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Solomon Burke – Make Do With What You Got

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2001 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Solomon Burke, known as the king of rock ‘n’ soul, follows up his Grammy-winning Don’t Give Up On Me with a new collection of songs; some of which were penned by fellow inductees: Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Van Morrison, Hank Williams. Those with a more active role in the creation of this album include Dr. John, who wrote the title song, and The Rolling Stones, who selected “I Got the Blues” from their 1971 album Sticky Fingers for Burke to record.

Producer Don Was accentuates Burke with a talented collection of musicians and back-up singers. Each member’s skills will garner interest in their own projects. The standouts are Ray Parker Jr. on guitar and Rudy Copeland on organ.

Most of the songs deal with love. The longing for love in the rockin’ “I Need Your Love In My Life” and the gospel-tinged, yearning to the heavens in “Let Somebody Love Me.” The pain of losing love in “It Makes No Difference” and “I Got The Blues.” There’s no better example of the pleasure of being in love than “After All These Years,” which was co-written by Burke. It is a touching song about a couple still in love after the children have all grown up and left the house.

Burke has an amazing singing voice; it is noteworthy for both its beauty and power. With it, he captures the essence of these songs by flawlessly expressing the emotions involved. Even though he only co-wrote one song, he taps into the songs’ stories through parallels in his own life. He gives of himself to share vulnerabilities that reside within all of us, defining soul music as he creates it.

In this instance, you shouldn’t follow the wise advice of the title track. You really need this album in your collection before you can Make Do With What You Got.

Catch this music legend on tour:

Friday, March 18, 2005
Palace of Fine Arts Theater
San Francisco, CA

Saturday, March 19, 2005
Amoeba Music – In Store Appearance
San Francisco, California

Saturday, March 26, 2005
East Coast Rhythm & Blues Festival
Byron Bay, Australia

Tuesday, March 29 2005
Amoeba Music – In Store Appearance
Hollywood, California

Wednesday April 6, 2005
Private Concert
Geneva, Switzerland

Saturday, April 30, 2005
McDowell Mountain Blues Festival
Phoenix, Arizona

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • http://www.thebeautifullull.com Tom Johnson

    I agree on Burke – he’s incredible, but I disagree about this album, or at least Don Was’ influence on it. Way, WAY too glossy. The honest, earnest rawness of Don’t Give Up On Me is what made it as beautiful as it was. This album has an overproduced sheen to it and it’s hard to get through that shimmering perfection to find real heart very often. There’s some incredible selections – his take on Dylan’s “What Good Am I?” is stunning and haunting, but the album as a whole suffers with a much too bright production. It’s a shame.