Eddie Floyd
" Eddie Loves You So"

Blueswax 8
Rating 7

Back At Stax!, (08/06/08)
Via Concord's revitalized division of Stax Records comes Eddie Floyd's first new album in six years, Eddie Loves You So. Marking his return to the renowned label, these 10 original songs include entries that date back to Floyd's years with the Falcons, Floyd-penned songs that originally were released by other Stax stars, and some new tracks, too.

Michael Dinallo and Ducky Carlisle produced the album. The opener, "Till My Back Ain't Got No Bone," was a hit for both Esther Phillips and William Bell. This is the first time Floyd has recorded the song, but I bet the royalties have been good to him! "You Don't Know What You Mean to Me," originally a Stax hit for Sam & Dave, was co-written by that other Stax genius, Steve Cropper. It's a Soul romp aided by a driving rhythm section and some cool horn charts. There's even some Soul-Blues on "Head to Toe," a surprisingly swampy number that allows the tight band to show off its talents.

As a special treat, Floyd revisits "You're So Fine," the Falcons' 1959 breakthrough hit originally recorded for Al Bell's Safice Records. The song is updated to 21st-century standards, yet it remains true to its roots, unlike too many recent releases by old-school Soul artists who are attempting to reinvent their careers. This tune still sounds remarkably fresh without trying to sound like the work of an up-and-coming new artist. That's the way it's supposed to be, right? I think so, and I suspect Floyd does, too.

This fine record closes sweetly with the ballad "Consider Me." Eddie Loves You So is a very personal statement from one of the 20th century's Soul icons, and he is in great vocal form throughout. I really dug the fact that Floyd still sounds like "Mr. Knock On Wood," not some contemporary young artist trying to mimic the real deal. Cheers to everyone involved with the making of this CD. Let's hope there are plans to record a follow-up album!

Bob Putignano is a contributing editor at BluesWax. You may contact Bob at: bob8003@yahoo.com web site: www.SoundsofBlue.com. Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com