Southern Soul and Blues – Howard Tate
Shout Factory DK 10045
Howard Tate is another one of many artists to make a comeback after a long absence, returning to the music business about five years ago after 28 years away. This CD testifies, and rightly so, that it was a good decision. Howard mixes many of his original 1960s r & b hits with other classics from the era, including "Part Time Love", "Sweet Sixteen" and "Every Day I Have The Blues", doing strong renditions for an obviously appreciative crowd in Denmark.
It was interesting comparing these live versions recorded at this concert in 2004 to his 1966-68 original renditions, and Howard’s voice has held up very well, although there is an occasional sharpness to his tone. "Ain’t Nobody Home", "Stop" and "Look At Granny Run Run" , which all hit the r & b charts in the ’60s, are included here. Another one of his originals from 1966 included in his live set, although not a hit for Howard, became a classic when Janis Joplin recorded "Get It While You Can".
Howard’s original producer, Jerry Ragavoy, wrote 11 of the 14 songs. Howard’s eight piece band is first class, featuring a great horn section including Johnny Bamonte’s outstanding baritone sax.
Howard Tate seemed to have as much fun entertaining on this evening just as much as the crowd enjoyed his performance. Howard seems to sum up his life’s musical journey with an outstanding 8:55 rendition of "I Learned It All The Hard Way".
It’s nice having Howard Tate back on the musical blues scene.