THIS IS probably one of the greatest songs that’s ever come out of black American music,’ announces Ricky Ross over the piano intro to Deacon Blue’s live version of ‘The Dark End of the Street’ (1991). ‘I first heard it done by Gram Parsons, and then by a guy called Ry Cooder . . .
Originally sang by James Carr, a man recalled by Quinton Claunch as ‘a very reserved, religious-type person (16 Corners cover Carr better than I could) this archetypal ” cheatin’ ” soul ballad has been done over under sideways down by all sorts of musicians and in so many styles (23 and counting?), it’s most recent reincarnation done by Cat Power (here) is again a testament to the connectivity of this black soul song written by 2 country white boys… Dan Penn and Chips Moman.
Throwback: James Carr – The Dark End Of The Street (download)
Though no one would know, until now I suppose, I’m a Burrito Brothers fan, and although this version isn’t the strongest, I sometimes (not always) prefer it to the original. Not to mention, The Gilded Palace Of Sin from which it came is for lack of a better term, classic.
Throwback: Flying Burrito Brothers – The Dark End Of The Street (download)
A pinch of Joe Tex for good measure…
Throwback: Joe Tex – The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) (download)