced to clean floors in Memphis, sell his blood in New Orleans, and live on the streets. After recovering from alcoholism, McClain was re-discovered in New Orleans, where he recorded two albums for the Orleans label before moving on to Audioquest.

McClain is supported here by sophisticated horns, Bruce Katz's versatile B-3 and piano stylings, Kevin Barry's hot guitar, and a tasteful rhythm section. Sam McClain has recently found religion, and though his lyrics reflect his faith, they are seldom preachy. Besides his religious beliefs, McClain sings passionately about love and survival.

If you dig 60's-style Southern soul or slow, heartfelt blues, Soul Survivor is well worth buying.

Personnel

Mighty Sam McClain.

Album information

Title: Soul Survivor: The Best of Mighty Sam McClain | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: AudioQuest Music

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Strollin'
Monaco, Meurkens, Hoyson, Lucas
Aufbruch
J. Peter Schwalm / Markus Reuter
Cool With That
East Axis

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.