SAM & DAVE-SOUL MEN: Paraphrasing the title of their most successful hit, which also provided a blueprint for THE BLUES BROTHERS' enthusiastic (if note for note) tribute, SOUL MEN could apply to no cooler combination of blistering talent than SAM MOORE and DAVE PRATER. Their third punchy platter, backed as always by STAX house band BOOKER T & THE MG'S and THE MEMPHIS HORNS, is the usual swaggering, grit-choked affair, with MOORE's jubilant gospel-infused yowl facing off against PRATER's guttural back street growl. In addition to the prolific songwriting team of ISAAC HAYES and DAVID PORTER, who penned both SOUL MAN and its popular flipside MAY I BABY, solid material is provided by MG axe man STEVE CROPPER, whose BROKE DOWN PIECE OF MAN was memorably tackled by SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY years later and influential 5 ROYALES guitarist LOWMAN PAULING; there's even an affectionate run through of the sublime standard LET IT BE ME. The funky, sweat-soaked ride comes to an abrupt finale in just under half an hour (typical for sixties LPs)...a clear case of quality over quantity, something the incomparable SAM & DAVE always had to spare.
RATING: FOUR CALL AND RESPONSES