Review: “A Tribute to Bobby,” Mick Hucknall

Mick Hucknall’s soulful vocals on hits like “Holding Back the Years,” “Money’s Too Tight to Mention,” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” brought worldwide success to the band Simply Red. On his latest solo disc, A Tribute to Bobby, Hucknall takes on the hits of Bobby “Blue” Bland and does himself proud.

 

Bobby “Blue” Bland had his first number one R&B hit in 1957 with “Farther up the Road,” the catchy and soulful tune that kicks off this disc. By the early 1960s, Bland had rattled off eleven top ten R&B hits on his way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

 

I can honestly say I have never listened to Bobby “Blue” Bland, or at least not intentionally, and that’s a shame because this guy is a great songwriter. Hucknall rips through impressive numbers like “Ain’t That Loving You,” “Yolanda,” the smooth “Cry, Cry Cry,” the heartfelt ballad “Chains of Love,” the groovin’ “I’m Too Far Gone,” and the infectiously melodic “Lead Me On.”

 

Hucknall brings an updated sound to these songs through his instrumentation, while staying true to the sound of the day. His soulful, smooth and powerful vocals fit these songs like a glove.

I’ve always been a little hesitant to purchase “tribute” collections because usually there are too many artists, many of whom I have never heard of, and the versions are usually not good. This collection is nothing of the kind. One artist, great versions, and a lot of soul.

 

MP3: Chains of Love

 

MP3: Farther up the Road

 

Mick Hucknall Official Website

 

Bobby “Blue” Bland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

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