Eddie Hinton

Very Extremely Dangerous

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In his book Sweet Soul Music, Peter Guralnick described Eddie Hinton as "the last of the great white soul singers," and his debut album, 1978's Very Extremely Dangerous, sounds like a glorious throwback to the salad days of the Muscle Shoals, AL, R&B hit factory of the 1960s, where Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin cut some of their most memorable songs. Hinton had already earned an estimable reputation as a session guitarist by the time he finally got to step up to the mic as a solo artist, and Very Extremely Dangerous features him backed up by the always-expert Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and Hinton's strong and wiry guitar runs fit the group's emphatic support like a glove. (Hinton and his friends also knew how to bring a solid rock drive to these songs without losing their soulful groove in the process.) As a singer, Hinton was never afraid to step on the gas, and if his vocals are sometimes a bit over the top, they're also consumed with a raw and sweaty joy; like Wilson Pickett, Hinton is able to bring a surprising musicality to a shouting style that can express the pleasures of a hard-partying Saturday night ("Shout Bamalama") as well as the tender agony of love ("I Got the Feeling"). It was Eddie Hinton's poor fortune to cut a great blue-eyed soul album just as disco and funk had bumped deep soul off the charts, but Very Extremely Dangerous still stands as a fine example of latter-day soul at its most accomplished.

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