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  Listen Up! 8/14/02 Listen Up!

Wednesday, Aug. 14

John Sinclair & His Blues Scholars, “Fattening Frogs For Snakes: The Delta Sound,” Okra-Tone Records. Over decent delta blues grooves, Sinclair intones what he thinks are profound ideas about the connection between music and history and life and hardship. I don’t know, maybe they are profound ideas. But, I am not encouraged to listen closely, partially because of his psuedo-Steve Martin vocalization of his poetry, and partially because I’ve never trusted Sinclair before, so why should I start now?

Al Green, “Al,” Beechwood Music. Gosh, that Al Green could sing. He probably still can, but he rarely lets us know about it. When he sings gospel, he tends to sound trapped, maybe by the desire to communicate his love for the Lord while fighting contemporary rhythm tracks, or maybe by the desire to just let a song envelop him like he used to do routinely. This compilation collects all the usual hits, and it’s just as warm and inviting and sexy as anything in the history of soul.

--Steve Pick



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