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Gerald McClendon – Let’s Have A Party


Chicago’ s Gerald McClendon is the very definition of “old school.” This stellar vocalist has been performing R&B and classic soul music in the style of Motown, Stax and Atlantic Records for decades, taking great pride in doing his music the way it was done in the 60s and 70s by the Masters, earning him the moniker ”The Soul Keeper.”

McClendon returns with a new album of this “old school,” Soul, Blues and R&B, Let’ s Have A Party, on Delta Roots Records, borrowing the title from a Sam Cooke classic, but making a statement all his own. He teamed up again with songwriter, drummer, and producer Twist Turner for 12 originals tracks, capitalizing on the formula they created for his successful 2020 release, Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now. The duo reassembled the great team of over a dozen players to work on the follow-up project recorded at Delta Roots Sound Studios in Chicago. Drawing again on the talents of guitar men Melvin Taylor, Rico McFarland, Rusty Zinn and Joe Burba, keyboardists Tony Llorens, Sumito Ariyoshi, Brian James and Jim Pugh and incorporating The Delta Roots Horns, including John “Boom” Brumbach and Skinny Williams, and, of course, Turner handled all the drumming plus strings on two tracks.

The album opens with a message we all need to hear in these troubled times, “Keep On Keepin’ On,” with McClendon’ s words of encouragement echoed by Skinny Williams’ sublime saxophone. He then paints the picture of a man whose life has been full of heartache and trouble on the easy shuffle, ”If It Ain’t The Blues.” Johnny B. Gayden delivers the fat funky bass line while McClendon recites the necessary ingredients for a good time on the title track, “Let’s Have A Party.” The Soul Keeper serenades a special lady on the sweet doo-wop flavored ballad “Pretty Girl.” He plays the role of man done wrong during the scorching rebuke “Pack Your Bags And Go.” The R&B portrait of a wayward soul, “Ghetto Child,” is a picture of troubled youth that can be seen on the streets of every city in America. The piano driven gospel sermon, “ You Got To Be Strong,” continues the album’ s theme of hope and determination. McFarland spars with McClendon on ice pick lead guitar for the edgy blues groove “Throw This Dog A Bone,” a radio ready track with Albert Collins’ flavor.

The romantic ode to forgiveness, “ Start All Over Again,” has a sweet country style. Rico McFarland bends the strings while McClendon bends a knee and confesses his sins on the slow burning “I Just Can’ t Help Myself.” Burba lets loose a soaring guitar solo on the gut wrenching blues “I Just Can’ t Take Anymore,” as McClendon pushes the emotional boundaries. Acclaimed Chicago guitarist Melvin Taylor sits in for the finale, “Funky Stuff,” tossing out hot licks to rev up the Windy City block party and close out the set with West Side style. Fans of “old school” soul and R&B will enjoy ‘Let’ s Have A Party,’ from keeper of the soul flame, Gerald McClendon. – Rick J Bowen

Track Listing:
01 Keep On Keepin’ On
02 If It Ain’t The Blues
03 Let’s Have A Party
04 Pretty Girl
05 Pack Your Bags And Go
06 Ghetto Child
07 You Got To Be Strong
08 Throw This Dog A Bone
09 Start All Over Again
10 I Just Can’t Help Myself
11 I Just Can’t Take Anymore
12 Funky Stuff

Website Gerald McClendon

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