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Howard Tate

Blue Day

(Harmonia Mundi; US: 12 Aug 2008; UK: 29 Sep 2008)

Soul legend Howard Tate is 70-years-young on his latest release and has more energy than most musicians half is age, hell more than most artists of any age. He’s best known by rock audiences as the man whose recording of “Get It While You Can” was famously copied note for note by the late, great Janis Joplin. Tate’s ragged but right voice is in fine form on these 15 bluesy tracks that look at the world through eyes fresh with experience. He tenders advice to Amy Winehouse on “Miss Beehive”, offers a sarcastic take on the future on “Hope Springs Eternal”, and opines on race relations on “If I Was White”. Most of the tunes were penned by producer Jon Tiven, who also plays guitar, tenor and alto sax, Hammond organ, piano, harmonica, percussion, sitar and provides background vocals. But make no mistake, Tate’s vocals are the star here. He sings the heck out of these tracks in a voice so soulful that the record should come with a side of collard greens.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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