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March 2009

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Jackie Payne / Steve Edmondson Band
Overnight Sensation
Delta Groove Records

Jackie Payne - Steve Edmondson

I think all of us who have followed Jackie Payne & Steve Edmonson have been waiting for a record like Overnight Sensation. Their latest release on Delta Groove brings everything together to show why this band is at the top of its game and clearly one of the finest Soul/Blues bands out there today. This is a gem of a record. Let’s get to it.

“Overnight Sensation” is Jackie’s ode to his roots and pays tribute to the days when he was living in Texas and being schooled by the likes of T-Bone Walker, Johnny Copeland and others. “My school was a one night stand…and my teacher’s taught me right…they call me an overnight sensation…but its sure been a long…long…night!” School’s out and the grade is definitely an A. Jackie is definitely the lover in the band and he’s working hard on his latest conquest in “Can I Hit It Again.” “Baby, you know…you don’t have to go…stay right here…let me hit it some more.” I think no matter what I say here I’m in trouble so we’ll let it ride.

Up next is an interesting tune, “Mother In Law Blues,” one of three non-original tunes on the record. Seems no matter how you cut it, the mother in law is in the way. “I’m in love with you baby…but your mother’s got to move…I just can’t help myself, babe…I got these old mother in law blues!” Mom’s in the middle of everything and she just needs to go if this one’s going to work out ok.

Lech Wierzynski’s trumpet plays a sweet melody in the background as Jackie works to charm the object of his affections in “Take a Chance on Me.” “Take a chance on me…woman…give me that action…sugar …can’t you see…I’m offering satisfaction.” This is a band that’s honed its chops over the years and you’ll be hard pressed to find a tighter group anywhere.

More horns provide the backdrop for our next cut, “I Got a Mind to go to Chicago”. Jackie’s got an itch to head back to the Windy City to hear some blues done right. “I think I’ll get in my own car…make that long, lonesome ride…I think I’ll park on Maxwell Street…walk up and down that South Side.” A side trip to Buddy Guy’s Legends seems to seal the deal for Jackie’s trip back to Chicago. Steve Edmonson jumps in with a guitar solo to punctuate Jackie’s need for some good blues and all should work out fine.

Muted trumpet by Lech and Carl Green’s saxophone provide the feel for Jackie’s next night out. Seems he’s out on the prowl in “Uptown Woman Downtown Man.” “I’ve looked in the mirror…and I’m sharp as a tack…checking out the chicks…all along the way…who knows…this might be my lucky day…I need an uptown woman…looking for a good downtown man!” Jackie’s strutting his stuff and he’s being picky. My guess is he finds what he’s looking for. “There you are…at the bar…drinking alone in the dark…again…though we’ve never met…I think I’ll call you…my midnight friend”. It’s late and Jackie’s come across a woman who he never approaches…if she’s out it’s because things aren’t going well in her relationship, but she’s not quite available to Jackie’s charms although you’re never quite sure if they’ve hooked up or not.

Next up is Jackie’s take on the Isaac Hayes’s classic, “Your Good Thing is About to End.” Jackie’s vocals throughout have been smooth and seductive and he more that does justice to Isaac’s tune. “Look out…your good thing…is about to come to an end…your real…real…good thing is about to end!”

The tempo and the heat both pick up with “No Money, No Honey.” Jackie needs a woman to support him in his endeavors, but right now funds are tight and his ability to go looking for the perfect woman is limited. The net result is: “No money…no honey!” Our next tune finds Jackie pondering the changes he sees in the woman he loves. She’s wise to Jackie’s ways and as a result, she has a “Bag Full of Doorknobs.” It seems every time Jackie’s away, she changes the locks on the doors and when Jackie returns, he has to sneak in through the window. “That’s why I ever leave home!”

The “She’s Looking Good/I’ve Never Found a Girl” medley is something that Jackie was encouraged to include on the record by Phyllis Otis and it’s a lot of fun. Jackie’s singing style is high energy and he tackles this medley with all the verve of a church revivalist.

Overnight Sensation closes with an instrumental by Steve Edmonson and the band, “Bringing Me Right Back,” and then a very soulful version of the Charlie Rich tune, “Feel Like Going Home.” Jackie’s vocals are dead on and you can feel the emotion in his heart as he sings, “And now Lord, I’m coming on home to you…and I feel like…going home!” Jackie and Steve have the unique ability to make a tune their own, and this is a beautiful rendition of “Feel Like Going Home” with some wonderful B3 organ chords in the background.

This is a classic release by the Jackie Payne / Steve Edmonson Band, and kudos to Randy Chortkoff of Delta Groove for providing them with a forum that enables them to showcase their best work. Classic soul blues / R&B albums in the vein of Otis Clay, Little Milton, Tyrone Davis and all of the masters from before don’t happen as much anymore. Overnight Sensation shows us what we’ve been missing and hopefully, there’s a lot more to come from Jackie and Steve.

--- Kyle Deibler


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