Music Reviews

Mighty Sam McClain

Sweet Dreams

Telarc

The title is from the song that many know as a Patsy Cline number, but vocalist Mighty Sam had a regional hit with it in 1966, recording at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals. A new version of the song is included here, along with a cover of The Staple Singers’ “Respect Yourself.”

Mighty Sam is a grandfather now, but has kept right on plugging away. Although blues as a genre tends to be more cover-oriented than many other types of music, with just one other exception to the classics listed above, these are all songs penned by Mighty Sam himself. Having amassed a great band of seasoned pros including a four-piece horn section (dubbed the Mighty Horns, of course) and recorded in historic Bearsville Studio in upstate New York, this is an uplifting collection of songs that encapsulates the paradox about the blues – can a genre called the blues actually make you happy when you listen to it?

In the hands of Mighty Sam, it can. He clearly relishes the chance to be a positive force through music, and makes no bones about his religious beliefs not only in his personal life but also frequently in his lyrics. So you hardcore atheist types might wanna avoid this, but frankly you’d be missing out.

Telarc, 23307 Commerce Park Road, Cleveland, OH 41122; http://www.telarc.com, http://www.mightysam.com


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