February 23, 2012

Bobby "Blue" Bland - legend but not a household name.

To most people, the mention of James Brown, Sam Cooke or Otis Redding brings an instant recognition - those are household names in the Pantheon of Soul and Rhythm & Blues. Bobby "Blue" Bland, not so much. No good reason why. His collected work over the decades features hit after hit and one memorable classic after the next.

As an inspiration to countless musicians he's very high on most lists. There is no mistaking a Bobby "Blue" Bland track. His soulful slow-burn is legendary and a trademark to his inimitable style. Yet somehow he hasn't achieved the broad commercial success many of his contemporaries have. Well, it's still early and Bobby is still with us, and luckily for all of us, his entire catalog is still in print, thanks to the folks at Ace Records in the UK and, to a lesser extent, Universal Music.

So I would suggest, if you don't know who he is, by all means check out his work - you can start at just about any point in his career and land on something wonderful, and like I said, it goes back decades.

But in the meantime, here is his 1965 single for the Duke/Peacock label, I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around). You'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

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