Mighty Sam McClain: Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)

Track List

>I Wish You Well
>Missing You
>Can You Feel It?
>Feel So Good - Feel So Right
>Stand Up!
>Real Thing
>Use Me
>Rock My Soul
>Hey Baby
>So Into You
>Wake Up Call
>Too Much Jesus (Not Enough Whiskey)

Album Notes

Personnel: Sam McClain (vocals); Pat Herlehy (guitar, strings, flute, tenor saxophone, Clavinet, Hammond b-3 organ, percussion); Scott Shetler (tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Grayson Farmer (trumpet); Russell Jewell (trombone); Joe Deleault (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, organ); Rick Page (drums); Concetta (background vocals).

Liner Note Author: Ted Drozdowski.

Recording information: Cedarhouse Sound And Mastering.

Arranger: Pat Herlehy.

Mighty Sam McClain has never been content to rest upon his considerable reputation as a soul-blues belter. He's always expanding his musical visions and even cut a world music album with Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat, 2010's Scent of Reunion: Love Duets Across Civilizations. Here he drops a whole lot of funk and gospel into the mix for an album that'll motivate your feet even as it lifts your spirit. McClain wrote all the tunes here with longtime guitarist Pat Herlehy, and his soulful playing throughout is a perfect complement to McClain's warm, congenial vocals. They slip into a seductive Philly soul groove on two outstanding tracks: "Tears," with an arrangement that brings to mind the work of Thom Bell with its simmering midtempo groove, and "So Into Me," a fervent love song with a simple heartfelt lyric that McClain delivers with a down to earth passion. The band tips its hat to James Brown on "Rock My Soul," with Herlehy's clattering wah-wah guitar and slick horn stabs driving the funk-heavy rhythm. "I Wish You Well" moves in a whole `nother direction with its combination of R&B horns and slinky reggae keyboards. It's a generous song, wishing an ex the best and singing the praises of unselfish love. The title tune is McClain's prayer of thanksgiving for a life of sobriety and it's based on the complaint of his old friends who told him that his home had too much Jesus and not enough alcohol in evidence. It's a gentle soul ballad that McClain delivers with a winning mix of irony and righteousness. ~ j. poet


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