Monday, 16 February 2009

Al 'Coffee' McDaniel - A Shoe Is A Shoe - 2006 - CPA Records

I was introduced to this CD a little while ago, and I really think that it should be highlighted here on these pages on Soulchoonz. This CD was released in 2006 and is still available via CD Baby. It's a 2 CD set, disc one being a straight Blues CD, and disc 2 being a super soulful collection. I definitely know which disc I love! Lol. Al 'Coffee' McDaniel is a strong, deep vocalist and reminds me a little of a mix of Will Wheaton and Teddy Pendergrass. Al is also, as you will gather from the CD cover, an accomplished guitarist and so he blends brilliant vocals with accomplished musicianship. His talents have led him to work alongside luminaries such as Billy Paul, Gene Chandler, Denise LaSalle and Joe Simon. All legends in their own right, and this speaks highly of Al's abilities. One listen to these soulful, essential, cuts and you'll soon be ordering or downloading this album!

Should you want to get a feel for my first choice, which is track 8 on the CD. "They Don't Know" harks back to the recent Father's Children album and their "Something I Want To Say To You" track. Love that and you'll love this! And love it you most certainly will. The guitar in this is really something else and the groove simply stops you dead. I'd, personally, buy this CD for this track alone. Simply mouthwatering Y2K Gospel. "Sorry Is Not Enough" comes at you with a Ron Isley vocal approach and a Will Wheaton roughness, shuffling, shimmying beats and summery guitar. Love it! A strong sax opener on "Nice 'N Slow" does no harm at all, and this easy jazzy and funky offering does not disappoint. I am sure that you will especially approve of the tapping groove of "The Love Of A Woman" and the quality 2-step groove of "Very Special Lady", complete with Isleys styled guitar and sun-drenched sax. Another real winner is the Isaac Hayes styled vocal of "I Cry On The Inside". Plenty of female vocals add a sexy edge and the Spanish guitar works great too. Haunting synth and cool piano are the order of the day for the haunting "What I See In You", which delves into a great groove, tinkling ivories and moogy bass. This a a real monster and so ask that you don't overlook this cut. I am very grateful for being made aware of this. How many other gems have slipped under the net over the years?!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

Buy the CD