Living by the Days
Real Gone Music
His accomplishments are vast, yet not a lot of folks know the name Don Nix. He began as the sax player for the Memphis soul group The Mar-Kays, which featured future “MG’s” Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn. He produced a swath of records ranging from Lonnie Mack and George Harrison to fellow Memphis legend, the bluesman, Furry Lewis. His signature song, “Going Down,” has become a blues standard, with everyone from Freddie King to Stevie Ray Vaughn giving it a go. He was an early signing for Leon Russell’s Shelter Records, and was a key part of Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh.
Living by the Days was Nix’s second album, and it gives you a taste of the Memphis soul man in all his guises. From spiritual numbers such as Hank Williams’ “I Saw the Light” and “Three Angels,” to the soulful “My Train’s Done Come and Gone” and the bluesy “Going Back to Iuka” (which was later recorded by Albert King), the album is prime Memphis R+B. He was backed up by some of the finest in the business — Barry Beckett and Chris Stainton on keyboards, Duck Dunn or David Hood on bass, and the great Wayne Perkins on guitar — but for all the firepower, it’s Nix’s show.
From his winning vocals to his funky, “in-the-pocket” production, Don Nix is one of those legends that nobody knows, but not from lack of talent. Memphis in the ’60s and ’70s was the epicenter for some incredible musical adventures, and Nix was in the middle of it from the start. Glad to see Living by the Days out again, and if you have a need for some southern soul, this is a fine place to start.
Real Gone: realgonemusic.com