Don Bryant – You Make Me Feel


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SKU: 767981174723 Categories: , Tags: ,


Release Date:  2020

Label:  Fat Possum Records


Track List

1 Your Love Is To Blame
2 99 Pounds
3 Is It Over
4 I Die A Little Each Day
5 Don’t Turn Your Back On Me
6 Your Love Is Too Late
7 I’ll Go Crazy
8 Cracked Up Over You
9 A Woman’s Touch
10 Walk All Over God’s Heaven



Vocals -Don Bryant
Backing Vocals – Katrina Anderson, Reba Russell, Susan Marshall (2), The Flat Five, The HamilTones*, The Barnes Brothers
Bass, Keyboards, Guitar, Percussion – Scott Bomar
Drums, Percussion – Howard Grimes
Guitar – Joe Restivo
Keyboards – Al Gamble, Archie “Hubble” Turner
Organ – Charles Hodges
Percussion – Adam Hill
Saxophone – Art Edmaiston, Kirk Smothers
Strings – Jennifer Puckett, Jessie Munson, Jonathan Kirkscey, Jordan Musgrave, Wen-Yih Yu
Trumpet, Arranged By – Marc Franklin



If you want to learn something about love, you could do worse than to listen to the songs of Don Bryant. In 1971, he started writing tunes for Ann Peebles, then a star on the rise at the Memphis soul label Hi Records. One of those songs, “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” would become a major hit in 1974, the year Bryant and Peebles were married, and since then, she’s been his muse, the woman who inspired his best and most powerful work. Bryant was 78 years old when You Make Me Feel was released in 2020, and it’s only his third R&B album in a career that’s been going for six decades, and if he’s become the least bit blase about relationships over the years, you certainly can’t hear it in these performances. Bryant’s vocals are miraculously strong for a man pushing 80, clear and just gritty enough to do the job, and his phrasing is every bit as impressive, sounding remarkably fresh and engaged, and this is unquestionably some of the best singing of his life. What makes this all the more special, though, is Bryant’s songwriting. He penned eight of the ten numbers here, and he’s given himself words he can believe in. In “99 lbs.” and “Your Love Is to Blame,” he makes it clear just how much he loves the woman who inspires him, and “I Die a Little Each Day” and “Don’t Turn Your Back on Me” show us how lost he would be without her. Even though “Your Love Is Too Late” is a stinging portrait of betrayal, “Cracked Up Over You” is the sound of a man perfectly happy to be crazy about the woman in his life. The gospel number that closes the album, “Walk All Over God’s Heaven,” is a thematic shift that also keeps the album on point, as Bryant sounds just as grateful to the Lord as he is to his wife. Few veteran soul artists returning to duty have sounded as energetic and confident as Bryant did on 2017’s Don’t Give Up on Love, and You Make Me Feel is even more satisfying; it’s retro soul at its absolute best, and anyone who has a partner who makes them feel the way Bryant feels about Ann Peebles on this LP has plenty to be thankful for.  Mark Deming

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