Inez Foxx – 1973 – At Memphis
Review by Soulmakossa
Rip, posting & additional info’s by Nikos
Anyone with a passing interest in soul and R&B surely knows the name Inez Foxx (as in “and Charlie”) via ‘Mockingbird’, a classic in the truest sense of the word that will remembered long after the hit cover by James Taylor (despoiler of old R&B) and Carly Simon is but a greasy stain on the 70’s. They recorded a bunch of great stuff during the early-to-mid 60’s for the Sue and Dynamo labels.
Following her musical partnership with brother Charlie, Inez signed with Volt records in 1971 and headed to Memphis to make herself a record.
Titled – oddly enough – ‘Inez Foxx at Memphis’ , the disc is chock full of high quality early-70’s soul. In turns funky “You Don’t Want My Love (All You Want Is My Loving)” and deep (her cover of Mitty Collier’s ‘I Had a Talk With My Man’), ‘…At Memphis’ is definitely worth tracking down.
Grab the LP if you can. I wouldn’t say that original copies are plentiful, but I don’t believe it’s currently available in reissue, so tracking down the vinyl might be your best bet at the moment.
A1 There’s A Hand That’s Reaching Out 4:05
A2 Let Me Down Easy 3:36
A3 Crossing Over the Bridge 2:54
A4 I Had A Talk With My Man 4:35
B1 You’re Saving Me For A Rainy Day 3:41
B2 You Don’t Want My Love (All You Want Is My Loving) 2:39
B3 The Lady, the Doctor And the Prescription 3:00
B4 The Time 3:58
B5 Mousa Muse 3:50
Best known for her mid-60s, soulful smashes with brother Charlie Foxx (“Mockingbird“, “Hurt By Love“, “Ask Me“) and the duo’s outrageous live performances, Inez Foxx went solo in the late ’60s and eventually recorded a killer LP for the legendary Stax label.
‘Inez Foxx at Memphis‘ is as powerful and in-your-face as the cover shot… While the well-piped Foxx wraps some subtle vocals around the almost loungin’ soul ballad “I Had a Talk With My Man” and the late-night, dreamy slowie “The Time“, she’s really at her finest when rippin’ it up on the rawer cuts.
“The Lady, The Doctor and the Prescription” features the hardest rhythm; a ferocious back beat propels the entire song, with Inez going for some all-out wailing on the outro. The arrangement bestowed on Betty Lavette’s seminal “Let Me Down Easy” is beautiful, Hayes-ian in its tasteful lavishness, and topped off with maybe Inez’s finest vocal tour de force. “Crossing Over The Bridge” starts similarly epic, and then goes into a funky double-time rag. “Saving Me For a Rainy Day” is equally dynamic, construed as it is out of a mellow set-up and a rollickin’, foot tappin’ chorus.
Crackelin’ country soul – by way of Memphis – comes in the guise of the comforting, soothing, mid-tempo head bobber “There’s a Hand That’s Reaching Out“, featuring minimalist string arrangements and gorgeous backing vocals. And there’s plenty of fatback funk in the bouncy “You Don’t Want My Love”, which stars some snappy guitar lines.
The strangest tune here arguably is “Mousa Muse“; with a funky, jazzy instrumental playing in the back, we can hear Memphis DJ Perry ‘The Nightowl’ Allen conducting a short interview with Inez. Her church roots, her brother Charlie and the Stax songwriting team (the then recently deceased Raymond Jackson gets a special mention) are the subject, with Inez further giving advice to young hopefuls.
A slamming, eclectic album filled with powerhouse Southern Soul.