Alabama State Troupers, The


Band members                          Related acts

- Mary Anderson -- backing vocals (1971-72) 
- Tippy Armstrong -- guitar (1971-72)
- Clayton Ivey -- keyboards (1971-72)
- Furry Lewis -- vocals, guitar  (1971-72)
- Jeannie Greene (aka Jeanie Greene) -- vocals (1971-72)
- Marlin Greene -- backing vocals (1971-72)
- Don Nix -  vocals, guitar 1971-72)
- Brenda Patterson -- backing vocals (1971-72)
- Wayne Perkins -- guitar (1971-72)
- Fred Prouty -- drums (1971-72)
- Tarp Tarrant -- drums (1971-72)
- Carolyn Watkins -- backing vocals (1971-72)
- Marianne Watkins -- backing vocals (1971-72)
- Ken Woodly -- keyboards (1971-72)
- Bob Wray -- drums (1971-72)

 

 

- Jeannie Greene (solo efforts)

- Furry Lewis (solo efforts)

- Lonnie Mack

- The Mar-Keys (Don Nix)
- Don Nix (solo efforts)

 

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Alabama State Troupers Road Show

Company: Elektra

Catalog: EKS-75022

Year: 1972

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: double LP; gatefold  sleeve, minor ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6077

Price: $20.00

 

 

The brainchild of Elektra president Jac Holzman, producer Russ Miller, and singer/songwriter Don Nix (best know for his work with The Marr-Keys (see separate entry)), The Alabama State Troupers were originally envisioned as a traveling roadshow meant to showcase the talents of various Southern musicians who had been signed to the Elektra imprint.  Among the acts to be showcased were Nix, Lonnie Mack and his band, singer Jeannie Greene (best known for her work supporting Elvis Presley). and an all star collection of sessions players dubbed the Mt. Zion Band and Choir.  original plan was to include Lonnie Mack and his backing band in the enterprise.  Holzman's entertaining book Follow the Music has an entertaining segment where Miller talks about what happened next.  Having finished all the arrangements for the tour, literally days before the tour was to kick off Nix called Miller to tell him that Mack had vanished.  Miller eventually tracked him down to a house way out in the Ohio countryside only to discover that Mack had recently awoken from a dream with a biblical vision telling him not to tour.  Unable to get Mack to change his mind, Miller and Nix turned to bluesman Furry Lewis as a backup. Lewis had backed Nix on his 1970 solo debut "In God We Trust."

Recorded at two October, 1971 California performances, "The Alabama State Troopers Road Show" was a double album, 20 song set. The set opened with a set of four solo Furry numbers. Even though he was in his late-1970s and a heavy drinker (Miller claims to have provided him with a bottle of whiskey every day), Lewis acquitted himself well; turning in nice solo performances on originals such as 'Brownsville', 'I'm Black' and 'A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird'. Elsewhere the collection was a mixed success. Backed by a top-notch supporting band, including keyboardist Clayton Ivey and guitarist Wayne Perkins, Nix-penned rockers such as 'Asphalt Outlaw Hero', ' Olena' and the blazing 'Going Down' weren't half bad. Unfortunately, while Jeannie Greene was undoubtedly talented, her penchant for screeching (witness her performances on 'My Father's House' and 'Mighty Time') was a major source of irritation. Less successful were the group's stabs at country material (check out their needless cover of 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken'). Call it an interesting failure ... Simply too obscure for most rock fans, the set proved a poor seller, peaking at # 218. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"The Alabama State Troopers Road Show" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Furry's Blues   (W.F. Furry) - 7:21
2.) Brownsville  (W.F. Furry) - 4:51
3.) I'm Black   (W.F. Furry) - 2:15
4.) A Chicken Ain't Nothin' But a Bird   (W.F. Furry) - 3:36

(side 2)

5.) Will the Circle Be Unbroken   (traditional - arranged by Don Nix) - 3:32
6.) Amos Burke   (Don Nix) - 2:30
7.) Mighty Time   (Don Nix) - 2:40
8.) Jesus On the Mainline   (traditional) - 3:45
9.) Mary Louise   (Don Nix - Marlin Greene) - 2:55

(side 3)

10.) Yes, I Do Understand   (Jeanie Greene - Marlin Greene) - 3:16
11.) Opening   (W.J. Pillmore - P. Kowalke) - 3:45
12.) Living In the Country   (C.S. Boyer - S. Pillmore) - 2:28
13.) Joa-Bim   (T. Armstrong) - 2:55
14.) Dixie  (traditional arranged by Jeanie Greene) - 2:03
15.) Heavy Makes You Happy   (Bobby Bloom - Jeff Barry) - 3:06

(side 4)

16.) Iuka   (Don Nix) - 5:38
17.) Asphalt Outlaw Hero   (Don Nix - Lonnie Mack) - 3:32
18.) Olena   (Don Nix) - 3:50
19.) My Father's House   (traditional) - 3:18
20.) Going Down   (Don Nix) - 5:43

At the completion of their 1971 tour, Nix and company went their separate ways.

 

I've never heard it, but for some strange reason in 2005 the small Australian Aim label released "Live for a Moment".  From what I can tell it's little more than an abridged version of the original release, along with what's been described as surprisingly shoddy liner notes and recording quality.  So ...  look for the original.

 

 

 

   

 

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