Samuel Mac Clain

b. April 15th, 1943 in Monroe (Louisiana)

d. June 16th, 2015 in New Hampshire (New Hampshire)

MIGHTY SOUL

Soul City

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

Charly

P-Vine

PAPA TRUE LOVE

Sundazed

1966 - 1968

A 5 ans, il commence à chanter dans le groupe de Gospel de sa mère. A l'adolescence, il quitte le foyer familial - fuyant un beau-père qui ne l'aime pas - pour suivre "Little" Melvin Underwood en tant que valet puis chanteur. En 1966, Sam est introduit au disc-jockey "Papa" Don Schroeder et enregistre pour lui "Sweet dreams", une reprise de Patsy Cline. Puis, il participe à plusieurs séances aux studios de Muscle Shoals qui déboucheront sur d'excellents titres de soul sudiste où on remarque immédiatement sa superbe voix puissante et évocatrice : "Fannie Mae", "Baby come on home", "In the same old way", "Nothing but the truth", "Talk to me talk to me", "Papa true love", "I just came to get my baby out of jail". Ces faces sortiront sur le label Amy.

At age 5, he starts singing in his mother's Gospel group. As a teenager, he leaves the family home - fleeing a stepfather who does not like him - to follow "Little" Melvin Underwood as a valet then singer. In 1966, Sam was introduced to disc-jockey "Papa" Don Schroeder and recorded for him "Sweet dreams", a cover of Patsy Cline. Then, he participates in several sessions at Muscle Shoals studios which will lead to excellent southern soul songs where we immediately notice his beautiful, powerful and evocative voice : "Fannie Mae", "Baby come on home", "In the same old way", "Nothing but the truth", "Talk to me talk to me", "Papa true love", "I just came to get my baby out of jail". These sides will be released on the Amy label.

OUR TURN TO CRY

Kent

ATLANTIC UNEARTHED : SOUL BROTHERS

Rhino / Atlantic

1970

Après sa collaboration avec Amy, Sam grave quatre titres mineurs (dont "I've got enough heartaches" et "Lovebones") pour Atlantic grâce à son agent Charles Capri. Mais la collaboration reste sans lendemain puisque le label ne le promut pas du tout.

After collaborating with Amy, Sam writes four minor titles (including "I've got enough heartaches" and "Lovebones") for Atlantic thanks to his agent Charles Capri. But the collaboration is short-lived since the label did not promote him at all.

SOUTHERN SOUL BROTHERS

Waldoxy

SOUTHERN SOUL CELLAR

Dome

1971 or 1972 ?

Toujours sous l'impulsion de son agent Charles Capri, Sam grave un simple pour le label Malaco ("Mr & Mrs Untrue", "Never too busy"). Mais celui-ci ne remporte aucun succès et précipité sa retraite prématurée de la musique.

Always under the impetus of his agent Charles Capri, Sam cut a single for the Malaco label ("Mr & Mrs Untrue", "Never too busy"). But this one does not win any success and precipitated his premature retirement from music.

YOUR PERFECT COMPANION (EP)

Orleans

1983 ? / 1986 ?

Pendant une dizaine d'années, il n'est plus actif musicalement et exerce divers métiers. Il vit successivement à Nashville (dès 1973) et La Nouvelle Orléans à partir de 1982. Il fait la rencontre de Kerry Brown (batteur de Mason Ruffner) avec lequel il monte un groupe et enregistre une poignée de titres pour le label Orleans de Carlo Ditta. Ce dernier producteur, avec la collaboration d'A.J. Loria et Kim Bertucci, rassemble ces faces et édite cet EP qui permet à Sam Mac Clain de relancer sa carrière de chanteur. On retient surtout "Why", le blues "Backstreets" (en fait "Walking the back streets and crying") et une très belle reprise de "A change is gonna come".

For a decade, he is no longer active musically and has various jobs. He lives successively in Nashville (since 1973) and New Orleans from 1982. He meets Kerry Brown (Mason Ruffner's drummer) with whom he sets up a band and records a handful of titles for Carlo Ditta's Orleans label. This last producer, with the collaboration of A.J. Loria and Kim Bertucci, gather these faces and edit this EP that allows Sam Mac Clain to revive his singing career. We mostly remember "Why", the blues "Backstreets" (actually "Walking the back streets and crying") and a beautiful cover of "A change is gonna come".

LIVE IN JAPAN

Orleans

April 1986

Le promoteur japonais Fumio Nagano contacte le producteur A.J. Loria (travaillant pour le label Orleans) pour engager "Mighty" Sam Mac Clain pour une tournée au Japon. Loria met les deux hommes en contact et suggère que le guitariste Wayne Bennett accompagne Mac Clain sur la tournée. Les deux hommes sont pour l'occasion accompagnés de musiciens locaux compétents. L'album live qui en résulte est globalement bon malgré quelques longueurs. On retient notamment "Sweet dreams", "Fanny Mae", "In the same old way", "Pray", "Whatever it takes", "Forgive and forget", "Dancin' to the music of love".

Japanese promoter Fumio Nagano contacts producer A.J. Loria (working for the Orleans label) to hire "Mighty" Sam MacClain for a Japan tour. Loria puts the two men in touch and suggests that guitarist Wayne Bennett accompanies Mac Clain on the tour. The two men are accompanied by competent local musicians. The resulting live album is overall good despite a few lengths. We can point out "Sweet dreams", "Fanny Mae", "In the same old way", "Pray", "Whatever it takes", "Forgive and forget", "Dancin' to the music of love".

HUBERT SUMLIN'S BLUES PARTY

Black Top

P-Vine

October 1986

Sur cet album du guitariste Hubert Sumlin, "Mighty" Sam chante sur pas moins de quatre excellents titres : "Hidden charms", "A soul that's been abused", "Can't call you no more", "Down in the bottom". Sa participation à ce disque d'Hubert Sumlin contribua au retour de Sam au premier plan.

On this album of guitarist Hubert Sumlin, "Mighty" Sam sings on no less than four excellent tracks : "Hidden charms", "A soul that's been abused", "Can't call you no more", "Down in the bottom". His participation in this Hubert Sumlin's album contributed to Sam's return to the fore.

GIVE IT UP TO LOVE

Audioquest

JVC

Sledgehammer

November 1992

A la fin des années 80, Sam quitte Houston et s'installe à Boston. Grâce au batteur Lorne Entress, Sam entre en contact avec le label californien Audioquest dirigé par le producteur Joe Harley. Celui-ci l'enregistre immédiatement et co-produit cet album avec Mac Clain et Entress. Sa voix est parfaite dans ce registre Soul teinté de Blues et de Gospel. Il compose la plupart des titres de cet album seul ou avec son équipe : "Give it up to love", "What you want me to do", "Child of the mighty mighty", "I'm tired of these blues", "I feel good", "Love me I want you to". Il faut noter les participations remarquables de Bruce Katz à l'orgue et de Kevin Barry à la guitare.

In the late 80's, Sam leaves Houston and settles in Boston. Thanks to drummer Lorne Entress, Sam gets in touch with the californian label Audioquest directed by producer Joe Harley. He recorded him immediately and co-produced this album with Mac Clain and Entress. His voice is perfect in this Soul tinged Blues and Gospel style. He composes most of the tracks on this album alone or with his crew : "Give it up to love", "What you want me to do", "Child of the mighty mighty", "I'm tired of these blues", "I feel good", "Love me I want you to". Noteworthy contributions by Bruce Katz on organ and Kevin Barry on guitar.

KEEP ON MOVIN'

Audioquest

JVC

August 1994

Second album pour Audioquest sous la supervision de Joe Harley dans la voie tracée par "Give it up to love". On trouve une superbe reprise Gospel d'Al Green "Love will make a way" mais aussi l'excellent "Can you stand the test of love", "Don't worry about me". Comme d'habitude, Sam compose la majeure partie de l'album. Mais le grand moment de cet album reste certainement le remarquable "A soul that's been abused" composé par Ronnie Earl.

Second album for Audioquest under the supervision of Joe Harley in the path traced by "Give it up to love". There is a superb Gospel cover from Al Green "Love will make a way" but also the excellent "Can you stand the test of love", "Don't worry about me". As usual, Sam composes most of the album. But the highlight of this album is certainly the remarkable "A soul that's been abused" composed by Ronnie Earl.

SLEDGEHAMMER SOUL AND DOWN HOME BLUES

Audioquest

April 1996

Comme le titre l'indique, Sam s'exprime toujours dans sa mouvance Soul Sudiste habituelle avec un peu de Blues et de Gospel. On trouve ici les mêmes superbes musiciens et producteurs que précédemment. Encore une fois, l'inspiration de ses compositions font la différence : "Trying to find myself", "Things ain't what they used to be", "Hey Miss Bea", "Dancin' to the music of love". On peut aussi signaler les excellentes reprises "Pray" et "Bridge of faith".

As the title indicates, Sam is still expressing himself in his usual Southern Soul style with some Blues and Gospel. We find here the same great musicians and producers as before. Again, the inspiration of his compositions make the difference : "Trying to find myself", "Things ain't what they used to be", "Hey Miss Bea", "Dancin' to the music of love". We can also point out the excellent covers "Pray" and "Bridge of faith".

JOURNEY

Audioquest

September 1997

Dernier album pour Audioquest avec de remarquables réussites comme "Thank you" (et la guitare de Peter Giftos), "New man in town" (utilisé dans la fameuse série télé "Ally Mac Beal"), "No more tears", "I'm yours", "The other side of the tracks", "Prove it to me". Cocktail Soul-Blues teinté de Rhythm & Blues parfaitement servi par d'excellents sidemen et un chanteur à son meilleur.

Last album for Audioquest with remarkable achievements like "Thank you" (and the guitar of Peter Giftos), "New man in town" (used in the famous TV show "Ally" Mac Beal"), "No more tears", "I'm yours", "The other side of the tracks", "Prove it to me". Soul-Blues cocktail tinged with Rhythm & Blues perfectly served by excellent sidemen and a singer at his best.

SOUL SURVIVOR

Audioquest

September 1997

Sur cette compilation de ses faces Audioquest, on trouve deux bons titres inédits provenant des séances de "Journey" : "Honey chile" et "I'm gonna love you".

On this compilation of his Audioquest sides, there are two good unissued tracks from the "Journey" sessions : "Honey chile" and "I'm gonna love you".

JOY AND PAIN

Crosscut

Ruf

October 1997

Album en public enregistré lors d'une tournée en Allemagne avec ses musiciens réguliers. Une belle lecture du "This time I'm gone for good" de Bobby "Blue" Bland mais aussi de très belles versions de "Where you been so long", "Forgive and forget", "Long train runnin'".

Live album recorded during a tour in Germany with his regular musicians. A nice reading of Bobby "Blue" Bland's "This time I'm gone for good" but also very nice versions of "Where you been so long", "Forgive and forget", "Long train runnin'".

NOTODDEN BLUES FESTIVAL

Bluestown

August 1999

Une version sympathique de son "A new man in town" sur la scène du célèbre festival norvégien.

A nice version of his "A new man in town" on the stage of the famous norwegian festival.

BLUES FOR THE SOUL

Telarc

September 1999

Sam a changé de label mais a conservé son producteur Joe Harley. On retrouve le cocktail Soul-Blues des albums Audioquest. Un programme valant assurément l'écoute ("Dark side of the street", "Sweet love", "Battlefield of love") mais moins consistant qu'auparavant tout de même.

Sam changed label but kept his producer Joe Harley. We find the Soul-Blues cocktail of Audioquest albums. A program certainly worth listening ("Dark side of the street", "Sweet love", "Battlefield of love") but less consistent than before anyway.

SWEET DREAMS

Telarc

2000

Second opus pour Telarc avec la même équipe. La set-list s'avère constamment convaincante quoique peu originale avec "Here I come again", "Sweet dreams" et "Learn how to love you again".

Second opus for Telarc with the same team. The set-list proves consistently convincing though not very original with "Here I come again", "Sweet dreams" and "Learn how to love you again".

ONE MORE BRIDGE TO CROSS

Mighty Music

August 2002

Désormais basé dans le New Hampshire, Sam publie son nouveau disque sur son propre label indépendant Mighty Music et pour l'occasion se fait producteur. Il met au point un superbe programme entre Soul Sudiste, Blues et Gospel qu'il a quasiment intégralement composé : "Witness", "If it wasn't 4 da blues", "Are you ready for love", "Though I heard your voice", "What's your name", "Sweet honey bee", "One more bridge to cross".

Now based in New Hampshire, Sam releases his new record on his own independent label Mighty Music and for the occasion is the producer. He is developing a superb program between Southern Soul, Blues and Gospel that he almost entirely composed : "Witness", "If it wasn't 4 da blues", "Are you ready for love", "Though I heard your voice", "What's your name", "Sweet honey bee", "One more bridge to cross".

BETCHA DIDN'T KNOW

Mighty Music

September - October 2004

Cet album témoigne d'une volonté d'ouverture de l'artiste. En effet, on trouve ici une orchestration Funk sur plusieurs titres, trois titres en duo avec le rappeur Jesse Lannoo, collaboration avec une chorale Gospel. Au final, un programme sensiblement différent mais moins abouti que sur "One more bridge to cross".

This album shows an opening willingness of the artist. Indeed, we find here a Funk orchestration on several tracks, three titles in duet with rapper Jesse Lannoo, collaboration with a Gospel choir. In the end, a program significantly different but less achieved than "One more bridge to cross".

SCENT OF REUNION

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

Valley Entertainment

June 2009

Associé à la folk singer iranienne Mahsa Vahdat, Sam enregistre cet album entre la Norvège, les Etats-Unis et l'Iran. Entre musique perse et poésie douce et planante, combinant les influences des artistes, cet album n'a pas grand chose à voir avec le Blues et la Soul mais relève plutôt des styles Folk ou World.

Associated with the iranian folk singer Mahsa Vahdat, Sam records this album between Norway, United States and Iran. Between persian music and soft and planing poetry, combining the influences of the artists, this album has little to do with Blues and Soul but rather Folk or World styles.

ONE DROP IS PLENTY

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

Valley Entertainment

2011

Associé au guitariste norvégien Knut Reiersrud, co-produit par ce dernier et Erik Hillestad. Un disque de Soul bien joué et correctement produit avec quelques inflexions Folk par instants. On y trouve de belles lectures de "Can you stand the test of love", "You don't know nothing about love" mais aussi "Sweet soft kisses in the rain" ou "Love one another".

Associated with norwegian guitarist Knut Reiersrud, co-produced by the latter and Erik Hillestad. A Soul album well played and decently produced with some Folk inflections at times. There are beautiful readings of "Can you stand the test of love", "You don't know nothing about love" but also "Sweet soft kisses in the rain" or "Love one another".

TOO MUCH JESUS (NOT ENOUGH WHISKEY)

Mighty Music

2012

Pour sa troisième livraison sur son propre label, Sam a composé les morceaux de cet album avec son fidèle guitariste Pat Herlehy. Comme d'habitude, de fortes inflexions Funk et Gospel baignent dans sa Soul. Un album sympathique mais moins intense et inspiré que ses faces Audioquest.

For his third release on his own label, Sam composed the tracks on this album with his faithful guitarist Pat Herlehy. As usual, strong Funk and Gospel inflections bathe in his Soul. A nice album but less intense and inspired than his Audioquest sides.

A DEEPER TONE OF LONGING

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

2012

Nouvelle association de "Mighty" Sam Mac Clain avec Mahsa Vahdat. Cet album est placé dans la parfaite continuité que "Scent of reunion". Pas de Blues ou de Soul ici mais une poésie Folk pure et relaxante.

New association of "Mighty" Sam Mac Clain with Mahsa Vahdat. This album is placed in the perfect continuity of "Scent of reunion". No Blues or Soul here but pure and relaxing folk poetry.

TEARS OF THE WORLD

ACT

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

2015

Second album avec le norvégien Knut Reiersrud cette fois ci pour le label allemand ACT. Parfaitement produit et arrangé, ce disque recèle de superbes réussites comme "Please Mr Foreman", "Living in the key of G", "Friends", "Apples don't fall far from the tree", "I wish I had a girl like you", "Promised land" sans oublier une reprise très étonnante de "Que sera sera". Sam montre, en tout cas, qu'à plus de 70 ans il reste un chanteur Soul de premier ordre.

Second album with norwegian Knut Reiersrud this time for the german label ACT. Perfectly produced and arranged, this album has great achievements such as "Please Mr Foreman", "Living in the key of G", "Friends", "Apples don't fall far from the tree", "I wish I had a girl like you", "Promised land" not to mention a very amazing cover of "Que sera sera". Sam shows, in any case, that over 70 years old he remains a first-rate Soul singer.

TIME AND CHANGE

Kirkelig Kulturverksted

2010's

Album posthume reprenant des titres de Sam provenant de diverses séances. La plupart de ces titres sont signés par Sam et Pat Herlehy sauf une reprise de son ami "Little" Melvin Underwood qui fut son mentor. On retient "Let's talk", "Sweet love", "Time and change", "Bad dreams", "Here I come again", "You worry me".

Posthumous album featuring Sam's songs coming from various sessions. Most of these titles are signed by Sam and Pat Herlehy except for a cover of his friend "Little" Melvin Underwood who was his mentor. We can notice "Let's talk", "Sweet love", "Time and change", "Bad dreams", "Here I come again", "You worry me".

A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH

Sledgehammer Blues

2015

Séance acoustique dans laquelle Sam n'est accompagné que de Pat Herlehy (guitare, saxophone). Plus dépouillé mais aussi plus limité qu'à l'accoutumée, le disque semble parfois poussif malgré quelques pistes intéressantes.

Acoustic session in which Sam is only accompanied by Pat Herlehy (guitar, saxophone). More stripped but also more limited than usual, this album seems sometimes wheezy despite some interesting tracks.