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Tami Lynn - Love Is Here And Now You're Gone

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Artist: Tami Lynn

Album: Love Is Here And Now You're Gone

Label: DBK Works

Review date: Jan. 5, 2006

New Orleanian soul singer Tami Lynn had already been in the business for the better part of a decade when her full-length debut Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone appeared toward the end of 1971. In addition to backing up sessions for Dr. John, Sonny & Cher, the Rolling Stones, and Wilson Pickett, she’d made a pair of incredible 45’s, one of which became a belated hit on the dance floors of England. A bona fide classic Northern Soul single, the ebullient “I’m Gonna Run Away From You” had been recorded for ATCO in 1965 after A&R man Jerry Wexler, producer of Dusty In Memphis and countless other classics, had discovered the young singer at a talent showcase. After the song finally found an audience, it was included – probably unwisely – on an album of songs with which it had very little in common. Predictably, the Northern Soul crowd didn’t care much for the other tracks on the album and refrained from purchasing it, sadly relegating it to three long decades of obscurity.

The album was produced by John Abbey, who as a consultant for Polydor’s Mojo soul subsidiary had been responsible for the reissue of “I’m Gonna Run Away From You,” a Top 40 hit in the UK for 14 months after its release. Abbey, a big fan of country music, brought Tami to Malaco Studios in Jackson, Mississippi, to record and chose Loretta Lynn’s “Wings Upon Your Horn” as the opening cut. The first three tracks on Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone have a lot in common with the country-influenced soul of Candi Staton and Bettye Swann. All three are incredibly beautiful and moving songs; after the initial thrill of the fantastic “Run Away” fades, the beginning of the album is what you’ll find yourself returning to over and over again. Lynn’s version of “Can’t Last Much Longer” by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint is particularly wonderful.

With the exception of the string-drenched “Ain’t No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes),” the rest of the album is a whole lot funkier. Aside from the aforementioned “I’m Gonna Run Away From You,” which makes hardly any sense in the context of the album, the best of the later tracks is a rousing cover of the Patterson Sisters’ “That’s Understanding.” The song’s arrangement has more than a passing resemblance to Jean Knight’s massive hit “Mr. Big Stuff,” which had been recorded by a house band at the same studio. “Never No More,” the only Tami Lynn original on the album, is also pretty great. Included as bonus tracks are both sides of the impromptu Cotillion single “Mo Jo Hanna,” which Jerry Wexler produced after he ran into his former protégé at one of her sessions with Dr. John.

For some reason most people seem to have slept on this reissue when it came out a few months ago, but it’s without a doubt one of the better soul albums to have seen its first CD release in 2005.

By Rob Hatch-Miller

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