Turn on your Love Light - Bobby Bland
One of the best kept secrets - so far as the British are concerned - in soul music is the wonderful Bobby Bland. He died just over 5 years ago, with barely a ripple over this side of the Atlantic.
But he literally is the point where the blues and soul music met way back in the early sixties. The missing link! And what a point as this belter of a track from 1961 amply illustrates. I'm telling you now, turn it right up from the start for best effect.
It starts pretty uptempo, and then when the drums go it alone, and then Bobby joins in with
"I get a little lonely in the middle of the night"
it really kicks in, just him and the drummer tearing it up. By the time he gets to
"A little bit higher"
he's lain down the template for much of what followed in soul's golden age of the mid to late sixties, providing the original roaring vocal cribbed time and time again by the likes of Solomon Burke and Wilson Picket, and a damn good job they made of it too.
And the band is, as they say, really "smokin' ", with a catchy bass that hooks you so you can't keep your feet still.