Sweet Pea Atkinson
Get What You Deserve
Blue Note Records
Sweet Pea Atkinson is an R n’ B vocalist who began as a singer with the Don Was produced “Was Not Was”. In 1982 they had a top ten single “Walk the Dinosaur”. That same year Atkinson released his debut album “Don’t Walk Away” on Island Records also produced by Was. Since then Atkinson has been both a featured and background vocalist for Lyle Lovett and also appears on albums by Bonnie Raitt; Bob Seger; Solomon Burke and others.
In 1997 Atkinson was the lead singer of “The Boneshakers” with producer/ guitarist Randy Jacobs and he appears on the album “Book of Spells”. He is also a featured vocalist on Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers 2017 album “The EastWest Sessions” still featuring Jacobs on guitar.
Was, whose real name is Donald Feigenson, has become a well know producer/bassist having produced over 90 recordings including four albums by Bonnie Raitt and six albums from The Rolling Stones including 2017’s “Blue and Lonesome”. Other artists produced by him include Roy Orbison; Bob Dylan; Van Morrison and Delbert McClinton. In 2012 Was became President of Blue Note Records.
Was recently signed Atkinson to Blue Note. Three tracks were produced by Was while the remaining seven tracks were produced by Keb Mo’. The band includes Atkinson, vocals; Jacobs and/or Keb, guitars; Was or Reggie McBride, bass; James Gadson, drums; mostly Michael Bearden or Jamie Muhoberac, keys; and Joe Sublett, saxophone. Mindi Abair and Darrell Leonard guest on sax. Several other keyboardists and background vocalists also lend their talents.
The songs produced by Keb include his own “Slow Down”, co-written with John Lewis Parker, and the title track off of his 1998 Grammy award winning album; a fabulous version of “Ain’t No Love in The Heart of The City” a hit for Bobby “Blue” Bland in 1964; “You’re Welcome, Stop On By”, co-written by Truman Thomas and Bobby Womack, and first recorded by Myra Barnes a.k.a. Vicki Anderson in 1975; another Keb original “Just Lookin’” from his 2011 album “The Reflection”; “Just Another Lonely Night” originally recorded by The Temptations in 1965; the George Jackson penned “Last Two Dollars” recorded by Johnnie Taylor in 1996; and the title track “Get What You Deserve” written by Jerry Seay, an original member of the Atlanta based funk rock band “Mother’s Finest”, and sung by Atkinson with backing vocalist Vida Simon. Old school R n’ B at its finest; Jacobs is featured on guitar with Keb on five of the above tracks. This is soulful funky fun.
If that weren’t enough Was selected and produced three additional tracks. Two of them were first recorded by Freddie Scott in 1966 and 1967; “Are You Lonely For Me Baby” and “Am I Grooving You”. On these background singers Maxine and Julia Waters add just the right touches.
“You Can Have Watergate” is a relatively obscure tune written by James Brown and recorded by Fred Wesley and The JB’s in 1973. Abair joins Sublett on saxophone and they create a terrific groove while the background singers chant…”you can have Watergate give me the bucks and I’ll be straight…some money”. Fabulous!
Atkinson and company deliver the goods. This album should provide you with many hours of listening pleasure.
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