Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Since departing from the urban R&B group Undacova in the late '90s, Calvin Richardson has recorded infrequently. While his 1999 debut nu-soul set, Country Boy, was a knockout, it was critically underappreciated. He followed this in 2003 with another fine album, 2:35 P.M., and When Love Comes in 2008. That said, his 2009 offering, Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack, a full-length tribute to one of his primary influences, is a wildly ambitious but logical step. The dangers in doing a tribute to a legendary artist, especially Womack, one of soul music's most storied and colorful legends as both a singer and songwriter, is a daunting task. But Richardson's and Womack's ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Since departing from the urban R&B group Undacova in the late '90s, Calvin Richardson has recorded infrequently. While his 1999 debut nu-soul set, Country Boy, was a knockout, it was critically underappreciated. He followed this in 2003 with another fine album, 2:35 P.M., and When Love Comes in 2008. That said, his 2009 offering, Facts of Life: The Soul of Bobby Womack, a full-length tribute to one of his primary influences, is a wildly ambitious but logical step. The dangers in doing a tribute to a legendary artist, especially Womack, one of soul music's most storied and colorful legends as both a singer and songwriter, is a daunting task. But Richardson's and Womack's voices are very similar, though the latter's is not as rough as the former's and has more gospel in it, which works very well in adding to most of these songs. Rather than radically re-interpret Womack's songs, Richardson sticks close to the original arrangements, and as a result, is able to use his own rather unique vocal phrasing to set his versions apart. This works best on tracks such as "Hairy Hippie," the beautiful ballad Womack wrote for his brother that is equal parts Memphis and Nashville. Richardson gets to the heart of Womack's lyric and sings it like a tribute, and exponentially so -- the songwriter for his brother, the younger singer for his hero, thereby expanding the song's meaning. Another high point is the duet with Ann Nesby on "Love Has Finally Come at Last," where he allows his gospel roots to shine. "Woman Got to Have It," is a little further from Womack's version. The nu-soul groove is everywhere apparent, and Richardson revels in it, having a direct feel for the link between past and present. The strangest, most elliptical moment here is "Across 110th Street." Richardson doesn't have Womack's grit, it comes off sounding more bewildered, confused, and disillusioned than the deep, declamatory statement of day-to-day life on the streets that Womack gave us. In all, Richardson pulls this set off. It's a fitting paean to Womack, but also a sign of his own maturity as a vocalist who is in full possession of his gifts.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/25/2009
  • Label: Shanachie
  • UPC: 016351577924
  • Catalog Number: 5779
  • Sales rank: 22,518

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Calvin Richardson Primary Artist, Vocals
Daniel Moore Piano, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Ann Nesby Vocals
John Raymond Trumpet
Derek Scott Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Tony Hightower Background Vocals
Tres' Gilbert Bass
Michael Burton Saxophone, Soloist
Justin Gilbert Hammond Organ, Clavinet, Hammond B3
Charles Gray Violin
Tony Hightower Background Vocals
Latonya Givens Background Vocals
Artia E. Lockett Background Vocals
Jorel "J-Fly" Flynn Percussion, Drums
Daniel Moore Piano, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer
Twin Cities Horns Horn
Justin Verhasselt Trombone
Evan Bendit Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Derek Scott Guitar
Artia Lockett Background Vocals
Evan Benidt Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Charles Gray Violin
Technical Credits
Harold Payne Composer
Darryl Carter Composer
Patrick Moten Composer
John Raymond Programming, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Truman Thomas Composer
Randall Grass Executive Producer
Timothy Lee Executive Producer, String Contractor
Tres' Gilbert Producer
Calvin Richardson Author, Associate Executive Producer
Tony Otero Engineer, Mastering
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