Monday, June 12, 2017

Eddie Burns - Orange Driver / Hard Hearted Woman



Mississippi-born bluesman Eddie Burns is perhaps best known for backing up John Lee Hooker (they both ended up in Detroit after leaving Mississippi), but he made some great records under his own name. None is better than this 1961 pairing on the Detroit-based Harvey label. "Orange Driver" is the tale of a woman who made a fool out the narrator, "drinking that orange driver and talking all out your head." (For "orange driver," read "screwdriver," as in the orange juice/vodka cocktail.)

The "Harvey" in the label name was Harvey Fuqua, the Detroit record producer who went on to be one of the founders of the Motown label. He put out a few singles by Mr. Burns, to little impact in terms of sales. But "Orange Driver" remained one of Burns' best-known songs; it was covered by the blues/rock group  J. Geils Band in the 1970s. Among the personnel here are "Popcorn" Wiley, later a popular "northern soul" artist, and a young Marvin Gaye on drums.

Here are better-sounding transfers of this record than can be found elsewhere on the web:

Orange Driver

Hard Hearted Woman

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