R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

Catch The Flyer

16 JUN 10 DAVID NATHAN

Nudge It Up A Notch, the 2008 collaboration between pioneering Stax house band member Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere, one of pop music's most distinctive vocalists (notably from his tenure with The Rascals) might have been seen as a one-off project. But on the new release Midnight Flyer, the two pair again for a tighter collection of songs.

Cropper started out as the guitarist with Booker T. & The MGs, the house band at Stax in the '60s, and has subsequently contributed mightily as a producer and songwriter to the world of soul music and beyond. Cavaliere helped usher in the term "blue-eyed soul" to the pop music vernacular with hits like "Good Lovin'," and "People Got To Be Free."

Midnight Flyer -- produced by the pair with songwriter/musician Tom Hambridge who contributed to Nudge It Up A Notch -- exudes a solid confidence. With well-defined songs such as "You Give Me All I Need," the party favorite "Move The House" and the rousing "Midnight Flyer," the album shines with the natural exuberance that comes from a clearly joyous musical partnership.

Cropper and Cavaliere put their own stamp on Ann Peebles' Memphis classic "I Can't Stand The Rain" and on "I Can't Stand It," a hit for The Soul Sisters back in the day. Of special note is Cropper's instrumental "Do It Like This," which closes out a 2010 release that is a funky testament that soul music is still alive and flyin'.

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    You Give Me All I Need

    Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere, from Midn ...