Big Mama Thornton, Big Maybelle, Koko Taylor, Jackie Ross, ever heard the names? For some of you, reading that will sound like absolute gibberish but for now that doesn’t matter, what does is the sound of Hannah Williams and her flamboyant band of RnB renegades The Tastemakers as their track I’m A Good Women is Far Out’s noise of choice for Thursday and, in all honesty, could well keep us rocking into Friday (it’s that cool).
Now then, regarding the peculiar names, all of the above were absolute vocal monsters and seminal, female stars of the original RnB/soul circuit when such music was cool and crisp yet raw and unadulterated, a scene where musicians, knee deep in such antics themselves, dared to divulge a side of life often kept under raps at the time: spousal beatings, liquor binges, narcotics, religious confusion, sex and love were all projected from broken down, beaten up bars and eventually into a shocked public eye, not only setting up the future of popular music but paving the way for women such as Janis Joplin, and swathes of dissident others, to don the stage and join the cultural, Rock & Roll revolution.
Hopefully you can now see where The Tastemakers and their center piece fits into this little bit of history, with a majority of the above now lying in eternal peace, Williams has managed to channel their spirits and produce a brilliantly nostalgic ode to the masters in covering, another soul stalwart, Barbara Lynn’s classic, whilst maintaining an air of authenticity and nowadays that’s no mean feat.
The Tastemakers version of I’m A Good Women does a lot more than do an original record justice, somewhere amidst the almighty vocal and ridiculously smooth brass it shows that there are still musicians out there keeping it real; leading listeners and lovers of bygone musical periods away from the old the 45 vinyl and towards a sensational, revamped soul sound to get their kicks. I’m almost sure that if, for one last time, the aforementioned deceased could lend their ears to Hannah Williams & The Tastemakers then they would agree too.