In the 1960s and 1970s, singer Sonny Green released several singles, but never an LP. That is, until now. In his late seventies, this incredibly talented vocalist has released his first album. Titled Found! One Soul Singer, this album features some seriously enjoyable soul music, mostly covers, including one that he originally released as a single back in 1971 and is revisiting now. Joining Sonny Green on his debut LP are Kid Anderson on guitar, Jim Pugh on organ, Chris Burns on clavinet and piano, Endre Tarczy on bass, Ronnie Smith on drums, Mariachi Mestizo on violin, Mike Rinta on trombone, Jeff Lewis on trumpet, and Aaron Lington on saxophone, along with a few special guests on certain tracks.
The album opens with “I’m So Tired” a funky and delicious song that Bobby “Blue” Bland released as a single in 1972. Sonny Green’s version features a raw and powerful vocal performance, plus some good work on horns and keys. I especially enjoy that lead on keys halfway through the track. “But farther on down on the road you’ll find another jewel/And I’m so tired, I’m so tired of being your fool.” And I love the way this version builds to its climax. That’s followed by a cover of Little Milton’s “If Walls Could Talk,” a song written by Bobby Miller. This one immediately announces itself as a fun number, even before that howl Sonny delivers before the song’s first lines. This tune has a great groove, and some cool work on guitar, but it is that vocal performance that drives this one forward. Sonny Green really digs into this one, ripping it open and dancing on its entrails. Is this guy really almost eighty years old?
Sonny Green gets into deeper blues territory with his version of “I Beg Your Pardon,” a song written by Rick Estrin and originally recorded by Little Charlie And The Nightcats. This track features some wonderful work on keys, and a vocal performance that is both passionate and playful. Yes, this guy certainly is talented. I hope I get the chance to see him in concert when this damn pandemic is over. “I Beg Your Pardon” is followed by an absolutely beautiful and moving rendition of “Are You Sure,” written by Buddy Emmons and Willie Nelson, and originally recorded by Ray Price back in 1963. This country song works so well as a soul number. Sonny Green’s approach is so honest, so true. “But just look around you/And take a good look/Just between you and me/Are you sure this is where you want to be?” His delivery of that last line is powerful and heartfelt, helping make this song one of my personal favorites on this album.
Things then get funky again with Terry Hanck’s “Cupid Must Be Stupid,” a song he wrote with Jojo Russo and Kid Anderson, and one that was included on his 2008 album Always. Terry Hanck himself plays sax on this track, delivering a bright and cool lead halfway through. And Kid Anderson, in addition to playing guitar, produced this album. Anyway, this track is a whole lot of fun. I love that little laugh that Sonny Green gives early in the song, and also that great and groovy bass line. The band delivers a delicious jam on this track. And then, holy moly, Sonny Green really displays his vocal chops at the beginning of “Blind Man,” supported just by some nice work on guitar. Then the song kicks in, taking on a good groove. “People try to tell me to stop crying/Find me someone new/Because when the good lord made one woman/Hallelujah, you know he made two.” This song was written by Joseph W. Scott, Don Robey and Deadric Malone, and famously recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland. That’s followed by a fun and funky rendition of Syl Johnson’s “Back For A Taste Of Your Love.” “Here I come,” Sonny sings, and indeed, we are thankful for his presence, and for these seriously enjoyable tracks.
The back of the CD case lists “If You Want Me To Keep On Loving You” as the eighth track, but actually “Trouble” comes first. “Trouble” is funky and exciting, one to get you dancing, and features Alabama Mike joining Sonny Green on vocals. “Now Frankenstein’s scared of fire, and the mummy’s scared of the curse/A sick man running, trying to avoid that hearse/I ain’t looking for no trouble, but you never know where trouble’s gonna be.” Indeed. Hey, this is a song for 2020, isn’t it? This song was written by Jojo Russo, Michael Benjamin and Kid Andersen, and this recording marks the song’s first appearance on an album. Then we get “If You Want Me To Keep On Loving You,” a song that Sonny Green released on a single on Hill Records in 1971. Here he revisits the number, written by Miles Grayson and Bobby Lexing. This new rendition is strong and features a passionate vocal performance and some excellent work on guitar. That’s followed by “I Got There,” an original number written by Kid Andersen and Rick Estrin. This is a lively, cheerful tune. I love that lead on saxophone by Gordon Beadle. “And it took a long time to find out the truth/Oh, but I got there.” Amen to that. The album concludes with “Be Ever Wonderful,” a mellower, soulful song written by Joseph Wade Scott, Jean Matyka and Don Robey, and originally recorded by Ted Taylor And His Band in 1959. Ted Taylor then used the song as the title track to his 1963 LP, and later re-recorded it for his 1978 album Keepin’ My Head Above Water, and again used it as a title track to a 1984 release. And why not? It’s a beautiful song. Sonny Green delivers an excellent rendition here, a great choice for closing track. “And be ever wonderful/Just stay sweet and true/And be ever loving me/As I love you.”
CD Track List
- I’m So Tired
- If Walls Could Talk
- I Beg Your Pardon
- Are You Sure
- Cupid Must Be Stupid
- Blind Man
- Back For A Taste Of Your Love
- If You Want Me To Keep On Loving You
- I Got There
- Be Ever Wonderful
Found! One Soul Singer was released on CD on October 30, 2020, but was made available digitally on September 10th.