Night Time Is the Right Time is a two-disc collection of 36 gems recorded by R&B singer Nappy Brown. With one foot grounded in the blues and the other stepping toward soul, Brown's mid- to late-'50s recordings are exciting and impressive. The first disc, with classics like "Don't Be Angry," "That Man," and "Two-Faced Woman (And a Lyin' Man)," is probably the best. …
Nappy Brown is one of the great voices in American music. He makes a triumphant return with an album that swings with the same soulful authority that he exhibited on his hits of a half-century ago. Inspired by stellar backing from musicians including Sean Costello, Junior Watson, and Bob Margolin, specifically chosen for their ability to capture the sound and feel of American music in its heyday, Nappy brilliantly recreates his classic songs, including his signature tune, "Don't Be Angry," and "The Right Time," a song later associated with Ray Charles.
In 1996 Ripete Records brought out The Best of Both Worlds, a pleasantly rowdy electric blues album by Napoleon "Nappy" Brown and the late Kip Anderson, natives of North and South Carolina, respectively. Stocked with standard jump blues material, some of it dating from the heyday of Brown's early successes as a Savoy recording artist, the punchy '90s production makes this a natural choice for cheerful reckless celebration and stress release. Highlights are a cover of Sticks McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee," a jammin' rendition of "Who Threw the Whiskey in the Well," Brown's famous "Night Time," and "Don't Be Angry," Anderson's rockin' "Knife and Fork," and a kicker of a version of "Hit the Road, Jack." If you're fixing to blow off a little steam, want to light a fire under a party, or just need a nice friendly kick in the butt, this might do it for you.
In 1984, Brown surfaced after many years of gospel service and hooked up with Atlanta's Heartfixers, a blues rock band led by guitarist Tinsley Ellis. He's generally in strong voice, managing to find freshness in Ray Charles's 'Losing Hand" and making the most of Bob Dylan and Gregg Allman songs someone unwisely threw his way.
There really are more War best-of packages than the situation warrants, and while the double-CD The Very Best of War is a fine compilation if you don't already have one in your collection, it's questionable whether it was a necessary addition to the band's discography. For one thing, it doesn't differ all that much from the previous two-CD War best-of on Rhino, Anthology (1970-1994). Sure, each has a few tracks not on the other, but both are built around their lengthy string of big hits. Even Barry Alfonso's accompanying essay was adapted from the liner notes to Anthology (1970-1994). Still, this does have all of the big chart hits and a few minor ones, as well as standout album tracks from throughout the 1970s and early '80s that illustrate the band's versatility. Reading the small print on the track listings, it's revealed that half a dozen of these cuts are edits that either appear here for the first time or were only available on previous anthologies or imports.
Ellis' 2005 return to Alligator, the searing guitar-fueled Live-Highwayman, was the live album his fans had been demanding for years. Recorded at a packed club just outside Chicago, the CD took Ellis' extended soloing and heartfelt vocals to staggering heights. Tinsley's first-ever live release. Always one of the most diverse blues-rockers, Tinsley's unique blend of hard-edged rock, simmering soul, Memphis-style R&B and Texas roadhouse is on high-energy display.
In the mid-1980s, The Heartfixers were Atlanta's top blues band and one of the most popular bands in the Southeast. Led by guitarist/vocalist Tinsley Ellis, they packed local and regional clubs and cut two albums for the Landslide label. It was their second album, Cool On It, that brought Tinsley to the attention of Alligator Records and led to his signing in 1988. Since the original release of this recording in 1986, Tinsley Ellis has gone on to become recognized as one of the finest contemporary blues/rock guitarists of his generation. He has recorded two acclaimed solo albums for Alligator and, as of this writing, is preparing his third album. Landslide Records is no longer active, and we at Alligator wanted to make the music of The Heartfixers available again, so more people could discover Tinsley Ellis and this terrific band.
A powerful blues guitarist and an excellent vocalist, Tinsley Ellis dominates his fourth Alligator CD as a leader. His backup band (guitarist Oliver Wood, bassist James Ferguson, drummer Stuart Gibson and occasional organist/pianist Stuart Grimes) does a fine job of inspiring the leader, while slide guitarist Derek Trucks and Albey Scholl on harmonica make notable guest appearances. While Ellis often plays quite passionately and hints at rock, he also performs an occasional quieter piece that shows his more traditional and introspective side. There is plenty of spirit on this generally rousing set. Rolling Stone says he plays “feral blues guitar…non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge…his eloquence dazzles…he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.”