It comes as little surprise to hear that Albert Washington's 1973 album, Sad and Lonely
, combines blues and soul, much as his slightly earlier sides for Fraternity did. The only difference is that the music sounded a little bit more polished, in an early-'70s sort of way. It was perhaps also tweaked a bit by being recorded in Memphis, some of the arrangements including backing by the Memphis Horns
and backup vocals by the woman singers the Girls. However, in all it's a respectable but ordinary set, without the songs or the quite top of the line vocal and guitar to lift Washington above journeyman status. "You're Messing Up My Mind" bears the heavy influence of James Brown
's funk, and there are echoes of the Memphis soul of the likes of Otis Redding
here and there. But for the most part it's a more relaxed endeavor, "My Mother's Prayer" making the artist's gospel leanings most explicit. Indeed, the album probably came along a few years too early for Washington to fully benefit from it -- his somewhat laid-back blues-soul fusion wasn't terribly widespread at the time, but would become more commonplace in blues music in the final decades of the 20th century. The 2004 CD reissue on Westbound adds a previously unreleased outtake from the sessions, a cover of Jimmy Hughes
' classic "Steal Away."