by Freddy RobinsonFreddy Robinson


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Freddy or Freddie (it is spelled both ways on the album covers) Robinson's trek from Mississippi to Arkansas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Memphis before becoming a Muslim and changing his name to Abu Talib is well documented. Though he did not entirely drop out of the music business, he did lapse into obscurity. Half of these sessions, originally from the LPs At the Drive-In and Off the Cuff for the Stax affiliate Enterprise label, were ostensibly his swan songs. They emphasize the burgeoning soul-funk of the time that was bordering on disco. Robinson did indeed stray from his blues roots for a more commercial sound, replete with strings, backup singers, and horns. Still, it's clear Robinson was a very talented guitarist, harmonicist, and especially singer. The first three cuts, featuring Jazz Crusaders pianist Joe Sample and bassist Wilton Felder show the most promise, during the talkin' low-down dirty autobiographical "Bluesology," a soul-blues winner "I Found My Soul Last Night," and the straight 12-bar blues "At the Drive-In." The next 11 selections veer into the more contemporary R&B of the time, somewhat varying from the outstanding instrumental opening before the after-the-fact singing on "Off the Cuff," the goofy "Medicine Man," and hokey tunes like "Try It One More Time" and "I Remember." There's also a good 'n' slow typical Chicago blues "Changing Dreams," a very good take of Percy Mayfield's "River's Invitation" with Sample's outstanding piano playing, and some fine backup horn playing from trumpeter Oscar Brashear and trombonist George Bohannon. The remainder of the date features previously unissued material done in Memphis at the Stax studios with the back-up band of Isaac Hayes and the Memphis Symphony in a string of forgettable, derivative soul-pop tunes. You get a remake of "The Creeper," a pure cop of Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff" titled "Sister Hot Pants," a Wes Montgomery/George Benson sound-alike "Black Fox," and the Ray Charles flavored "Good Feeling." A fine interpretation of the standard "After Hours," featuring Robinson's tasty guitar, is the clear highlight of these generally overproduced, bland tunes. It is a shame that only a handful of these cuts will appeal to blues fans who may have appreciated Robinson, knowing his previous work with Jimmy Dawkins, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, or Charles.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/01/2003
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667172820
catalogNumber: 728
Rank: 75428


  1. Bluesology
  2. I Found My Soul Last Night
  3. At the Drive-In
  4. Off the Cuff
  5. Medicine Man
  6. The River's Invitation
  7. Changing Dreams
  8. Try It One Time
  9. Georgia on My Mind
  10. You're on My Side
  11. I Remember
  12. Here Comes Your Good Thang
  13. House Hunting
  14. After Hours
  15. The Creeper
  16. Sister Hot Pants
  17. Treat Her Like a Lady
  18. Good Feeling
  19. Teddy Bear
  20. Black Fox

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Freddy Robinson   Primary Artist,Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Red Holloway   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Sample   Organ,Piano
Paul Humphrey   Percussion,Drums
Clydie King   Vocals
Darlene Love   Background Vocals
Monk Higgins   Organ,Conductor,Electric Piano
Oscar Brashear   Trumpet
Willie Hall   Drums
Delbert Hill   Baritone Saxophone
Deborah Lindsey   Background Vocals
Harold Mason   Drums
Vescovo   Guitar
George Bohanon   Trombone

Technical Credits

Percy Mayfield   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Monk Higgins   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Freddy Robinson   Photo Courtesy
Bernie Lowe   Composer
Kal Mann   Composer
Avery Parrish   Composer
Mack Rice   Composer
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes
Sidney Sharp   String Section

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