A limited-edition vinyl EP featuring four of Margaret’s most soulful recordings for Mira Smith’s RAM label of Shreveport, Louisiana.
Following Margaret’s very sad passing on 29 March 2019, we felt the time was right to revitalise her “Lonesome Bluebird” CD that had been a staple of the Ace catalogue for almost 25 years. Accordingly, we produced, in her memory, a considerably revamped package drawn from Mira Smith’s RAM label, with a new title, “Reconsider Me”. This month, as an additional tribute, we are releasing “The Country Soul Of Margaret Lewis”, a limited edition 7-inch vinyl EP featuring four of her most soulful RAM recordings, including two previously unissued alternate versions.
Margaret was a superb talent who could rock like Wanda Jackson, be as wistful as Patti Page and then become as achingly soulful as Patsy Cline. Country and soul are never that far apart, and in Margaret’s vocal delivery they meld seamlessly. As if to prove this, the opening cut, ‘Reconsider Me’, was a hit for soul star Johnny Adams in 1969. Margaret’s world-weary, almost resigned vocal tells a story that resonates across class and colour. The waltz time of the plaintive ‘It’s Alright (You Can Go)’ exposes her Louisiana roots, adding another dimension to the varied sounds of this EP. Opening Side 2 is ‘Somethin’s Wrong Baby’, an out-and-out soul groove that is setting the UK’s dance scene alight. Although first issued in 1961, it presages the funkier sounds of later that decade, with a proto-James Brown-style riff and great greasy sax all guaranteed to get the party started. The closing track, which opens with a sensuous guitar line from Grace Tennessee before Margaret’s bluesy vocal kicks in, has been causing outbreaks of the stroll in dancehalls coast to coast.