Buddy Causey

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  

- Buddy Causey -- vocals, harmonica


  supporting musicians: (1977)

- Jerry Bridges -- bass

- Ronnie Brown -- lead guitar

- Mike Lawley -- lead guitar

- Mike "Reefer" Rives. -- keyboards, flute

- Steve Sample Jr. -- drums, percussion




- Cooter Brown (Buddy Causey)

- Sailcat (Ronnie Brown)





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Dixie Fried

Company: Lanark

Catalog:  AW 14037

Country/State: Tennessee

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2648

Price: $80.00

The font style used on the album liner notes was horrible, virtually impossible to read.  As far as I can tell, this is what they say:


"Anyone who's been a long time friend of Buddy Causey has good reason to stand up and cheer "about time" with the release of his first LP.  But for those unfortunate souls who have never heard this bright, talented singer ... a little background music please.   A Tennessee boy, fromt he town of Selmer, Buddy was born in October 1946.  At 23 he formed the group Daye of the Weak and enjoyed local popularity with the single "A Place In the Sun" in Birmingham, Alabama.  Leaving Daye of the Weak in 1972 Buddy joined Cross, a somewhat more professional group boasting impressive stage routines and polished performances.  After singing with Cross, for a year he struck out as a solo vocalist, touring with several groups and wound up in California to try his wings in 1974.  Buddy recorded for the Capitol label with little success, then returned to Huntsville Alabama and stayed for two more years singing jingles for a local production house.  In 1976 he formed Buddy Causey and Cross with Ronnie Brown, Mike Lawley, Steve Sample Jr., Mike "Reefer" Rives, and Jerry Bridges, playing clubs and concerts through 1977.   Now recording for Jane Erik for capital in Nashville, Tennessee, Buddy seems to have finally found his own place in the sun.  His vocal presence is warm and steady with the soulful influences of rhythm and blues.  Ready world?  If this album doesn't reach out and grab you ...then maybe you just aren't listening."


I poked around the internet trying to verify the liner notes.  I found an Alabama-based band by the name of Daye of the Weak, but no reference to the single mentioned ...  That said, here's what I've been able to piece together on Causey's recording career.


His solo career started in 1969 on Quinn Ivy's Quinivy label where he recorded a series of of tracks with local sessions players.  Two tracks were released by Quinivy as an instantly obscure 45.  Atlantic seemingly acquired national distribution rights and may have even released the single (never seen a copy).  That was followed by United Artists releasing the single.

- 1970's 'Hey Baby/ - Medley' b/w 'I Had No Idea' (Quinvy catalog number A-7002)

- 1970's 'Hey Baby/ - Medley' b/w 'I Had No Idea' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2718)

- 1970's 'Medley: Hey Baby/I've Been Hurt' b/w 'I Had No Idea' (United Artists catalog number SUA 50864)


As the liner notes said, in 1975 he signed with Capitol, working with producer Jerry Fuller to release two rare and collectable soul-tinged 45s:


- 1975's 'There's a Way' b/w 'I'll Lean On You' (Capitol catalog number P-3996)

- 1975's 'Tell Me Where It Hurts' b/w 'Sweet Misery' (Capitol catalog number P-4133)


1977 found Causey's first album released by the Album World affiliated Lanark imprint. Produced by Glenn Wood, in spite of the packaging and liner notes that indicated the set was a solo effort recorded in a Birmingham, Alabama studio, 1977's "Dixie Fried" seems to reflect a live set capturing Causey and the band Cross (bassist Jerry Bridges, guitarists Ronnie Brown and  Mike Lawley, Keyboardist Mike "Reefer" Rivlsi., and drummer Steve Sample Jr.).  naturally the liner notes didn't provide much information in terms of when, or where the recording was made.  As a live set the results were surprisingly good.  Sonically it wasn't pristine with the audience noise frequently appearing in the background, but Causey had a nice, soul-tinged voice that was quite versatile.  Strong backing from the band Cross didn't hurt either.  The Steve Sample penned leadoff instrumental 'Put It Where You Want It' was the only original.  The rest of the album featured a mixture of popular and less well know pop, soul, and rock covers ranging from Marvin Gaye ('What's Going On') to Little Feat ('Spanish Moon').  Admittedly few of the covers threatened the original, but they were never less than entertaining and his cover of Karla Bonoff's 'Someone To Day Down Beside Me' was one of the album highlights.   About the best thing I can say is that Causey and Cross were an outfit I would have gladly checked out.


Needless to say, the album want nowhere, leaving Causey to return to the club circuit, occasionally with The Handsome White Boys and The Cooter Brown Band.  He moved to Atlanta, occasionally popping up (music for the 1983 film "Getting It On"), and co-writing the 1987 song 'Atlanta Will Be Rockin' (a celebration of the Atlanta Falcon's success (James Brown handling the vocals).  


For anyone interested, I  found an interesting little website devoted to Cross: http://www.prismflex.com/pages/cross.html  



"Dixie Fried" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Put It Where You Want It (instrumental)   (Steve Sample) -  rating: *** stars

Written by drummer Steve Sample and seemingly recorded live in the studio (you could hear some feedback on one of the channels), there wasn't anything wrong with the lead off instrumental 'Put It Where You Want It'.  Musically the song offered up a slightly funky work out showcasing some nice lead guitar from Ronnie Brown and Mike Lawley.  At the same time if was a slightly odd choice for an album that supposedly showcased singer Buddy Causey's talents.  

2.) Lousiana  (Randy Newman) -  rating: **** stars

Can't say I ever liked Randy Newman's original version. Newman may be a fantastic writer, but the man's voice was definitely an acquired taste; a taste I never learned to appreciate.  In contrast, Causey had a great voice and he managed to turn 'Louisiana' into an engaging listening experience. Not everyone will enjoy the brief history lesson, but I enjoyed his cover.  My only complaint came from the background noise.  Faint, but noticeable, it sounded like Causey was recorded in a club with the audience being picked up on the mikes.   

3.) Georgia   (Boz Scaggs) -   rating: *** stars

Another track I was never in love with, but the Boz Scaggs' original (off of 1976's "Silk Degrees") was superior in every way.   Another tune that was apparently recorded live ...  

4.) Spanish Moon   (Lowell George) -   rating: **** stars

Given 'Spainish Moon' is one of my favorite Little Feat songs, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Kudos to Causey for turning in a surprisingly slinky rendition.   I suspect Lowell George would approve of this one.

5.) Cold Spell   (J. Hall - J. Hall) -    rating: **** stars

Love the Hendrix-styled opening riffs.  Excellent rocker that had some real commercial potential.  For some reason this one's always reminded me of the UK-German band Lake.


(side 2) 

1.) What's Going On  (Marvin Gaye - Cleveland - Benson) -    rating: *** stars

Well, this version wasn't going to make you forget the Gaye original, but kudos for a decent, breezy take on the tune.  

2.) Dixie Fried   (Carl Perkins) -     rating: *** stars

Hum, 'Dixie Fried' has always reminded me of something out of The Atlanta Rhythm Section.   

3.) Someone To Day Down Beside Me  (Karla Bonoff) -     rating: **** stars

Nice cover of the Karla Bonoff tune.  I might actually like it more than Bonoff's version.  

4.) Shake a Leg   (E. Hoerner) -     rating: **** stars

'Shake a Leg'  showcased Causey and company at their breeziest.  Hard to sit still during this one.  Shameit wasn't longer.

5.) Superstition   (Stevie Wonder) -   rating: *** stars

Another cover that couldn't possibly improve on the original, but gave it an enthusiastic shot.  Nice backing vocals from the band.