The Decoys: "Shot from the Saddle"

"Formed by veteran record producer Johnny Sandlin, the Decoys features Scott Boyer, David Hood, Kelvin Holly and NC Thurman, who have worked with top artists that include Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Little Richard and Percy Sledge. This CD from Muscle Shoals' legendary Fame Records features powerhouse R&B from these top-notch players, plus guest spots from Spooner Oldham, Bobby Whitlock and Donnie Fritts."

"Thus if you're guessing that SHOT FROM THE SADDLE is a beguiling blend of blues, country-influenced southern rock and straight-ahead Muscle Shoals Soul you'll be guessing right. The singing is soulful, the solos are brief and tasteful and the songs are generally pretty splendid (would you expect anything less from a set that revives Oscar Toney Jr's Down In Texas or Jimmy Hughes' Neighbor, Neighbor as well as Professor Longhair's Her Mind Is Gone, and blends them seamlessly with great Decoys originals like 24-7-365?)." ~ www.jpc.de

Clarence Carter: "The Platinum Collection"
"Of the soul stars who emerged from the Atlantic Records roster in the '60s, Clarence Carter was the one with the closest stylistic ties to the gritty, emotionally raw sounds of Chicago blues; Carter was not afraid to plead for love on tunes like "Slip Away" and "Too Weak to Fight" while sounding just short of lascivious on "Tell Daddy" and "Back Door Santa," and his gruff but expressive voice matched the material on both ends of the scale.

Carter was also one of the last of Atlantic's stars to rise to fame -- his biggest hit "Patches" didn't make the charts until 1969 -- and in 1971 he left for the seemingly greener pastures of ABC Records, and as a consequence his installment in Warner Platinum's Platinum Collection series draws from a smaller body of work than most of the others. But what's here ranks with Carter's best and most lasting work; most of these sides were cut with producer Rick Hall and boasted either his Fame Studios crew or the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section backing Carter, and the tight, forceful funk that was second nature to them was the ideal match for Carter's potent vocals, matching him for emotional force at every turn. " ~ www.allmusic.com