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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A tribute to the 5 Royales...
on 26 August 2011
This Steve Cropper and friends album is a tribute to the 50s vocal group the 5 Royales, unfortunately apart from 'Dedicated to the one I love' I'm not really aware of any 5 Royales' songs and for me that is the problem here, the songs just aren't memorable enough. This version of 'Dedicated to the one I love' features Lucinda Williams and Steve Winwood, on paper a very interesting combination but in the studio a train wreck, Lucinda's other contribution 'When I get like this' is also pretty bad. Most of the other tracks are just about OK, if a little dull, although some singers do manage to rise above the average songs by imposing their personality. Both Bettye Lavette and Sharon Jones turn in great vocal performances which also fit with the period songs, I also liked the contributions from Steve Winwood, Dan Penn and John Popper. For me the best track is 'Baby don't do it' by B.B. King and Shemekia Copeland, which features great vocals from these two wonderful singers and also great guitar from BB.
Steve Cropper himself is fairly annonymous, playing rhythm guitar in the background on most of the tracks but his two instrumentals 'Help me somebody' and 'Think' allow him to step out front and I particularly liked the restrained Stax-style 'Help me somebody'.