Friday, May 5, 2017
J.P. Robinson - What Can I Tell Her?
Some things just need to be out there now and again. Most of the old guard here have had this for years now, but join me in the joy of imagining the jaw dropping moment of new folk discovering this dude.
OH, OH, MY, MY, My Prepare thy selves to receive a miracle!
How is it that there are still these guys who stop you dead in your tracks from the first moment you hear them; guys who are singing great songs with fine arrangements, one after another, and yet even rabid soul fans have heard at best only a stray track or two. Hell, even Howard Tate was better known than John Pooderou Robinson!
It is kind of fitting to drop this bomb in the midst of our O.V. fest, once you have heard J.P. you will see why. Robinson had the same kind of magical timing and control to wring every last bit of passion from every lyric, but he also has that unhinged quality that reminds me of Tate or Little Willie John. If you can listen to What Can I Tell Her or the jaw dropping George Jackson (which easily joins the ranks of 10 best Dylan covers ever) and not at least get a lump in your throat, then we may need to check your pulse.
This was a rare talent whose voice leaps out through the speaker. The songs paint him the ultimate heartbreaking bad boy whose passion always brings them back no matter how badly he has strayed.
He was allegedly an unbelievably intense performer who regularly left women weeping and shrieking in the aisles. Producer Willie Clark recalled
"J.P. seemed to go berserk at the microphone. He was so caught up in the feel of his songs, at times we thought we would have to hit him with a bat to calm him down. He was electric! When he was going to do a recording session, people would try to get in on it just to watch him work. His sessions were like watching a show."
There is a fine essay from John Ridley (Sirshambling of Deep Soul Heaven) in the notes to provide your biographical information on this one. This is a new release and this mp3 sample is provided to hip you to it and get you to go buy one! It is only by our patronage that these amazing discoveries will continue to find light of day. Besides which, how much fun will it be to spring this one on your musically savvy friends?
Full credit to Unkie Cliff on this discovery and the disc.