Bronze 1971 / Esoteric 2013
Going South and out of misery with a devil-may-care attitude and low altitude.
By 1971, JUICY LUCY, led by two blues nuts now, guitarist Micky Moody and singer Paul Williams – neither a founder of the band – fully unbolted their initial Delta squeeze in favor of laid-back country soul, and did so gracefully, be it on their own “Mr. A. Jones” or THE ALLMANS’ “Midnight Rider”. The secret of this successful move lay in the fullest realization of the players’ potential, rather than the songs selection, although the group’s original “Jessica” can challenge the lazy rap on Bobby Darin’s “Harvest”, punctured with Jim Leverton’s bass, in the irresistibility stakes.
Those are thrown high with opener “Mr. Skin”, where Rod Coombes’ cymbals build a whole new funky foundation under SPIRIT’s jive for the others to shoot from, which they do, especially when Chris Mercer lets rip on piano and sax in “Big Lil” and Glenn Campbell sprinkles the rifferama of “Midnight Sun” with steel guitar topped with counterpart’s slide solo. Sadly, there was no much truth in the warm whiff of “Future Days”: by 1972, no band founder was in the line-up, and the end was nigh. Yet with this combination in action, juices were flowing freely and tastily.