J. Blackfoot

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J. Blackfoot   

Former singer of The Soul Children from 1968-1978, which scored hits like "I'll Be The Other Woman", "Hearsay" and "Don't Take My Kindness For Weakness". He went solo in 1978 and scored a hit in the early 80s with "Taxi". Born John Colbert in 1947, Memphis, Tennessee,,.'J. Blackfoot' is a nickname Colbert picked up during his early years due to his habit of walking barefoot on the tarred sidewalks of Memphis.

Blackfoot spent six months as lead singer with a new line-up of The Barkays (after original members were killed with Otis Redding in a plane crash).

John then became the lead singer of the Soul Children, the Memphis-based group that scored 15 R & B hits between 1968 and 1978.

He launched a solo career as J. Blackfoot with the single 'Taxi,' which climbed into the R & B Top Ten in 1984. Following This Blackfoot label hopped until settling for a string of albums for Basix and then later with JEA Music, run by members of the Bar-Kays. He even reunited for another "Soul Children" album in 1998 called "Still Standing". Although no longer cracking the charts he remained one of the top artists in the "Soul Blues" and/or Southern Soul markets.

Album Discography

The Soul Children

"The Soul Children" (Stax 1968)

1 I'll Understand
2 Move Over
3 When Tomorrow Comes
4 The Sweeter He Is (Parts I)
5 The Sweeter He Is (Parts II)
6 Tighten Up My Thang
7 Give 'Em Love
8 Doin' Our Thang
9 Take Up The Slack
10 Super Soul
11 My Baby Specializes

"Best Of Two Worlds" (Stax 1971)

1 Bring It Here
2 Thanks For A Precious Nothing
3 Put Your World In My World
4 Give Me One Good Reason Why
5 Got To Get Away From It All
6 The Hang Ups Of Holding On (Parts 1 And 2)
7 Wrap It Tonight
8 Let's Make A Sweet Thing Sweeter
9 Finish Me Off
10 Don't Break Away

"Genesis" (Stax 1972)

1 I Want To Be Loved
2 Don't Take My Sunshine
3 Hearsay
4 All That Shines Ain't Gold
5 It Hurts Me To My Heart
6 I'm Loving You More Everyday
7 Just The One (I've Been Looking For)
8 Never Get Enough Of Your Love
9 All Day Preachin'
10 Get Up About Yourself

"Friction" (Stax 1974)

1 I'll Be The Other Woman
2 What's Happening Baby
3 Can't Let You Go
4 It's Out Of My Hands
5 Just One Moment
6 We're Gettin' Too Close
7 Love Makes It Right

"Finders Keepers" (Epic 1976)

1 Highway
2 Goo-Bye Is Not The Only Way
3 We Got To Get Our Thing Together
4 If You Move I'll Fall
5 A Little Understanding
6 Midnight Sunshine
7 Finders Keepers
8 I'm Just A Shoulder To Cry On
9 One Broken Home For Sale

"Where Is Your Woman Tonight?" (Epic 1977)

1 Head On Collision
2 If You Want A Woman This Time
3 Take Me Make Me
4 You Got Me Over
5 (You're A) Diamond In The Rough
6 Where Is Your Woman Tonight? (Part I & II)
7 What You Did To Me Last Night
8 You Don't Need A Ring
9 There Always
10 Merry-Go-Round

"Open Door Policy" (Stax 1978)

1 Stir Up The Boogie, Part II
2 Who You Used To Be
3 Strangers
4 Summer In The Shade
5 Can't Give Up A Good Thing
6 Butt La Rose
7 Hard Living With A Man
8 Believing

  "Chronicle" (Stax 1979)

1 Give 'Em Love
2 I'll Understand
3 Tighten Up My Thang
4 The Sweeter He Is
5 Hold On, I'm Coming
6 Hearsay
7 Don't Take My Kindness For Weakness
8 It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See You Do It)
9 Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
10 I'll Be The Other Woman
11 Love Makes It Right
12 Can't Give Up A Good Thing

"Hold On I'm Coming" (Stax 1997)

1 Hold On, I'm Coming
2 Make It Good
3 Ridin' On Love's Merry-Go-Round
4 Don't Take My Kindness For Weakness
5 It Ain't Always What You Do (It's Who You Let See You Do It)
6 All That Shines Ain't Gold
7 Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
8 Come Back Kind Of Love
9 Can't Give Up A Good Thing
10 Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
11 Summer In The Shade
12 Hard Living With A Man
13 I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To
14 Hearsay

The Soul Children "Still Standing" (JEA Music 2008)

1. Long Ride Home
2. Lil House Big Party
3. Love You for Life
4. The 3 of Us
5. Window Shopping
6. More Than a Woman
7. Too Hot to Hold
8. I'll Understand
9. Tell Me How to Please You
10. The Sweeter He Is
11. Goodbye is Not the Only Way

***1/2 You could just as easily called this the new J. Blackfoot album because the throaty one sings lead on nearly all the tracks, often joined by Queen Ann Hines, Norman Wets , Cassandra Graham and a cameo by Toni Green. Both Blackfoot and West were part of the original Stax Records line up. Hines and Graham are standing in the roles of Anita Lewis and Shelbra Bennet. The foursome logged 11 charting singles  on Billboard's R & B charts from 1968 to 1978, most notably "Hearsay" and  "I'll Be The Other Woman", which both crossed over to the pop charts as well (at #44 and #36 respectively).

Blackfoot (born John Colbert) hasn't lost any of his powerful rasp and fairly tears it up on the yearning ballads "Long Ride Home" and "Love You For Life" (featuring the dynamite Toni Green) and "More Than A Woman"

Other than the strong live version of "The Sweeter He Is" the second half, beginning with the clumsy "Too Hot To Hold" is noticeably inferior. But not by much. This is a solid "Modern/Retro" whatever you-wanna-call-it Soul album.

J. Blackfoot

Taxi  J. Blackfoot "City Slicker" (Sound Town 1983)

1. Way of the City
2. Taxi
3. Street Girl
4. One of Those Parties
5. Where Is Love
6. I Stood on the Sidewalk
7. City Slicker
8. All Because of What You Did to Me
9. Can You Hang

*** Taking a cue from Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City", Blackfoot's first solo outing is a concept album about a young man going west. The album covers basic street life themes with "Street Girl", "One Of Those Parties", "Can You Hang" and "City Slicker" which incorporates 80s rap into his mix. The opening track "Way Of The City" is too close to Wonder's song for comfort! Blackfoot's drifter is also from Mississippi too. Despite the slightly dated production this remains one of Blackfoot's better discs. He scored a Top 10 hit on R & B charts with the smooth, soulful "Taxi".

"Physical Attraction" (Sound Town 1984)

1. The Girl Next Door
2. Hiding Place
3. Don't Stop
4. I Don't Remember Loving You
5. Don't You Feel It Like I Feel It
6. You Got Me Hummin'
7. See Saw
8. Kum Ba Ya

J Blackfoot U-Turn "U-Turn" (Edge 1987)

1. Breaking The Monotony
2. Tear Jerker
3. Sunshine Lady
4. U-Turn
5. Warning
6. Bad Weather
7. Don't Get Funny With My Money
8. Friendship
9. Respect Yourself
10.If I Don't Love You

*** Decent follow up to "Physical Attraction" is a basic Southern Soul platter with no frills (no strings, horns, tricks) but still affected by 80s production sound. The title cut was released as a 12 inch single and made an impact on the street if not the charts. The album, however, peaked at #67 on Billboard's R & B Albums chart.

"Loveaholic" (Basix 1991)

1. After the Tone
2. Love-A-Holic
3. Just One Lifetime
4. That's How Lies Get Out
5. Leading Lady
6. She's Only Human
7. Take Me to Your House
8. Comebacks Don't Come Easy

**1/2 8 song debut for Basix Records is a mixed bag. The title track is a good Memphis thumper- the kind Wilson Pickett used to throw down. Blackfoot has the gritty voice to bring it home. He sounds especially sexy on slow jams like "She's Only Human", "After The Tone" and "Just One Lifetime", the latter being a duet with Anne Swanigan-Hines. There's also some weak tracks from writers Homer Banks and Lester Snell such as the clumsy "Comebacks Don't Come Easy" and "That's How Lies Get Out".

J Blackfoot Room Service "Room Service" (Basix 1993)

1. Now Is the Time
2. Until Then
3. You Are My Glory
4. We're Closer Now
5. Losers Weepers
6. You Deserve an Oscar
7. Summer Lover
8. Let Me Be the One

*** Once again that plastic 80s synth n' drum machine attack creeps up on a few tracks but Blackfoot's gritty vocals and sinewy phrasing save the day. The set takes a drive in Tyrone Davis country with a slinky bedroom jam "Now Is The Time". But hits a pothole on the bland "Until Then" with Lynn White. Things pick up again in the love devotional "You Are My Glory". Elsewhere, "Losers Weepers" is a smooth, midtempo number and the sparse "Summer Lover" builds to a climax with a staccato of female backup singers. The disc also features Memphis Horns saxman Andrew Love.

"Reality" (Basix 1995)

1. Times Like This
2. Storyteller
3. Let It Be Me
4. I Messed Up
5. This Bed
6. Let Me Put You up (For the Night) Part II
7. Taxi '95
8. Always and Forever
9. How Could You
10. I Stood on the Sidewalk
11. Sweat

** It's telling that the best song here is an update of his smash "Taxi" ("Taxi '95") as Homer Banks, Lester Snell et al fail to deliver truly remarkable songs. If it wasn't for Blackfoot's chops there's be little to recommend about this record. Additionally the pop ambitions of the production strip much of the soul away. Things perk up on two funky cuts, "My Bed" and "Sweat" as the remainder are mediocre contemporary soul snoozers.

"This Christmas" (Basix 1997)

1. Christmas Tree
2. Hey! Merry
3. This Christmas
4. He Shall Be Called Wonderful
5. Ave Maria
6. Please Come Home for Christmas
7. He Shall Reign
8. Santa's Got the Blues
9. Ave Maria - (TRUE instrumental)
10. Christmas Medley
11. Away in a Manger

J Blackfoot Stealling Love "Stealing Love" (Basix 1997)

1. You Can Make It
2. Better to Have and Not Need
3. Be That Way Sometimes
4. So Good
5. For the Right Reasons
6. You're My Heartbeat
7. Your Mouth Wrote a Check
8. Stealing Love
9. Working on My Weakness
10. Jill

*** Memphis all star Thomas Bingham, who played and wrote with Willie Mitchell and Al Green during the Hi Records heyday, is on board to co-write 8 songs (with Blackfoot himself), produce, play guitar, arrange and mix. The steady rhythm on "You Can Make It" sets the tone on this fine modern soul album. "Be That Way Sometimes" percolates with a groove the Staple Singers would love. "You're Mouth Wrote A Check" is a top shelf Southern Soul headbobber and both "So Good" and "Stealing Love" turn up the heat for the ladies,

  "Having An Affair" (Basix 1999)

1. Show Me
2. I've Been Having an Affair
3. I'm Not Your Man
4. Full Time, Part Time
5. Shake It Down
6. Put a Little Something Down on It
7. Sometimes
8. Let's Ball
9. I'll Understand
10. I'll Be over When It's Over
11. I've Been Having an Affair - (Remix)

***This tight collection had hit potential all over it. Hard-hitting soul pop like "Show Me", "I'm Not Your Man" and "Put A Little Something Down On It" are all polished, catchy gems that should be saturating radio. Same goes for Rich Cason's terrific slow churning "I'm Having An Affair". Blackfoot's vocals are smokier than BBQ ribs on this cut. There's also some Zapp & Roger-style funk via "Let's Ball", a splendid take on Gregory Abbott's smash "Shake It Down" and Isaac Hayes & David Porter's "I'll Understand", which Blackfoot previously cut with the Soul Children.

At His Best "At His Best" (Basix 1999)

1. Better to Have and Not Need
2. Taxi '95
3. Now Is the Time
4. Until Then
5. Just One Lifetime
6. May the Best Man Win
7. Love-A-Holic
8. I Stood on the Sidewalk
9. Let Me Put You up (For the Night) Pt. 2
10. You're My Heartbeat

***Haphazard song choices belie the title of this record. Compiled from Blackfoot's 1991-1997 Basix Records material "At His Best" contains correct choices like "Taxi '95", "Just One Lifetime", "Love-A-Holic" and "You're My Heartbeat". BUT there's several good songs missing ("My Bed", "Sweat") in place of lesser moments ("Until Then") and that renders this compilation inconsequential.

J Blackfoot Same Place Same Time "Same Place Same Time" (Basix 2001)

1. Same Place, Same Time
2. Last One on Your List
3. In My Bedroom
4. Happy Blues
5. Your Spell Is Gone
6. Special Kind of Lady
7. Just Got Paid
8. Too Hot to Hold
9. One Man Too Many
10. I Got to Do What I Got to Do
11. Two Different People
12. Love on the Phone
13. In My Bedroom

**** Another likable showcase for Blackfoot's raspy soul stylings with songs from a cavalcade of writers, including Thomas Bingham, Larry Dodson and Quinn Golden. There's smooth contemporary soul (title cut, "Special Kind Of lady", "Love On The Phone"), slick urban dancers (Johnny Kemp's "Just Got Paid", Roger Troutman's "Your Man Is Home Tonight"), hard Albert King-like soul blues ("I Gotta Do What I Gotta Do"), Memphis soul ("Happy Blues"), make out music ("In My Bedroom") & more. He even improves upon Johnny Kemp's bouncy jam "Just Got Paid". Blackfoot can sing 'em all well but I'm still waiting for the knockout soul record he still has in him. This one's real close.

J Blackfoot It Ain't Over Til It's Ove "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" (JEA Music 2006,2007)

* the 2007 re-issue contains "I'm Just A Fool For You Pt. 2" with Sir Charles Jones and "Two Different People" with Ann Hines

1. It Ain't Over till It's Over
2. I'm Just a Fool For You
3. Keep It in the House
4. L.O.V.E.
5. Stop, Drop & Roll Over
6. Picking up Pieces
7. Man Made Over
8. Same Woman
9. Just Can't Tell Nobody
10. Let It Flow
11. If It Don't Make Dollars

***1/2 It took 5 years but the man with the raspy power in his throat is back to stake his claim. Actually he was back on the charts last year dueting with Archie Love on "Same Woman" (also appears here) but this is his first LP since 2001's "Same Place Same Time". First the good news: J. can still sang and the fabulous Bar Kays join in on the hyperfunky "If It Don't Make Dollars". Plus the title track, the first single, is vintage punchy, forceful J. Blackfoot R & B with a typically potent vocal. Now the bad news...actually there's no bad news. It's a pretty good record but far from a knockout. Part of the problem is too many generic ballads with that requisite, creepin' groove ("Man Made Over", "I'm Just A Fool For You" with Lenny Williams) and banal lyrics like "my head saying no but my heart won't let go/I'm just a fool for you/Yes, it's true". They all sound the same. Forget the pretty bedroom jams let's get J. doing some Deep Soul. Also, a little mo' of that bubblin' bass, flirty female backups and chang-a-lankin' guitar found on "If It Don't Make Dollars" would've been the ticket. "It Ain't Over" sounds great (produced by Larry Dodson) but is short on great songs. That said, welcome back J. (note: "It Ain't Over" was re-issued in 2007 with two extra tracks: "I'm Just A Fool For You Part 2", a duet with Sir Charles Jones and a duet with Ann Hines).

"Woof Woof Meow" (JEA Music 2009)

1. Meow
2. Stay Out of My Lane
3. Mr. Bus Driver
4. Keep Your Phone Turned On
5. Dirty Woman - (featuring David Brinston)
6. Lovers and Friends
7. No Ordinary Pussy Cat
8. More Than A Woman
9. Meow [Pussy Cat Remix] - (remix)
10. Stealing Love
11. Lil House, Big Party - (featuring The Soul Children)

"Soles Of My Shoes" (Locobop 2009)

1. Longtime Comin' (feat. The Barkays)
2. Cool This Fire
3. I Can't Stand The Rain
4. I Choose You
5. Soles Of My Shoes
6. Half Way In, Half Way Out
7. Lovin' On Borrowed Time (feat. Shelbra Dean)
8. I'm A Winner
9. Kindness For Weakness
10. Light On My Feet

"The Last Soul Singer" (Basix 2011)

digital only compilation

1. Loveaholic
2. Taxi '95
3. May the Best Man Win
4. Lets Ball
5. Shake It Down
6. Losers Weepers
7. Storyteller
8. I Messed Up
9. I Stood on the Sidewalk
10. Love on the Phone
11. Just Got Paid
12. One Man Too Many

"The Very Best Of" (JEA Music 2012)

1. Taxi (Live in Selma, Alabama)
2. I'm Just a Fool for You (feat. Sir Charles Jones)
3. Mr. Bus Driver
4. Meow
5. More Than a Woman
6. Two Different People (feat. Queen Ann Hines)
7. I'm Just a Fool for You (feat. Lenny Williams)
8. Picking Up Pieces
9. Put a Little Something Down on It
10. The Sweeter He Is (feat. Soul Children)
11. L.O.V.E.
12. Long Ride Home (feat. Soul Children)
13. I'll Understand


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