WFMU Ichiban, Rock and Soul with Debbie D

Monday, February 13, 2012

Joe Tex Month, Day 13: I've Got to Do a Little Bit Better

It's a hit!

Joe's fourth Atlantic/Dial LP is, for me, his best - and one of the best soul LPs I've heard, period. Joe's performances are infectiously joyous, the arrangements on the tunes are exciting (and loaded with guitar!) and it's his best collection of original material ever. The two covers only add to the good natured, hilarious vibe of the entire record.

 It starts with one of Joe's patented responses to a current hit, this time the "Tramp" rewrite "Papa Was, Too" (more on this one on Wednesday) and never lets up. "Watch the One (That Brings the Bad News)" is a great blues vamp about shoe shops, eating chicken, and rattling bags. "Lying's Just a Habit John" is a funny and instructional riff on the "Twistin' the Night Away" melody - it seems there are good lies and bad ones and John's are no good.

And the three that start side two are total jaw droppers. The countryish bowed bass fiddle hook that breaks up the title track is Buddy Killen arranging at its best. "The Truest Woman in the World" is one of JT's greatest sermons ("98% of us are jealous and suspicious and the other 2% are sneaking around!").  And what can be said about the soldier so in love with his girlfriend that he uses her letters to inspire him to get him some more enemies in "I Believe I'm Going to Make It" except maybe . . . "Batman and Robin!"

And then there's "S.Y.S.L.J.F.M" a song so good it gets its own post tomorrow.

Tip top! Get it at the record shop.