Eddie Hinton

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Eddie Hinton

Born Jun. 15 1944 Jacksonville, Fl. Hinton is one of the greatest white soul singers of the modern era- dubbed "the white Otis Redding". His guitar playing can be heard on hit records by Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, Johnny Taylor, Elvis Presley, Bobby Womack, Otis Redding & more with the Muscle Shoals [Alabama] Sound Rhythm Section from 1967 to 1971. Hinton was just 22 when he was invited to the Shoals area by fellow songwriter and producer Martin Greene. The Hinton/Greene songwriting and producing team produced several country/soul hits, including "Cover Me," and "It's All Wrong But It's Alright" for Percy Sledge. It was until 1978 that Hinton had a record under his own name, the Capricorn Records, "Very Extremely Dangerous". In 1982, Jimmy Johnson of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section took Hinton into the studio to record a half dozen songs for a new album, but that project was never released. Hinton's personal life fell apart soon after. Seemingly always a "hard luck guy" (after all he turned down joining the Allman Brothers before they made it big! Oops), Hinton was living on the streets in Decatur, Alabama when he ran into an old friend, John D. Wyker. Wyker saw to it that Hinton again had housing with the plan to record again. With the help of some friends, Owen Brown and Jeff Simpson, Wyker began recording Hinton at Birdland Recording Studio and the new songs were combined with material recorded by Jimmy Johnson in 1982. The result was "Letters From Mississippi". He began touring on the buzz from this album. He was soon signed by Rounder Records and two albums were released. He was working on a third, he suffered a fatal heart attack. Hinton died far too young at age 51 on July 28, 1995. Since then four compilations of unreleased material have surfaced and further cemented Hinton's reputation as one of the most criminally-ignored soul singers of the modern era.

Album Discography

Eddie Hinton Very Extremely Dangerous "Very Extremely Dangerous" (Capricorn 1978)

1. You Got Me Singing
2. Concept World
3. I Got the Feeling
4. Shout Bamalama
5. Get off in It
6. Brand New Man
7. Shoot the Moon
8. We Got It
9. Yeah Man!
10. I Want It All

**** Smack dab in the middle of the disco era (1978), Hinton dropped a fabulous, authentic soul album like he was completely unaware of what the kiddies were diggin' at the time. Backed by the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section (Jimmy Johnson, David Hood, Barry Beckett, Roger Hawkins) plus the Muscle Shoals Horns (Harvey Thompson, Ronnie Eades, Harrison Calloway, Charles Rose + Dennis Good), Hinton shouts and wails through 9 originals and a cover of Otis Redding's "Shout Bamalama" like his life depended on it. Interestingly, originals like "You Got Me Singing" and "I Got The Feeling" sound even more like Otis than the cover song. Hinton was one of the best if not thebest white soul singer of the modern era, revered by musicians, adored by other artists but unlucky with the buying public. Such a defiantly deep soul record in the era of bell bottoms and Bee Gees was a risky concept from the get go. 27 years later soul aficionados are sure glad he tried.

"Letters From Mississippi" (Zane 1987)

1. My Searching Is Over
2. Everybody Needs Love
3. Letters From Mississippi
4. Everybody Meets Mr. Blue
5. It's All Right
6. Sad and Lonesome
7. Uncloudy Days
8. I Want a Woman
9. Ting-a-Ling-Ling
10. I Will Always Love You
11. Wet Weather Man
12. I'll Come Running (Back to You)
13. I Believe in Our Love

**1/2 In 1982, Hinton began recording with guitarist Jimmy Johnson (from Muscle Shoals rhythm section) to record an album that wasn't completed. Hinton had various personal trials thereafter and was allegedly living on the streets in Alabama when he ran into an old friend, John D. Wyker. Wyker saw to it that Hinton again had housing with the plan to record again. Wyker gathered the 1982 tracks recorded with Johnson and had Hinton record new ones to fill an album. Hinton sings with intense passion, perhaps from years of frustration, but is frequently stymied by the cold, stiff production (primarily the sound of the drums and/or drum programs). This was the 80s after all and Hinton's timeworn voice and style doesn't match with the then current technology. Hinton is rockin' hard but this sounds like a series of demos. Still "Letters From Mississippi" contains strong songs like "My Searching Is Over", "Everybody Meets Mr. Blue", "Everbody Needs Love", "Sad And Lonesome" & the rockin' title cut but the arrangements are flat. The sparse "I Want A Woman" & "I Will Come Running Back To You" fare better. Further reissues added the bonus tracks "My Love" & "I Believe In Love". The latter is very similar to "Concept World" from "Very Extremely Dangerous".

Eddie Hinton Cry And Moan "Cry & Moan" (Bullseye Blues 1991)

1. Come on Home Baby Lee
2. Cry and Moan
3. I Found a True Love
4. Testify, (I Got to)
5. Cook With Me Mama
6. Got to Have You
7. Good Times
8. Last Train to Loveland
9. Well of Love, The
10. Bottom of the Well
11. Make It Easy on Me
12. I Remember Justice

*** May God bless Rounder's Bullseye Blues label, which had a track record of signing 60s & 70s soul & blues legends got another shot with the label...and so did Hinton. Although Hinton's voice is ragged and torn it's full of passion. There's fine Memphis soul/blues numbers here like "I Found A True Love", "I Gotta Testfy" & the title cut as if it were 1965.

Eddie Hinton Very Blue Highway "Very Blue Highway" (Bullseye Blues 1993)

1. I Love Someone
2. Rock of My Soul
3. Poor Ol' Me
4. Sad Carol
5. Very Blue Highway
6. Call a Blues Physician
7. Good Love Is Hard to Find
8. Just Don't Know
9. Let It Roll
10. How You Goin' to Georgia
11. Standin' In
12. Hey Justine
13. Nobody But You

**** Ever wonder what Otis Redding might have sounded like had he survived to the 90s? Well, this is the next best thing. Hinton's back on a prodigious track for the first time since his heyday, writing quality song one after another like these burnin' 13 tracks mixed with Memphis soul, blues, swamp & Southern rock. Horn-fueled movers like "I Need Someone" and heavy-rollin' groovers like "Rock Of My Soul" all sung with no restraint. There's also a good share of Staxy blues ("Poor Ol' Me") and dead solid perfect Atlantic soul ("Very Blue Highway"). Lest I forget to mention ace swamp soul ala "Hey Justine." The proceedings benefit from heavy hitters like the Memphis Horns (Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson), organist Ron Levy and old friend Jeff Simpson on drums. A triumphant return that was short lived as this was the last record released while the "white Otis Redding" was alive.

Eddie Hinton Hard Luck Guy"Hard Luck Guy" (Capricorn 1999)

1. Hard Luck Guy
2. Can't Beat the Kid
3. Here I Am
4. Sad Song
5. One Mo Time
6. Watch Dog
7. I Can't Be Me
8. Lovin Chain
9. Three Hundred Pounds of Hongry
10. I Got My Thang Together
11. Ol Mister Wind
12. Ubangi Stomp
13. What Would I Do Without You

****1/2 Fantastic posthumous disc combines material Hinton was working on prior to his death plus songs recorded during but never released around the time of the 1978 "Very Extremely Dangerous" sessions. Jerry Wexler calls Hinton "a white boy who truly sang and played in the spirit of the great black soul artists he venerated." If had any doubts they will be alleviated here. Why staggering soulful cuts like "Hard Luck Guy" never made the record is beguiling indeed. Studio legends Spooner Oldham, Donnie Fritt, Dan Penn & more helped to finish the tracks after Hinton passed but you'd never guess. While Hinton's voice was certainly weathered on the 1995 tracks like the Otis Redding cover "Sad Song" in comparison to the full throttle "Here I Am" from '78, the record feels like a whole rather than a mix and match. The humorous "300 Pounds Of Hongry" is great country-soul, "I Can't Be Me", vintage Muscle Shoals soul, "What Would I Do Without You", a classic 60s-style Atlantic slowie and "I Got My Thang Together", a Southern rocker.

Eddie Hinton Dear Y'all "Dear Y'all: The Songwriting Sessions" (Zane 2004)

1. Build Your Own Fire
2. Big Fat Woman
3. Dangerous Highway
4. Cover Me
5. It's All Wrong But It's Alright
6. Every Natural Thing
7. We Got It - (alternate take, Alternative Version)
8. I Still Wanna Be Your Man
9. I'm Coming After You
10. Brown Eyed Handsome Man
11. Dear Y'all
12. Get Off in It (Alternative Version) - (Alternative Version)
13. Super Lover
14. Hymn for Lonely Hearts
15. Just Like Eating Candy
16. Happiness Is Just Around the Corner
17. Things Got to Get a Little Bit Salty
18. I'm on the Right Road Now
19. Dreamer
20. Unlisted Hidden Track

*** First CD in a series of "songwriting sessions" exhibits just how great (and ignored) Hinton was not only as a songwriter but as a singer. Ragged, unbridled and heartbreaking his voice was and it can be heard on the original demos of songs he wrote for Percy Sledge ("Cover Me" and "It's All Wrong, But it's Alright"), Aretha Franklin ("Every Natural Thing"), and Bobby Womack ("Just a Little Bit Salty"). This 19-track collection also includes Hinton originals that should've been covered by somebody, such as "Build Your own Fire", '"Dangerous Highway", "I'm On the Right Road Now" & "Happiness Is Just Around The Corner". If you set aside he was writing for others you can't help but hear a voice that belies that of a mere demo singer. Further sweetening the deal is the inclusion of Hinton's very own first single, "Dreamer" plus two outtakes from Hinton's classic 1978 LP "Very Extremely Dangerous" (alternates of "We Got It" & "Get Off In It"). Regardless of the actual circumstances under which this material was recorded this stands as a solid soul compilation under the name: Eddie Hinton.

Eddie Hinton Playin' Around "Playin' Around: The Songwriting Sessions Vol. 2" (Zane 2004)

1. Big City Woman
2. Down in Texas
3. Love Attack
4. Satisfaction Guaranted
5. Too Much Monkey Business
6. Help Me to Make It (Power of a Woman's Love)
7. Something Heavy
8. Playin' Around
9. Struttin' My Stuff
10. Home for the Summer
11. Man Ain't a Man, A
12. You Can't Do That
13. Still Water Runs Deep
14. You Don't Call Me No More
15. You're All Around Me
16. Have a Little Mercy on Me
17. That's the Way Love Is
18. Railroad Trestles in California
19. Well of Love, The - (live, bonus track)
20. Mr Pitiful - (live, bonus track)

** For completists. Rather mediocre collection is nevertheless fascinating in it's almost voyeuristic appeal. Here are Eddie's demos of Hinton songs given to or later recorded by Wayne Cochran ("Big City Woman"), Shemekiah Copeland ("Something Heavy"), Don Varner, The Hour Glass ("Home For The Summer"), plus two good live tracks ("The Well Of Love", "Mr. Pitiful").

Eddie Hinton Anthology "The Anthology 1969-1993: A Mighty Field Of Vision" (Raven 2005)

1. I Got the Feeling - (live)
2. You Got Me Singing - (live)
3. Concept World - (live)
4. Shout Bamalama - (live)
5. Just Like the Fool That I Was
6. Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom-Boom)
7. Got Down Last Saturday Night
8. My Searching Is Over
9. Sad and Lonesome
10. I Want a Woman
11. Here I Am
12. Sad Song
13. Three Hundred Pounds of Hongry
14. What Would I Do Without You
15. Hymn for Lonely Hearts
16. Something Heavy
17. Everybody Needs Love
18. Cry and Moan
19. Bottom of the Well
20. Rock of My Soul
21. Very Blue Highway

****1/2 Hinton's legend has continued to grow since his death in 1995. Three posthumous releases have nearly doubled the output once available. Most notable was the fabulous "Hard Luck Guy" that combined material he was working on at the time of his death with unreleased 90s tracks. What followed was two sets of demos Hinton laid down during "songwriting sessions" in the late 60s and 70s. This 21-track comp "A Mighty Field Of Vision" is the first attempt to present the very best of the "white Otis Redding". Culled from tracks released on Capricorn, Rounder, Zane, MSS and by the Hinton Estate, this terrific collection of Southern soul, blues, rock and R & B opens with 4 tracks from his lost classic LP "Very Extremely Dangerous" ("I Got The Feeling", "Concept World", "You Got Me Singing", Otis Redding's "Shout Bamalama") before presenting what collectors may be most interested in- three tracks new to his canon ("Just Like The Fool I Was", "Heavy Makes You Happy" & "Got Down Last Saturday Night"). While not his very best they are sweaty, raw and loose and worth having. Next up are a few tracks from his uneven 1986 album "Letters From Mississippi". ("My Searching Is Over", "Everybody Needs Love", "I Want A Woman", "Sad And Lonesome"), four from "Hard Luck Guy" ("Here I Am", "Sad Song", "300 Hundreds Pound Of Hongry", & "What Would I Do Without You"), a couple tracks from the songwriting demo albums, "Dear Y'All" & "Playin' Around", and the last five from his two Bullseye Blues albums- 3 from "Cry And Moan" and 2 from "Very Blue Highway". Very comprehensive indeed but there is, however, one glaring omission- the title track to "Hard Luck Guy". It's easily one of his best performances and it's absence is bewildering. Nevertheless, this tidy introduction to Hinton may finally place him among the great soul singers of the modern era where he belongs.

Eddie Hinton "Beautiful Dream: Sessions Volume 3" (Zane) "Beautiful Dream: Sessions Volume 3" (Zane 2005)

1. Nice Girl
2. You Left the Water Running
3. You Made Me Sing
4. Everybody Meets Mr. Blue - (alternate take)
5. Just Another Wild Love Affair
6. Got to Be Good
7. Beautiful Dream
8. Alleyway
9. I Won't Let You Down
10. Let It Roll - (alternate take)
11. Same Old Thang
12. Lay It on Me
13. Blue Blue Feeling
14. Neighbour Neighbour
15. Walking with Mr. Lee
16. Turn on Your Love Light

*** It's remarkable that Zane Records is still able to dig up 16 more unreleased tracks on the amazing Eddie Hinton. Called the "white Otis Redding" so many times it's become a irritating cliché' but, dangit, it's true. "Beautiful Dream" is the third in a series of "songwriting sessions"- demos Hinton recorded of songs he wrote for other artists, outtakes from his own records and plain ole' messin' around in the studio. The previous installment, "Playin' Around: Songwriting Sessions, Vol. 2" was kinda thin on good tracks so when "Volume 3" was announced I feared what could actually be left in the vault. Surprisingly, this is much stronger than it's predecessor. It fluctuates in quality but everything's interesting, if not entirely successful. Always a "hard luck guy", Hinton never achieved the acclaim he deserved in his lifetime and none of the 6 originals he wrote for others were ever covered. But, truthfully, only the country-soul title cut merits mention anyway. Better is his versions of other folk's songs- especially three written by K. Cater & Fred Styles. The soulful, bittersweet "Nice Girl" is a gem. What a vocal! "You Made Me Sing" is a gut wrenching ballad similar to his "Very Extremely Dangerous"sessions, and the drivin' "Just Another Wild Affair" are as good as anything he's done. On the flip side, only a hardcore fan needs alternate recordings of "Let It Roll" (from Bullseye's "Very Blue Highway") and "Everybody Meets Mr. Blue" (from "Letters From Mississippi") and that's the one drawback of this posthumous projects- some killer- some filler. Had Zane combined the very best of these three "songwriting demos" it would make for an unbelievably good record! (Got my CD-R burner warming up). If you are Hinton fan you simply gotta have it.

"Live At Rosa's Cantina 1979" (Echoes 2017)

1 My Lover’S Prayer (Live)
2 634-57-89 (Live)
3 Get Off In It (Live)
4 True Fine Mama (Live)
5 Brand New Man (Live)
6 A Change Is Gonna Come (Live)
7 Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Start) [Live]
8 Radio Announcement (Live)
9 Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay (Continued) [Live]
10 Shout Bamalama (Live)
11 Crawling King Snake (Live)
12 Can’T Turn You Loose (Live)

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