Part of the conceptualization of Big Jones had a lot to do with our interest in old southern soul – I’m a big fan of the Muscle Shoals sound (think Wilson Pickett & Staples Singers,) Memphis Sound (think STAX,) and a family of labels out of Shreveport that included Jewel Records (of Ike & Tina Turner fame,) Soul Power, Paula, and RONN. Paula’s one of my favorite obscure old soul labels, having cut a great but little-known LP for Fontella Bass (of “Rescue Me” fame) called “Free” and about a dozen or so singles for Roscoe Robinson, one of my favorite Southern soul characters.

Fontella Free

Every so often I like to get on YouTube and see which nearly-forgotten artists/recordings have been saved (at least for now) by the power of the internet. Some while back, I came across a great Roscoe Robinson Single I don’t have in my singles collection. I apologize for the hokey dance performance that accompanies the tune, but “That’s Enough” is a great example of the kinds of sounds we’re putting together to liven up your visit. Look for that recording in the post directly below this one.

Given our extensive use of local farm produce & beverages, it also made sense to us to draw a bridge musically between Chicago and the South, and we’re equally passionate about Chicago soul & R&B, and we’ll be pleased to offer a full range of sounds from the Impressions & Curtis Mayfield to Otis Clay and Lou Rawls, and more. I can never decide which Impressions I liked better, the mid-sixties Impressions, when Curtis was still a member, and they cut such achingly beautiful songs as “People Get Ready,” or the early-70’s group, still produced by Curtis while he pursued his brilliant solo career, that cut some of the most wickedly groovy R&B ever. In the end, it doesn’t matter, because we’ll have it all on our iPod! Much of the music on the iPod has been ripped from our vinyl record collection, and will encompass much of the STAX discography, Jewel/Paula/Soul Power, obscure finds on Tuff, Soundstage, Minit, Cotillon, and many other labels that are gems that for whatever reason didn’t last. We’ll also have the Checker and Chess soul artists, and dabble in Motown, just because it’s too good to leave out.