Jul 15, 2014

Black Oak Arkansas ‎- Early Times (Rec. 1969 / Rel. 1974)

FLAC TRACKS+Covers | 189 mb+3% recovery

The material on Black Oak Arkansas' Early Times collection may have been recorded in 1969, but it went unreleased until 1974 by Stax, after the band scored chart success with 1973's High on the Hog and its smash novelty single, "Jim Dandy," named for the band's gruff-voiced lead vocalist, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum. The lineup that would appear on their official debut remained intact from these sessions. Guitarist Ricky Reynolds wrote the majority of the tunes here, and while some of them showed up in different versions in concert and on other compilation records, there is a reason Early Times wasn't released when it was recorded: it isn't very good. While many could argue that Black Oak Arkansas were a throwaway version of a Southern rock group, they'd be wrong. Novelty and comedy were part of the stage show, but despite Mangrum's stage antics, their recordings were deathly serious even if some of the tunes were about getting drunk and laid. Musically, there is great sophistication here the hip horn chart on the opener, "Someone Something"; the whining pedal steel on "When I'm Gone"; the funky blues on "Collective Thinking"; etc. The problem isn't the production it's the songs. They weren't written to reflect a band's identity so much as they were for the various individuals who penned them, leaving the set as a whole unfocused and seemingly unfinished. This one is for collectors only.
1. Someone Something
2. When I'm Gone
3. Let Us Pray
4. Sly Fox
5. Mean Woman (If You Ever Blues)
6. No One And The Sun
7. Theatre
8. Collective Thinking
9. Older Than Grandpa

Jim Dandy - vocals, washboard
Rickie Lee Reynolds - guitar, vocals
Harvey Jett - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Pat Daugherty - bass, vocals
Wayne Evans - drums
Stanley Knight - guitar



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