I do truly feel bad that my output has slowed in recent weeks – between my day job, doing post-production on Sidebar episodes, the rap purge, and other time sucks, I simply haven’t found much time to do, you know, normal posts.
I want to knock out a slew while I have the energy, especially those highlighting recent releases that may be of interest to y’all. Here’s today’s:
The Martinis: Bullseye
The Pac-Keys: Greasy Pumpkin
Both on Late Late Party (Light in the Attic, 2011)
This new Charles “Packy” Axton comp was a real revelation. Provided, had I spent more time closely reading Rob Bowman’s incredible extensive history of Stax, I probably would have already been aware of Packy Axton – son of Estelle Axton and nephew of Jim Stewart, aka the ST and AX in Stax – and key, early member of the Royal Spades, aka the Mar-Keys.
This anthology brings to light some of Packy’s musical contributions and much of this had flown completely under my radar (and I’m a pretty damn big fan of Memphis soul). It mostly focuses on songs by two of the instrumental groups that Packy helped form along with Johnny Keyes – the Martinis and Pac-Keys. If you know anything about Memphis R&B, the songs by these groups absolutely hum with the essence of that sound (the Martinis, for example, featured several members of the Hi Rhythm Band). You like Booker T and the MGs? Early Bar-Kays? This is that shit. “Greasy Pumpkin” in particular, is a masterpiece that manages to carry a hint of “People Get Ready” but also remind me of a little Galt MacDermot. Simply outstanding.
Andria Lisle contributes strong liner notes that tells the story of this rather tragic figure in R&B history (a chronic alcoholic, Axton died at age 32) and provides some valuable details to this undersung figure in the Memphis scene.
Paramedic training in Ontario wanting to move to Montreal?