BODY WORK

Judy Clay: My Arms Aren’t Strong Enough
From 7″ (Scepter, 1964). Also available on New York Soul Serenade

Eddie Floyd: Raise Your Hand
From 7″ (Stax, 1966) and Knock On Wood (Stax, 1968)

Bobby Rush: Bowlegged Woman/Knock-Kneed Man
From 7″ (Jewel, 196?). Also available on Absolutely the Best.

Day Two of Blunts vs. Soul is on hold since Cocaine Blunts got tooken out for exceeding bandwidth. Meanwhile, enjoy the return of the Black Label, getting all up on the body (paging R. Kelley!)

Judy Clay begins this trio with her “My Arms Aren’t Strong Enough” (to box with God?). Clay began her career in gospel with the Drinkard Sisters (that does sound uncomfortable close to “Drunkard Sisters,” which, I’m sure you’ll agree, would not be an optimal name for a gospel group), a heritage that’s easy enough to hear in this particular song. It’s clearly gospel-derived but the lyrics sure aren’t church-approved – “if her touch thrills you more than mine/and if her kiss tastes as sweet as wine.” (Not so) trivial note: Clay has been credited by some as being part of the first interracial recording duo, along with Billy Vera. More on Clay here.

Eddie Floyd’s “Raise Your Hand,” was one of this Stax-man’s bigger hits (though not quite on par with “Knock On Wood”) a rousing, soul slammer that put the power of Stax’s studio band in full effect with its bellowing brass and expert rhythm section. Awesome song. More on Floyd here.

Last, we have bluesman Bobby Rush (aka innovator of “folk funk”) with a sweet slice of salaciousness: “Bowlegged Woman/Knock-Kneed Man.” If you the title doesn’t make immediate sense, consider each affliction and how the two might, um, fit together. The tune is funky, funky, funky ’cause your heard it from me-say, plus, if you need a slick seduction aid, just toss this on, light some candles, and have with it. Rush’s official site.

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