My fellow New Hampshire resident Mighty Sam McClain will be releasing his latest record, Betcha Didn’t Know, on City Hall Records July 21. It’s been a while in the releasing, but blues and soul fans will quickly figure out it’s worth the wait.
Betcha Didn’t Know finds McClain, a singer who had some downs earlier in life (luckily, the last couple decades have been mostly up), in fine fettle, belting his deep “red clay” Louisiana soul in front of a full horn section.
Definitely worthy of being featured as the album’s centerpiece, the title track is a midtempo jazz piece that showcases McClain’s vocal chops. At 66 the guy still has total control over his vast dynamic range. There’s blues all over the record, but Mighty Sam infuses it with more contemporary southern soul this time around.
Old fans will wilt over “Just Want to Be,” a gospel-soul love song of the kind that dominated the charts in the early ’70s; McClain still does it better than most people on the planet. Speaking of ’70s material, the guy’s got a love for the funk and takes every opportunity he can to throw it down, e.g. “Funky Love” and “Can’t Stop the Funk,” a live performance with which we’ll leave you.
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