on 24 January 2012
Etta was arguably at her best when she she was hollerin' out the blues.
This 1963 live record spotlights her doing exactly that.
This is a very good sound recording from a small venue with Etta doing what she did best in her prime.Just listen to the raw vocals in the outstanding first track ('Somethin's got a hold on me') and you'd think this a babtist church not a blues concert.
The songs were recorded over 2 nights at little The New Era Club in Nashville with a tight jazz quintet (inc Vonzell Cooper on organ and Garvell Cooper on tenor sax).
Etta died this week, and for anyone wanting to know what all the fuss was about, this thrilling concert is a cracking place to start to understand the loss that music has incurred as a result.
R.I.P. Etta (25th Jan 1938 - 20 Jan 2012)
on 14 July 2009
Fantastic live performance. It's in a different league from her later recordings, it's less produced and there are no soft strings. It's not pretty but it is loaded with real emotion and energy. You can hear that she is enjoying herself - feeding off the audience, improvising, singing a duet with the saxophone, growling, mewing, laughing. "You can dance if you want to" she tells the audience. If you've never heard Etta this is the one to get. The best live blues/soul album ever.
on 12 February 2016
“Etta James Rocks the House”, released by MCA in 1992, contains 8 live recordings, taped at The New Era Club, Nashville, Tennessee, on September 27 and 28, 1963, plus 3 bonus tracks (previously unreleased on CD at that time). I have compiled a song listing (with the song’s original label & number, chart position & debut date)(BB200=Billboard Album Chart; BB Pop=Billboard Hot 100; BB R&B=Billboard Rhythm & Blues Chart; CB Pop=Cash Box Singles Chart; RW Pop=Record World Singles Chart):
LP “ETTA JAMES ROCKS THE HOUSE” (Argo LP-4032)(BB200 96/1964):
01 Something’s Got A Hold On Me (Argo 5409)(a-side)(BB Pop 37/1962; BB R&B 4/1962; CB Pop 20/1962; RW Pop 25/1962)(January 1962)
02 Baby What You Want Me To Do (Argo 5459)(a-side)(BB Pop 82/1964; BB R&B 35/1964; CB Pop 101/1964; RW Pop 93/1964)(December 1963)
03 What’d I Say (Argo 5459)(b-side, December 1963)(RW Pop 96/1964)*double sided hit.
04 Money (That’s What I Want)
05 Seven Day Fool (Argo 5402)(b-side, October 1961)(BB Pop 95/1961; CB Pop 75/1961; RW Pop 61/1961)*double sided hit.
06 Sweet Little Angel
07 Ooh Poo Pah Doo
08 Woke Up This Morning
09 Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby
10 All I Could Do Is Cry (Argo 5359)(a-side)(BB Pop 33/1960; BB R&B 2(1)/1960; CB Pop 23/1960; RW Pop 30/1960)(March 1960)
11 I Just Want To Make Love To You (Argo 5380)(b-side, December 1960)
1 This is a wonderful album, recorded live at The New Era Club, Nashville, Tennessee, on September 27 and 28, 1963. It really captured the emotion, excitement, drama and spontaneity of Etta James in action. The location was carefully chosen by Etta herself, with the correct atmosphere, receptive audiences, and good acoustics. This album is a pot of gold. The three bonus tracks, although readily available in 2015, were making CD debut in 1964, and I consider this icing on the cake.
2 The sound is very well remastered, capturing all the details and spontaneity of the live performance.
3 There is an 8-page booklet, with an informative essay by Don Snowden, and also the original LP liner notes by Ralph Bass. Here, we get more insight into the making of this live album. A beautiful coloured picture of Etta James in action was nicely done.
Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins on January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, California. She was nicknamed “Miss Peaches.” She has a long illustrious career. Her singing style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. She has frequent bouts of heroin addiction, but finally cured in the late 1970s. In 1996, her album “Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday” won Best Jazz Vocal Performance Grammy. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008. She died of leukemia on January 20, 2012 (age 74). Her mighty, moving voice is sorely missed.
After collecting all her 123 songs (as singles, except one song “Bring It on Home to Me” her duet with Tony Orlando), I am in the process of collecting all her domestic albums. “Etta James Rocks The House” is her 8th album release. The entire album really rocks the house, and is totally enjoyable, and will be treasured. Naturally this set is highly recommended.