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Sugar Candy Lady

Billy Butler

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Album Review

Billy Butler, brother of Jerry and author of one of the greatest songs in soul music history — "I Stand Accused" — is one of the unluckiest men in the history of recorded music. Despite his phenomenal abilities and in-the-cut songs, the earmarks of his career were false starts, record company politics and double-dealing, and being in the right place at the wrong time. This 1977 album, his first for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label, is a mixed bag. Ballads such as "I Know the Feeling Well," the two-part "Alone at Last," and "I'm Gonna Make Her Mine" offer portraits of Butler as a solid singer, writer, and arranger. His guitar playing, like Terry Callier's and Curtis Mayfield's, is also highly individualistic and expressive. The mid-tempo tracks, such as "Feel the Magic," "She's Got Me Singing," and "The Saga of Sadie Lee," are among the finest in Chicago soul, with their Philly-influenced grooves and solid Northern soul bridges. But on the title track, "Play My Music," and "My Love for You Grows," Butler's flirtation with disco feels far too formulaic, like pandering to the genre to make an impact. Alas, these three tracks — one that opens and another that closes the album — mar what could have been a mid-'70s classic.

Customer Reviews

wow

listen to sadie lee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Biography

Born: December 15, 1925 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s

A tasty soul-jazz and blues guitarist, Billy Butler adroitly mixed a Charlie Christian approach with '50s R&B grooves and backbeats. He coaxed a warm, fat tone from his hollow-bodied electric guitar, and provided deceptively simple solos and fills that became staples of the R&B guitar vocabulary. Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk," featuring Butler, is perhaps the prototype R&B guitar instrumental. "Ram-Bunk-Shush" and "Big Boy" are other highlights of his tenure with Doggett. He began playing...
Full Bio
Sugar Candy Lady, Billy Butler
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Contemporaries

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