Etta James

Blues in the Night, Vol. 1: The Early Show

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Recorded live at Marla's Memory Lane Supper Club in Los Angeles, this 1986 date finds Etta James in front of a superb combo fronted by Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, with Red Holloway, Jack McDuff, and Shuggie Otis providing the supple and swinging backdrop. Vinson is featured on "Kidney Stew," "When My Baby Left Me," and "Railroad Porter Blues" before the turning the stage over to Etta, who provides a blistering "Something's Got a Hold on Me" and a sultry three-song medley of "At Last," "Trust Me," and "Sunday Kind of Love." The two stars duet on Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love" before Etta closes the show with strong readings of "Lover Man" and "Misty." The small crowd's enthusiastic response makes this a show you wish you were there for; this disc is the next best thing to it.

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