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The Deirdre Wilson Tabac – 1970 – The Deirdre Wilson Tabac

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Beautiful funky rocking soul with jazz blends

The album is hard to describe, it’s a little bit jazzy, soulful and definitely rock influenced. Jazzman’s Gerald helped to blow up interest in the LP by comping the B-side’s “I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes” – a fantastic, swinging jazz vocal number. Jazzman also comped their cover of “Get Back” which is a funked up, jazzy (not to mention campy) version of the Beatles’ classic.  “The Other Side of Life” is an original composition by Tabac drummer Sonny Castella which is a slow, bluesy jam that sounds like Fleetwood Mac with a funk upgrade – nice.

Magic One” is another jazz slinger, giving guitarist Chuck Anderson a chance to let loose. Last but not least is the album’s final song, “I Got To You“, a pop stepper that sounds somewhere between Nancy Sinatra and Diana Ross.

The beauty in this album is how versatile the sound is – no two songs really sound alike.

A1 The Other Side of Life 2:58
A2 (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay 2:48
A3 Let’s All Join Together 2:37
A4 Get Back 2:25
A5 Angel Baby 2:48
B1 The Last Thing On His Mind 3:04
B2 I Can’t Keep from Cryin’ Sometimes 3:20
B3 Look in My Face 2:51
B4 Magic One 3:03
B5 I Go to You 3:27

In April 1969 Billboard announced that RCA had signed a ‘progressive blues-rock band called The Deirdre Wilson Tabac. This was a misleading description of the group, who in fact played a funky brand of jazzy pop, akin to the Rotary Connection. From Philadelphia, they were in fact a trio discovered, managed and produced by Sonny Casella, who’d earlier managed garage band The Magic Mushrooms.

The Tabac featured Deirdre Wilson. Stu Freeman (formerly of The Magic Mushrooms) and Barbara Payne (formerly with the James Brown Revue), backed by session players including jazz guitarist Chuck Anderson (who played the solos), bassist Hugh McDonald (currently with Bon Jovi) and keyboardist Roy Bittan (who went on to be a long-term Bruce Springsteen sideman). The Tabac’s first single coupled two fine Casella compositions, Other Side Of This Life and Look In My Face.

I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes’, a monster tune that DJs have been lugging around in it’s original LP format for years. A swinging 6/8 time signature sets the pace before the vocal trio takes over the groove. ‘Get Back’, a thumping version of the Beatles classic, has seen a UK and US 7″ release and is another BIG tune that’s ready to set any dance floor in motion.

Billboard wrote on April 26 that a driving funky blues beat backs a powerhouse vocal workout that is loaded with top 40 underground and sales potential. Good Sound. The disc picked enough airplay to merit an album, which duly appeared early the following year, but received barely any press.

Sales where low and the trio didn’t last long, though in May 1971 Casella launched a 45 in Canada’s Dafodil label credited to Tabac, “Pairing Turn Around” and “Children Behave” which unfortunately is not included (rather because of some technical oversight I presume) even if they’re both credit on track list.