I don't know that Junior Kimbrough would exactly approve.
As with so many compilations that are tributes to particularly
groundbreaking artists, there are many hit and miss tracks included
on Sunday Nights. Perhaps it is this disparity among
tracks, both stylistically and sonically, that makes this compilation
stand out from so many ho-hum projects, but it also causes some
serious dysfunction in the ears at times.
There are amazing gems of tracks here. Iggy And The Stooges
belt out a ripping version of "You Better Run" - not
once, but twice. All the ferocity of Funhouse era Iggy
is evident, belying the fact that he's quite a bit older these
days, but just as musically vicious. "My Mind Is Rambling"
as presented by The Black Keys is simply a work of blues-fueled
art. Thick guitars and laid back beats (reminding me very much
of early Big Sugar) carry the track through its soulful
course. Mark Lanegan soaks up the whiskey and throws
his heart into the fray on "All Night Long". Presenting
in an almost Tom Waits' style narrative, Lanegan gives
fresh meaning to this finest of devil's music.
Thee Shams rock it out quite all right and Jim White
gives a rock solid performance, filled with delta heart and
an oddly sparse arrangement. Outrageous Cherry slows
things down and dredges up delta soul garage style on "Lord
Have Mercy On Me", one of my favorites of Kimbrough's songs.
Whitey Kirst gets full-on low-down grungey psychedelic
on "Pull Your Clothes Off", infusing punk rock style
with flanged drums and tons of attitude. And the closing version
of "You Better Run" is slowed down and a bit more
groovy than the immediacy of the album opener.
If you are looking for a great record to listen to, but never
get bored with, this may be a great choice. Junior Kimbrough
wrote fine songs, and these are definitely some of his best.
Most of the performers give dynamic voice to the songs and create
a rich landscape of blues-rock that will certainly make the
listener want to rush out and re-familiarize themselves with
the original recordings of some of these songs.
So, yeah... maybe Mr. Kimbrough would approve after all.
1. You Better Run (version #1) - Iggy and the Stooges
2. Sad Days Lonely Nights - Spiritualized
3. Meet Me In the City - Blues Explosion
4. Done Got Old - Heartless Bastards
5. My Mind is Rambling - The Black Keys
6. I'm Leaving - The Fiery Furnaces
7. I Feel Good Again - Pete Yorn
8. Do the Romp - Cat Power & Entrance
9. All Night Long - Mark Lanegan
10. Release Me - Thee Shams
11. Done Got Old - Jim White
12. Lord Have Mercy On Me - Outrageous Cherry
13. Pull Your Clothes Off - Whitey Kirst
14. I'm In Love With You - Jack Oblivion
15. Burn In Hell - The Ponys
16. You Better Run (version #2) - Iggy and the Stooges
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