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Archives: Nobody’s Fool

Music, for me, has always been a mountain railroad; erratic, often lonely, beautiful, unexpected, moving to its own strange time table. Many are the hours I’ve waited for a train; many are the trips I’ve taken. Dan’s record is one of the stops along the way. „Nobody’s Fool“ is exactly what a Dan Penn record should be – uneven, unexpected, funky, strange, cocky, defiant. It contains everything a southern soul classic should – country, funk, gospel, blues and soul. We put ‚If Love Was Money‘ on the first Country Got Soul compilation. My favourite moments are the quiet ones though, like „Ain’t No Love“ and „Time“. Songs where Dan stops his strutting and lets his guard down. Dan was always one of the great Southern Soul songwriters, and nobody sings a Dan Penn song better than Dan Penn.

(Jebloy Nichols)

 

Some nights ago, when I was tired for many not so funny reasons I stumbled to the next floor, and lit a candle. I was so exhausted that I could imagine to be the first man standing asleep. The house was empty, the neighbours were gone. I had the idea that it would be fantastic to listen to an album from old days I’ve never heard. An album that I didn’t even know existed before I read a review. I somehow felt that it would be the album to make my night, with full volume.

Two options: I would sleep away during the first song, the needle running on empty till the morning comes. Or my senses would sharpen again. When I started  listening, a ghost was knocking on the balcony’s door. I let her in, and she took a shower. She was the girl I had loved in 1973. The year the record came out. She’s long gone, but ghosts even make sandwiches in the middle of a dream.

It’s a short record indeed, Spooner Oldham on keyboards. The singer, a crooner, „Southern style“. Every song hit me like a Zen teacher’s beat on the head of his pupils. The lyrics were strange and thrilled me. The ghost was offering some psychedlic pills, and I kindly rejected the offer. I was in a psychedelic mood anyway. I tried to catch some note mid-air. Free falling. The review writer said this fucking great album would be on par with short masterpieces, like „Pink Moon“, I forgot the other ones. Don’t streamline  the music by calling it country soul.

Under the surface this long-lost record is a treasure hunt, a series of chasing severely damaged dreams. Though I had (and still have) – a matter of patience, the doctor said, not the end of an ear – a very small hole in my left ear, the music flooded my body with ease and sent me rusty places. Old days‘ bars in Memphis, where heaven is a painting in the restroom, the parking lot a burying ground. Speaking of the blues: the ghost was long gone when the last song took its last breath. She waved a cold and drugged hand leaving the smell of burned mushrooms.

 

 


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