MICK HUCKNALL

TRIBUTE TO BOBBY

2008-08-21

Mick Hucknall, who found his fame as lead singer of English pop band, Simply Red, returns with this homage to Memphis R & B artist, Bobby “Blue” Bland. The result is a bit of a mixed bag with Hucknall’s versions of some of Bland’s better known tunes falling short against better known versions such as Eric Clapton’s take on "Farther Up the Road" or the Allman Brothers’ definitive take on "Stormy Monday Blues" which over the years have eclipsed even Bland’s own versions. On the other hand, Hucknall successfully takes other tracks into new places that work just fine. "Ain’t That Lovin’ You" plays like the Spinners spent some time with Bland while "I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way you Treated Me)" and "Cry, Cry, Cry" evoke their R & B roots and "Yolanda" is a spirited funk work out. "Pity the Fool" combines the anger of Bland’s lyrics with a venomous delivery that erases the self-pity party of "Chains of Love". Like Steve Winwood, Hucknall has an elastic voice that fits quite well with this type of material even though he doesn’t redefine any of it in any major way. Overall, you’re better off sticking with the original. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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