*This is a Vinyl LP*
Release Date: 2018
Label: Malaco Records
A1. Z.Z. Hill – Down Home Blues 5:12
A2. Little Milton – The Blues Is Alright 4:12
A3. Dorothy Moore – Misty Blue 3:38
A4. Bobby “Blue” Bland – Members Only 4:06
A5. Mel Waiters – Hole In The Wall 4:11
B1. King Floyd – Groove Me 2:58
B2. Denise LaSalle – Don’t Mess With My Man 4:40
B3. Latimore – Bad Risk 4:48
B4. Johnnie Taylor – Last Two Dollars 5:15
B5. McKinley Mitchell – The End Of The Rainbow 3:35
Malaco Records in Jackson, MS has been recording soul, gospel and R&B artists for the last 50 years. Over the years they have developed a simple musical formula: bass and drums putting down a funky, locked-in groove, luscious and slippery blues guitar runs coupled with sophisticated keyboard washes, tightly syncopated horns, and sweet, angelic backup harmonies. Lyrics are simple, heart-felt and true, and come from the “been there, done that” school of hard knocks, delivered with equal helpings of heartach and humor. In the early 70’s, with the arrival of arranger Wardell Quezergue, Malaco claimed its first major hit with King Floyd’s “Groove Me”. Malaco became a destination studio for big stars like Paul Simon, The Pointer Sisters, and many New Orleans and Stax recording artists who wanted the polished style mixed with Southern seasoning that the studio provided. It was this environment that created Dorothy Moore’s eternal classic, the haunting “Misty Blue”. Recorded in one take, the song was a massive hit, yielding gold records and a spot in the pantheon for Malaco. “The End of the Rainbow” is another example of this classic style.
But styles shifted, and with the arrival of Disco music, R&B artists suddenly became pigeon-holed as “Blues” artists and radio turned away from them. Malaco stayed true to down home music, at the same time adding drum machines and synth patches to their musical signature. The label sold singles to club jukeboxes and suddenly the dance floors filled up. ZZ Hills “Down Home Blues” became the anthem of the folks who love to hit the club on the weekend. Just like they can party down to “Hole in the Wall” and “The Blues Is Alright”, people also can hit the floor to heartache, Benny Latimore cautions his ex-lover about a “Bad Risk” boyfriend, and Denise LaSalle breaks the third wall and speaks directly to you in “Don’t Mess with My Man”. After the untimely death of ZZ Hill, Johnnie Taylor joined Malaco’s roster and gave the label their biggest selling record “Good Love” in 1996. Malaco has succeeded by consistently giving R&B fans what they want: great music that reflects the complexities of life and breaks it down into simple terms, embracing joy, sex, trouble and fun, and turning the blues into a celebration for Members Only.