Friday, April 24, 2009

STAX OF DVDS: Read what Philadelphia Inquirer's Nick Christiano Writes about "Sam & Dave"

If you haven't visited the Stax Museum Satellite Record & Gift Shop lately, check it out for recent additions, including the new CD by Booker T. Jones, "Potato Hole," which is getting rave reviews. Another is the documentary The Original Soul Men: Sam & Dave."

Here's a review from our friend Nick Cristiano at the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Capturing the magic of live performances
By Nick Cristiano
Inquirer Staff Writer

Like James Brown, Sam & Dave made great records, but they were even more dynamic on stage, where their galvanic showmanship revealed another, essential dimension of their artistry. That's what makes Sam & Dave: The Original Soul Men such a treat.

This two-hour documentary tells the story of Sam Moore and Dave Prater through interviews with Moore himself (Prater was killed in a 1988 car crash), former Stax Records chief Al Bell, and bandleader Paul Shaffer, who notes, "Sam and Dave were two preachers on stage, preaching the gospel of soul."

The heart of the set, however, is the performance clips, which capture Sam & Dave in all their sweaty, gospel-fired glory on hits like "Soul Man," "You Don't Know Like I Know," and the magnificent ballad "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby." The spectacular intensity of these performances is highlighted further by the relative tameness of a few lip-synched outings.
(There are also some oddities - a string-laden version of Bacharach-David's "Make It Easy on Yourself" and a teaming with TV host Mike Douglas (!) on an otherwise great, gospelized version of "Lucky Ol' Sun.")

Thanks, Nick.