CrossRoads CD REVIEW – Al Corte’ / Mojo / Self 12 Tracks
This is the 2nd release by Al Corte’. Hailing from Arkansas these days, he has lived and played in Buffalo, Florida and Arizona. He played a cowboy role on TV, raced motorcycles, and has his own production company. Al’s father and uncle were both hometown singers. His debut release covered many classic tunes. The music on this release has Memphis all over it. It was made in Willie Mitchell’s studio in Memphis, supported by the High Rhythm Section, and other members of the Memphis music scene. The music is all written by His musical partner Ron Miller wrote all of the musical material, with Corte’ assisting on some tunes. The title cut “Mojo” opens the CD. The music jumps thru the speakers, with the horns and Michael Toles’s guitar really stand out. Things stay lively with “Love Thang”. This one is very soulful, with horns and background singers. On “Memphis Moon.” Things slow down a bit. The band fulfills its job here, but the vocals could be a bit more upfront and forceful. The 4th track “I’ll Never Lose My Love for The Blues” really shines. It is a good blues-rock tune. Brad Webb provides the fine slide guitar on this one. John Nemeth adds his harmonica to the Memphis soul tune “Juke Joint Jive”. It’s a bit slower than one might have thought with the song title, but it is a quality tune. I always love a good soul/gospel ballad. “Blessed to Have You Near” fits the bill. The piano adds a nice touch. The gospel feel stays with “It’s a Good Day”. It is more upbeat than the last tune, and sounds good. “I’m Ready” is an uplifting soulful tune. The melody is quite good. John Nemeth is back on “What You Hold”. This one is more blues with a stream of gospel flowing through it. Up next is a solid soul love tune called “We’re Just a Boy and a Girl”. The organ helps the vocals float along in this ballad. The pace picks up with a big sax solo near the end of the tune. On “Touch” the music gets funky. “Boo” Mitchell puts a great touch on his synthesizer solo. Closing things out is “You Hurt Me So Good”. This is a fine soul tune, and it really caps off the CD well. This is a slower tune with tasteful supporting vocals. This is for sure a Memphis cd. Corte’ does a nice job here. If you are a soul fan, this one should fit nicely into your collection. The production is clean and crisp. The horns, background singers and other gests really make this a full-fledged production. This is tasteful and all soul and many gospel fans will enjoy it. The material was strong. Check this one out folks!
Reviewed by Mark Nelson