Week 24: Mrs. Jones

By: Lafayette

Jun 10 2009

Tags: ,

Category: 1973

42 Comments

Hello, friends! We’re back once again for another week’s worth of the good music.

Week 24 is here – and with it some deep, bluesy, oldschool southern soul from 1973, Denise LaSalle’s sophomore album “On The Loose” released on Westbound Records.

I’ve had some luck digging the crates lately…mostly because my favourite spot has been making space for new shipments of vinyls – they’ve been having this great sale going on for weeks now (think $1/album). I’ve been there like 10 times raiding the aisles – literally, alphabetically and genre by genre. For just as many weeks I’ve been hiding my loot from the wife out in the garage (since her general standpoint in the matter is that I’ve had enough, forcing the “bring one album home, get rid of one album” principle onto my sometimes feverish favourite pasttime) until I’ve had time to sort out some duds in the collection to be replaced. So with dozens of new albums just waiting to be brought inside to be ripped, I manage to stumble upon this Denise LaSalle album that I bought years ago. Curious as I am, I took it out for a brush-me-up spin – and was instantly hooked.

But like SB said it in a recent discussion; Denise LaSalle albums are often hit or miss material…there’s plenty of albums out there in circulation with Denise just going through the motions – but when she’s good, she’s awesome. In my opinion, this often tends to coincide with Denise having something special to say…and she usually does, if and when she writes the songs herself. Lucky for us all, “On The Loose” includes four of her own songs – and the entire album is produced by Crajon Enterprises…owned and run by the husband and wife team of Bill and Denise Jones (yep, that’s the very same Denise alright, and the reason for the kinda cryptic blog post title).

And after doing some research, my guess is that her then husband Bill is the main reason for Denise’s need to let the extra steam off – making this album a winner. Just read this excerpt from David Freeland’s excellent book “Ladies Of Soul”

………………………………………………………………

For a short period following the success of “Trapped By a Thing Called Love” (her 1971 gold single and 1972 album), LaSalle effectively maintained a dual career: joint owner of Crajon Enterprises and a star soul performer. By 1974, however, she had split with Bill Jones, given up the company, and had left Chicago altogether.

“My husband [was] a very nice man, but I think my career overshadowed him. He was lost. After I got hit records out, he got lost. You know, how can I be Denise LaSalle’s husband? He felt like he was nobody, I guess. He was just a lost soul. You know, he was a chef by trade. He refused to work as a chef because he said, ‘Denise LaSalles’s husband shouldn’t be a chef.’ But now, what can you do? You gotta work somewhere; you gotta do something. And consequently he didn’t know, so he started drinking. And so we just separated after that. He just went off into a state of alcohol, and we separated. Good man, nice person, and I’m sorry that happened to him. Only that could have driven me  away from him, ’cause I loved him dearly. We got into the stage where there was no growth from him and he refused to grow, and I just moved. I just movd out of the house, car, everything. I just moved to Memphis. And just relocated, started all over again with nothing, rented me some furniture, put it in my apartment and everything. And finally he gave up the house and moved out. You know, everything worked out. We’re good friends right now.”

………………………………………………………………

AMG’s Stephen Cook actually agrees with me on this album, making it their “AMG Album Pick” in her discography. Check out AMG’s bio on Denise here, and the great review on the album right here.

The four cuts on the album penned by LaSalle/Jones herself are “A Man Sized Job” and “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home” on the A-side, and the B-side’s wicked “Your Man And Your Best Friend” and “Making A Good Thing Better” are to die for – but the rest ain’t half-bad either…like her take on Bill Withers “Lean On Me” and the socially conscious “There Ain’t Enough Hate Around (To Make Me Turn Around)”…all of them aptly handled by arranger Bowlegs Miller. Like the review over at Bad Cat Records tells it: “In fact, the only mis-step on the album is a needless cover of Jeannie C. Riley’s ‘Harper Valley PTA’.” – a dash of country for good measure gone horribly wrong. Still, all in all, a perfect album to be posted here!

Now, just listen to the bassline on this one:

I urge you to get your mittens on a copy of this beauty as soon as possible…there’s the one for sale over at Bad Cat Records for $15, one $16.50 copy over here and yet another copy here for about $25 – just do it!

Props are due to both Mr. and Mrs. Jones for the musical experience…as always and until next time – thank you for the music!

(Ps. We would like to dedicate this post to the loving memory of Musicmeiho – our friend, long-time follower and benchmark blogger colleague, who would have loved this post and the chitlin’ circuit soul offering. “Love the music”!)

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42 comments on “Week 24: Mrs. Jones”

  1. Don’t sleep on this one! As always, please leave a comment – share your opinion on the post and the album with us! 😉

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    Still, any artist or legal copyright owner who whould rather not see their music or other creations on this blog, please leave a comment with a valid e-mail address and we will sort things out A.S.A.P. If you do download any music or any other copyrighted material, please delete download within 24 hrs and hit the record shop. Always support the real artists whenever possible!

  2. Thanks Laf. Denise is another one of those artists who is hit or miss with me. But if the sample is any indication, this one should be a kicker!

    • Hahaha! Read the damn post before you regurgitate your opinions in the comments! People might start thinking you’re slow! 🙂

      Just kidding! Yes, your point has been duly noted (AND even mentioned in the post)…but don’t worry – this is “the good shit”…apart from that country cut that had me climbing the walls!

      /Lafayette

      • Just making sure you got my point!

        Alright, I didn’t read the post before I commented! So shoot me! 😛

  3. Got a couple of her 45s… nice to finally get to hear a full length. Thanks as always 🙂

    Off to work now, but I’ll hit y’all up later.

    Peace and blessings.

  4. Dope. westbound is actually one of my favorite labels.

  5. Thanks again 4BB

  6. I’m satisfied …(with this album)

  7. lets hope the wife doesn’t read your blog… thanks for sharing

  8. Thanks for this one! Gonna listen right now….the sample sounded nice! 😉

  9. Another fantastic post! Thanks Brothers!!

    Hey – I have a question for anyone who might read this & care to respond. I’m visiting NYC next week (first time) and wondering if anyone can recommend record stores for me to hit up! Thanks and stay up y’all!!

  10. Hey Nic,
    click here and give me a holla!

    • Yeah, Nic…click there and give him a holla (and then tell me all about SB’s secret places)! 😉

  11. Laf, excellent again and again. I own the vinyl and at least to my ears is the best album after her masterpiece “Trapped by a thing called love”.

    Soulbrotha, i wish i was that Nic and coming to NYC… i hope someday brother…

    But i can tell you that on 30 of July I’m gonna visit London……

    • Thanks, Nikos!
      So what brings you to London? Business or pleasure?
      You want a list of vinyl digs you shouldn’t miss, just holla! 😉

      /Laf

    • Nikos, you should contact Cosmo and see if you can get the London hookup! 😉

  12. Muchas gracias!

  13. thanks for this one fellas! cant wait to listen to it! hope all is well….

  14. Much Thanks Laf!! If this LP is anything like the sample, It’s gonna be some fire. Thanks for all your hard work!!

  15. Can’t wait to hear this one. Good lookin’ out Laf & keep up all the great work brothers. Much appreciated!

  16. Been a bit slack of late, but glad to see the cream still being skimmed for our pleasure. First time I heard Denise sing was ‘Married but not to each other’ which was a sizable hit for the lady at the time and sounding like thes best of Homer & Banks, and is still my favourite song by the lady. In answer to Nikos, ‘Here I am again’ is consequently my favourite LP by the fabulous singer/songwriter, but her first 3 LPs are all formidable.

    This solid LP for me nicely bridges the sound of the 3 LPs and still has a lot of the Hi-Sound in its grooves. I blame Denise Lasalle’s husky voice for initially thinking OV Wright was a woman – damn I feel better for admitting that !! Fortunately, the boldness of track A3 was not carried forward to album 3. Why oh why ? In fact the covers are all the least impressive for me. My faves are the insistently funky ‘Man size job’ and ‘Your man’, but I cannot get ‘I’m over you’ out my head – a taste of the sweeter soul to come on her 3rd LP. Spellbinding, and over far too soon !!

    If you ever need a hideout for your secret stash, let me know, Laf. It might mean me moving the furniture around and sleeping in the back garden, but what are friends for ?!!

    Thanks for a great informative write-up – I now know who Crajon Enterprises are and can’t wait to bring it up in conversation on Monday morning.

  17. PS. A well-though out and fitting tribute to Musicmeiho, Laf – right in her Deep/Southern Soul vibe. We miss you Lady M.

  18. waddddup fam! man I wosh I could nab sumthin from here yall been thrown the efff down, how can I be down ?…anyways just wanted to say hello none the less and how is everyone….

  19. Holy crap! $1 per record – I want in on that action!!!
    Thanks for another fantastic share!

  20. Find more Denise LaSalle in my mp3blog and forum searches:

    HERE and
    HERE

  21. Thanks for your informative post Laf 😉

    More Denise available here:

    http://toffeesoul.blogspot.com/2007/07/denise-lasalle.html

    • You’re welcome, Moo! 😉
      And thanks for the links…posted like 2 years ago and the links are still alive…which is both rare, great and kinda brilliant!

      /Laf

  22. Many thanks for this one!

  23. Well, another week, another great voice here!
    Her eyes are enlighted by her so soulfull voice!
    Thanks a lot, Lafayette, and you guys for the other informations on
    that amazing princess.

  24. Many Thanks real good music !!

    Thanks for your blog !

  25. Superb! thank you

  26. […] 42 Samamidon – "Wild Bill Jones" live @ Kisielice Rating: -1.0 View count: -1 Blogs Week 24: Mrs. Jones « Blog Archive 10 Jun 2009 var mLink = null; var mProvider = null; var mArticle = null; mLink = […]

  27. Thanks for this great singer Pedro


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