Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Ruby Starr - Scene Stealer

scene stealer - album reviews

The late Ruby Starr, born Constance Mierzwiak, was a "de facto" member of Black Oak Arkansas and sang on their Top 25 hit "Jim Dandy" in 1974. This is an excellent collection of songs, many written by keyboard player Marius Penczner, displaying Starr's vocal range and dominating personality. Far more commercial than Black Oak Arkansas, that band and their lead singer, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, appear on "Fistful of Love" -- a fun and disciplined performance. You can't really call her version of "Be My Baby" reggae, but you can say it is one of the more interesting takes on the song, with Andrew Love of the Memphis Horns slipping in a wonderful sax at the end of it. "Drift Away," a Penczner original, has the band emulating early Deep Purple, especially the songwriter's keyboard riffs. "Mass Transit" is an interesting instrumental, but what is it doing on an all-too-short album by a vocalist? There are six words in the song, which Starr cameos several times; it's funky stuff that adds to the intrigue, but more activity from the star of the show would have been preferred. "Mass Transit" is one of the best sounding tracks on the record, the band no doubt showing off, but this lady can sing and should've been given an equal chance to vamp. "Maybe I'm Amazed" is a wonderful opening for this album, with Starr -- Ruby, not Ringo -- possessing that Kim Carnes/Bonnie Tyler rasp, giving the woman's point of view. She gives the McCartney classic a gospel feel without the help of a choir or additional vocalists. Impressive. Penczner proves to be a formidable writer; "Morning Glory" is a solid pop tune, and a nice break before the heavy "That's It," the only tune on the disc co-written by Starr. She works well with Penczner, and her overpowering voice makes it feel like she's co-written the rest of his originals. "I'll Meet You Halfway" changing moods again, giving the band a chance to be dramatic, and letting Starr soar. "Love On Ice" brings the album back to heavy pop with more of that Deep Purple keyboard sound, only a little more up-tempo. Scene Stealer is a complete and varied recording by an artist who should have made a bigger impact on rock & roll. ~ Joe Viglione, All Music Guide
More album reviews

scene stealer - track listing

track# song name track time
1 Maybe I'm Amazed (3:02)
2 Morning Glory (2:40)
3 That's It (4:40)
4 I'll Meet You Halfway (3:30)
5 Love on Ice (3:35)
6 Who's Who (2:30)
7 Be My Baby (2:43)
8 Mass Transit (5:00)
9 Fistful of Love (3:16)
10 Drift Away (3:28)

scene stealer - album credits

Scene Stealer David Mayo Scene Stealer Bass, Vocals
Scene Stealer Marius Penczner Scene Stealer Keyboards, Vocals
Scene Stealer Ruby Starr Scene Stealer Vocals, Main Performer
Scene Stealer Butch Stone Scene Stealer Producer
Scene Stealer Jimmy Henderson Scene Stealer Guitar
Scene Stealer Tommy Aldridge Scene Stealer Drums
Scene Stealer Ron Capone Scene Stealer Producer


bigfootkit said...

My very many thanks for all these great posts, more Ruby Starr, Bugs Henderson, Rossington Band, a Potliquor album i don't have and a few that i've never heard of that i'll probably investigate anyway out of curiosity.
My sincerest gratituse to you Skynfan.
Is there anything which you're maybe looking for that i can help you out with in return?
It would be my pleasure, lemmy know my friend.

Skynfan said...

No problem man I thank you just for stopping by. These are all albums that I really get into and it's great to see others that get into my kind of music also. I've found alot of Bugs Henderson and I will post some more soon. Lately I have been searching for all the obscure stuff that Duane Allman was on. But with the help of some good friends ( from Slovakia and Japan )I'm finding most of what I don't allready have.

Again thanks for stopping by and Thanks for the comment.

WVKayaker said...

another fine post....same goes here, I may have a few gems you might be looking for...

Anonymous said...

Wow ! I can't believe I've found so much stuff from Ruby Starr, Her doing
"Maybe I'm Amazed" is the best of any artist I've ever heard... thanks for all the great tunes