Another wondrous offering from the revitalized Stax Records, Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere’s disc, Nudge It Up a Notch, arrives just in time to remind the fractured masses how pop, soul and blues music can be a healing force.
Beginning with a fresh rhythm track, "One of Those Days," former Rascal Cavaliere and Booker T. and The MG’s guitarist Cropper set the tone by spinning a tale of love gone bad. It hums and whistles with restless fretwork from Cropper and urgent vocals that prove Mr. Cavaliere a gem for the ages. "If It Wasn’t for Loving You" finds the pair engaging in a yearning soul-infused masterwork that would have sat nicely amongst the many classics on Stax’s anthology release.
Produced by Cavaliere, Cropper and Jon Tiven, and recorded at Tiven’s Hormone Studio in Nashville, Nudge It Up a Notch benefits from the collaborative work of supporting musicians Sammy Anderson (Impressions) on bass and Chester Thompson ( Frank Zappa, Genesis) on drums. Thompson’s steady backbeat brings the swampy southern instrumental "Full Moon Tonight" to a boil, raising Cropper’s leads to the forefront of the sound mix.
A pairing that hits all the correct notes, Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere contribute many golden moments on Nudge It Up a Notch that leaves one in anticipation of their next project.
Nudge It Up a Notch is out now on Stax.