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Crate Digger’s Gold: Etta James – Changes

January 11, 2012

I learned the other day reading a review of Etta’s latest (The Dreamer) that she has leukemia and is not long for this world.  This saddens me greatly.  Seeing Etta live in the early 80s was a top-5 concert experience.  This got me digging through my old vinyl and I pulled out this outstanding album.

This was released in 1980 and produced by the great Allen Tousaint.  This is classic soul music and Etta was a the top of her game despite this being a lost period for Etta (her Wikipedia entry has a section that ends in 1978 and does not pick up the story again until 1988).  How I originally stumbled upon this is not remembered – I assume it was the Tousaint production that caught my eye.

Tousaint assembled and wonderfully funky New Orleans cast to back Etta.  He had her cover several of his great songs and she does them proud.  One of my favorite Tousaint songs is “Night People” and this Etta version is my all time favorite. She purrs, she growls.

If you are a fan of neo-soul, for example Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, you will love this album.  Enjoy this song off the album – the opening riff would be a sampler’s delight:

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