Blues Bytes


December 2013

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Lou Pride
Ain't No More Love In The House
Severn Records

Lou Pride

I’m a relative latecomer to the music of soul singer Lou Pride, but after listening to his final album, Ain’t No More Love In The House (Severn Records), I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Pride, who passed away in June, 2012 from natural causes, had a great gospel-influenced vocal style that combined the passion of Bobby Bland and Otis Redding with the blues stylings of soulful blues singers like Fenton Robinson.

Pride’s swan song will be a thrill for old-school soul fans with great Memphis-based funky rhythms, courtesy of the fabulous band (Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Johnny Moeller, Benjie Porecki on keyboards, Steve Gomes on bass, Robb Stupka on drums, Mark Merella on percussion, and Earl Wilson on rhythm guitar) and a sweet horn section (arranged and conducted by Kenny Rittenhouse) and great backing vocals.

The songlist isn’t bad, either, with four Pride originals and seven well-chosen covers. The title track opens the disc, Pride’s best song on the disc. It’s a weary tune about a man coming home to a devastating “Dear John” letter. The other Pride-composed standout is the countrified “We Can Do What We Want.” Other impressive tracks include “I Didn’t Take Your Woman,” a tight reworking of the Ann Peebles hit, “I Didn’t Take Your Man,” and an excellent version of the reggae standard, “Never.”

Pride also sounds great on the bluesy “I Got To Move On Up” (an early Luther Allison tune penned by “Big Time Sarah” Streeter), and transforms the Wayne Newton(!) standard, “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast,” a personal favorite of the singer’s, into a real tearjerker. However, he saves the best for last, with a stunning version of the ’80s pop hit from Simply Red, “Holding Back The Years.”

Sadly, Lou Pride was never able to catch that big break that he deserved. He battled until the end, however, and his final release stands as one of the best soul/blues releases of 2013.

--- Graham Clarke
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