Sunday, August 22, 2010

Erma Franklin - Can't See My Way

Speaking of soul sisters, time for the cream a la crop. She's cut from the cloth of the highest order, from the legendary Franklin family. Oldest sister of the bunch, her sister Carolyn Franklin, and Aretha Franklin, the first lady (of Chocolate City that is) she is Erma. You could say that these three sisters are the first ladies of soul. Erma's biggest claim to fame may have been "Piece Of My Heart" which was covered by Janis Joplin. But, the delights of this 1969 LP are endless. From her sweeping "Light My Fire", to the classic "Gotta Find Me A Lover (24 Hours A Day)".

"Can't See My Way" is straight haunted. It's a creeping, James Bond-ish, slick soul tune that has all the best qualities of the Brunswick Label sound. Crackling and crisp drums, fuzzed out guitar (that cuts like a knife), congas, piercing horns, and amazing production that shines throughout this whole album. This tune to me, is the absolute blazer on the album.

I can't think of a soul tune that combines the feel of psychedelic 'swingin' sixties and heavy funky soul better than this. Just look at that dress she's wearing on the cover. With the swingin' London inspired threads and Afro hair, it benchmarks a golden part of an era that I'm in love with. A combination of two worlds. This tune is also a long time favorite of mine, made it on a funk comp I put together (just like the last tune posted here) and sounds the best in stereo with headphones on. This is a much more common of an LP than her rare 1962 LP on Epic, but it is highly recommended soul stuff.

Erma Franklin - Can't See My Way

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