ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Booker T "Potato Hole" Album Review

Updated on May 16, 2009

"Potato Hole"

Part One

 

My, how time does fly.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over 20 years since the legendary Booker T. Jones released a solo album.

Twenty years since the man that helped bring us “Green Onions” and “Hip-Hug-Her,” along with countless other soul classics, sat down at his Hammond B3 organ and hammered out a solo album.

As the namesake in Booker T. & The M.G.’s (with Duck Dunn on bass, Col. Steve Cropper on guitar and Al Jackson Jr. on drums), Jones was at ground-zero during the golden age of Memphis’ Stax Records during the late 1960s.

With the label using Booker T. & The M.G.’s as its house band, the group played on more bonafide soul and R&B classics than you can shake a stick at.

And apparently, the creative fire deep inside the often-imitated organist is burning hot again, and now he has favored a new generation of soul lovers with Potato Hole, his first solo outing in over two decades.

A potato hole is a 19th century African-American term for the hiding spot that slaves used to keep food they smuggled from their owners hidden and safe.

And while Potato Hole is a Booker T. Jones album, it is not a Booker T & The M.G.’s affair.

Jones’ backing band on this one is the Athens, Ga. based jam/roots band, Drive-By Truckers.

Also heavily involved was another larger-than-life figure, Neil Young. Young played guitar on nine of the disc’s 10 all-instrumental cuts.

Despite this being Booker T.’s show all the way, meaning plenty of groovy Hammond B3, there is still a lot of guitar on Potato Hole. And Jones gets in on the axe-slinging, as well. He plays both acoustic and electric guitar on the title track.

"Green Onions"

Part Two

 

Both Young and the Truckers fit in right at home with Booker T. (Jones actually recorded and toured as a member of Young’s backing band in the not-too-distant past), but the M.G.’s they’re sure not.

They don’t really push Jones on Potato Hole. The pairing does work OK, but it just doesn’t really gel, or really even let the Truckers add much of their own stank to the project. Mr. Young does have a few “Crazy Horse” moments on the album, however.

Perhaps it would have been too much to ask for Duck and the Colonel to have been invited to take part in the shindig, but one can always wish.

However, a more inspired pairing might have been placing Booker T. in the studio with Medeski, Martin and Wood for something more substantial. And with that eclectic jazz trio, maybe something more off the beaten path.

While it may not be as filling as one could have hoped for, it’s still a pure delight to hear Jones wail away on the Hammond B3, no matter what the circumstances.

Still, it’s not a total wash - there’s still meat on the bones of Potato Hole.

After Booker T.’s glorious organ knocks out the first couple of bars of “Pound it Out,” the album-opener, Young jumps into the fray and sleezes things up considerably with some dirty electric guitar. “Pound it Out” is the right choice for a name on this one.

Potato Hole largely stays within the confines of that grungy, funky pocket for the duration of the disc.

Booker T. busts out a couple of covers on the disc, starting with Outkast’s “Hey Ya.” It’s a good choice, but one can’t help but miss Andre 3000’s semi-crazy vocals all over it. Booker T. does lay down some cool gospel licks on the tune.

Tom Wait’s “Get Behind the Mule,” another stomper, is also taken for a spin and the words are not missed nearly as much as they are on “Hey Ya.”

“Nan” and “Warped Sister,” back-to-back tracks near the center of the album, shine as highlights. “Nan” is on the softer side of things, with “Warped Sister” kicking the pace back up a couple of steps faster.

With so many things lined up in its favor (Booker T., Young, the Truckers and some foot-tapping cuts) it’s really a shame that at the end of Potato Hole, one is left feeling a little bit unsatisfied.

On the upside though, maybe we won’t have to patiently wait another two decades for Booker T. to author another disc.

Booker T for sale

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)