Earl Gaines

Everything's Gonna Be Alright

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Earl Gaines started his career as the singer with Louis Brooks & His High Toppers, scoring an R&B hit in 1955 with "It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)" for Excello. More solid sides followed for Champion, Deluxe, Hollywood, Ace and Sound Stage 7 into the late '70s before hanging up his spikes. Not unlike his Excello labelmate Roscoe Shelton, he was lured out of retirement and cut new albums in the mid-'90s for Apaloosa and Magnum before cutting this one for Black Top in 1998. Smartly produced by Fred James, who also contributes all the fine guitar work, this leans more toward the blues than soul side of Shelton's musical equation, but his gritty style is best illuminated on tracks like "Is It Good to You Baby," "Two Lovers Are Better Than One," "Every Night of the Week" and the title track. With his vocal chops still in platinum shape, Gaines makes a strong showing with this one. Highlights include "You Put a Spell on Me," "I'll Carry a Torch," "Sittin' Here Drinkin'" and the humorous "Your Butt's Too Big." A winner every note of the way.

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