Saturday, January 8, 2011

Resolutions: Outskirts of Town

Jimmy Witherspoon: Outskirts of Town


Outskirts of Town is a classic blues song. B B King, The Allman Brothers, and Big Bill Broonzy are only a few of the artists who have recorded it. Here is a man who loves his girlfriend or wife so much that he can’t imagine how any other man could resist her. So he resolves to move them out of “harm’s way”. As much as he loves her, there is a lack of trust,, to be sure. But when the song is done right, you don’t judge him, because his pain is so real. When I hear the song in my head, I hear Jimmy Witherspoon singing it.

‘Spoon, as he was called by many, perfectly demonstrated the overlap between blues and jazz. He worked with small jazz combos, like the Gerry Mulligan Quintet heard here, but his singing was always pure blues. His delivery was smooth, but it ached with emotion, especially on the ballads. Outskirts of Town is a perfect example.

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