“Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now”
Delta Roots Records
Publicity: Blind Raccoon
By Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro © June 2020
Although this seasoned veteran of R&B has been around for quite some time, I only discovered him just ten short months ago when I did a review of a CD by various artists titled “Battle Of The Blues: Chicago vs Oakland”. Here is what I had to say about Gerald’s contribution: “In Chicago, Gerald McClendon is known as the “Soulkeeper”, listening to him singing “Cold In The Streets” will attest to why. Back when I was a nominator for the Blues Music Awards, because of the abundance of greats in the category, “Soul Blues” was always my toughest category to narrow down to my top five. Had Gerald been in the picture, that already large field would surely have been larger.”
Like that release, Gerald McClendon’s newest, and first in over twenty years – “Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now” – is also on Delta Roots Records and is also produced by legendary producer, songwriter and drummer – who himself is a six decade veteran of music – Mr. Twist Turner. That said, all of the disc’s twelve tracks – which were originally recorded over a dozen ears ago – are written by Twist.
On “Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now”, old school soul singer extraordinaire Gerald McClendon – who has been compared to the likes of Z.Z. Hill, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, et al is joined by: Herb Walker, Joe Burba and Mark Wydra on guitars; Roosevelt Purify; Sumito “Aryio” Aryioshi and Brian James on keyboards; Skinny Williams on sax solos; John “Boom” Brumbach, The Delta Horns and an unknown trumpeter on horns; Twist Turner on strings and drums; and Art Love on Bass. With track info no longer available on most of these songs, my name credits on any particular track may be sketchy.
On the title track, as Gerald confidently uses the line “Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now” he’s basically declaring he’s got his shit together and there’s nowhere left to go but up. Vocally and musically, there’s so much soul happening here that this track alone might start you thinking about rearranging that “top five soul artists” list of yours to make some room for this guy.
Playing a game somewhat to “Name That Tune”, when “Where Do We Go From Here” started, I was able to say “I can tell I’m gonna love this song after just three notes”. With Skinny kicking it off on such a soulful and steamy sax lead it was a gimme that this was going to be some slow, sultry and melancholic blues – and most of us know it just don’t get any better than that. After getting caught in the act at a motel, as difficult as it may be to feel any sorrow for him, Gerald’s poignant vocals do make it easy to feel his pain. With the support of the full horn section, precision rhythm and percussion behind them, Gerald and Skinny shine on this one.
Sounding reminiscent of “Members Only”, this is another track on which Gerald emotionally and soulfully pours his heart out in the song. The second you hear him say “She Don’t Love Me Anymore” you’re believing him. Musically – Twist, Art, and Roosevelt – on the drums, bass and organ – once again have the rhythm locked right into place and Skinny’s blowin’ more sentiment through his sax.
While Gerald soulfully laments that “It’s Over Now”, this track – at the hands of Mark Wydra – features some of the disc’s better slow blues guitar licks going on behind him.
So we’re towards the end of the disc and Gerald is still getting caught in the act. This time, however, it’s a bit more serious. This particular lady he cheated on just didn’t tell him ‘”I’m gonna “Cut You Once”‘ but she’s gonna shoot him twice and she’s got him runnin’ for his life. But hold on now, there’s a logical explanation, right Gerald?
After many songs about pain, sorrow, heartbreaks, getting caught cheating and worrying about getting stabbed, shot and run out of town, I love that the song that was chosen to close the disc was extremely uplifting. It’s titled “I Think About You” and it features Gerald lovingly and beautifully letting his lady know that it’s thinking about her that gets him through his trying times. It’s a good feeling, isn’t it Gerald? The easy rhythm, led by soft horn and organ highlights, give what I would have called a song of the year candidate back when it was first recorded, a hymn like feel.
Other tracks on what I believe will be a hugely successful release include: “Groove On Tonight”, “Runnin’ Wild”, “Mr Wrong”, “You Can’t Take My Love”, and “Why Can’t We Be Together?”.
To find out more about Gerald McClendon just go to www.geraldMcClendon.com.. Wherever you go and whomever you talk to, please tell them that the Blewzzman sent you.
Peter “Blewzzman” Lauro
Blues Editor @ www.Mary4Music.com
2011 Keeping the Blues Alive Recipient