I think it took all of three seconds to persuade me to hand over the requisite price, as The Meters launched into their own adaption of that wonderfully funky lurking groove that was one of Lowell George's trademarks (Little Feat's Rock & Roll Doctor is another example). Incredibly funky, great tear your throat out vocal, a complete package that's worth the $US 9.98 they'd be charging over at Amazon if Australian consumers could actually buy MP3s there, on its own. It was lurking there on iTunes when I wrote the original version of this, but has since disappeared, along with the equally worthy follow-up, Pressure Drop.

Seriously, it's that good.

Just as good is the perfectly segue into Hey Julia, a Palmer composition that rhymes Juliapeculiar and fool ya along with eyesessurprises and materializes. Tasty. By this stage you're in bonus territory if, like me, you're of the view that Sailing Shoes is worth the price of admission on its own.

The segue into Sneakin' Sally Through The Alley isn't quite as seamless, but it's bloody close, and the three tracks represent a one-two-three combination punch that few other recordings can match. Interestingly, tracks one and three are backed by the Meters and the intervening Hey Julia has backing from Scots guitarist Jim Mullen (ex-Vinegar Joe and Pete Brown's Piblokto) and percussionist Jody Linscott, presumably recorded in London rather than New Orleans or New York. Very tasty multilayered vocals in there too.

After those three, there's a drop off with the languid intro to Get Outside, recorded in New York with Cornell Dupree (guitar), Richard Tee (piano), Gordon Edwards (bass), and Bernard Purdie (drums). Palmer, his manager or producer Steve Smith certainly knew how to pick their backing musos.

The same rhythm section provides the baking for Blackmail, a Lowell George/Palmer co-write, a tale of deceit that could well be the flip-side of Dixie Chicken


B© Ian Hughes 2012