This direct-to-disc release, recorded in the church sanctuary of Blue Heaven Studios, is so fresh and pure... Talk about up to audiophile standards! The immediacy, the dynamics - slam and delicacy alike - are just so startlingly real. There's nothing lost. It's positively lifelike.
Cutting engineer Kevin Gray, using Blue Heaven's Neumann VMS 70 lathe with an Ortofon cutter head and amplifiers, and recording engineer Katsu Naito have made available for your playback the closest thing possible to a live, in-person performance. With direct-to-disc recording, the signal from the microphone is transmitted directly to the cutter head, which then cuts the grooves into a raw lacquer. There's no middleman. No tape. No tape hiss. No distortion or other artifacts inherent in any other type of recording.
And the music? It's killer! The session was recorded the weekend of the 12th annual Blues Masters at the Crossroads in October 2009.
Singer Howard Tate cracked the R&B Top 20 three times in the late 1960s, left music and endured hardship and anonymity for nearly 30 years and beginning in the early 2000s returned to his rightful place as one of America's most revered soul performers.
In the mid-'60s, Garnet Mimms urged producer Jerry Ragovoy to check out Tate, and from 1966 to 1969 Tate and Ragovoy recorded about 10 singles, the first for the Utopia label, the rest for Verve. "Ain't Nobody Home" (1966), "Look At Granny Run Run" (1966) and "Stop" (1967), all written or co-written by Ragovoy, each charted R&B Top 20. But to rock audiences, Tate was best known as the original performer of "Get It While You Can," which became one of Janis Joplin's signature tunes. Tate's debut album, Get It While You Can, was released in 1966 to tremendous acclaim. Rolling Stone called the album "a spectacular showcase of suave, muscular good-powered singing, heavily influenced by Sam Cooke, with a joyous, shrieking falsetto that became Tate's trademark."
Music luminaries have recognized and celebrated Tate's trademark voice throughout the years, with Elvis Costello calling him "the missing link between Jackie Wilson and Al Green." Among the well-known musicians that have covered songs originally recorded by Tate are Joplin ("Get It While You Can"), Jimi Hendrix ("Stop"), Hugh Masekela ("Stop"), B.B. King ("Ain't Nobody Home"), Ry Cooder ("Look At Granny Run Run") and Grand Funk Railroad ("Look At Granny Run Run").