Don Covay - The House Of Blue Lights (1969)

Don Covay is an American soul singer and songwriter.

After his mid-60s sucesses with "Mercy Mercy" and "See-Saw", Don Covay had several years without any significantly charting singles, and no LPs. However his songs continued to be recorded by other artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including Wilson Pickett, The Spencer Davis Group, The Small Faces, and others. The most notable was "Chain Of Fools", which gave Aretha Franklin a #1 R&B hit in 1967 (it also got to #2 on the pop chart the following year, and earned her a Grammy). He also helped form a short-lived soul supergroup, called The Soul Clan, with Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Joe Tex, and Arthur Conley. However they only ever released one single together.
In 1969 he recorded his third album, The House Of Blue Lights, which was credited to 'Don Covay & The Jefferson Lemon Blues Band' (which also featured white blues musician John Hammond Jr). It saw him switch gears into a swampy blues mode, with very pleasing results, with plenty of guitar, organ and harmonica. It wasn't quite traditional blues however, as some of the songs featured flute and sitar. And there was one song which stood out from the the rest, the six-minute soul epic "Homemade Love", which featured numerous rhythm changes, some support from two uncredited vocalists, and a brief detour into Ray Charles' "Drown In My Own Tears". It was more akin to the sound of Sly & The Family Stone than the blues of the rest of the record.
The album didn't generate any hit singles, but it turned out to be one of his most interesting releases, fitting in well with the blues/soul/rock fusions that were prevalent at the time.

See-Saw (1966) <|> Different Strokes For Different Folks (1971)
More from Don Covay


1 comment:

jeremy said...

I would love to live in this place.