A great idea. A great show. No doubt about it. Now, allow me to start by saying if you don’t own Hannibalism! by The Mighty Hannibal, I’m going to urge that you go and get it. Not that you won’t be able to enjoy the mp3s I’ve included, but I think it’s all about context. And for further reinforcement, you should also purchase the outstanding Bear Family DVD of The !!!! Beat (clip attached). Not only do you get to see The Mighty Hannibal in all of his glory on one of the great unsung R&B shows of the 60’s (he’s on Volume 3 in case you’re wondering), but you get to see an absolute arsenal of greats. Sure, they’re a bit expensive, but they’re totally worth it.
So I’m sure you’re wondering how the 68 year old Hannibal was. It was incredible. Plain and simple. Plus, seeing as how The Black Lips arranged the entire show, it was only natural that they were also Hannibal’s backing band. And man….did they surprise me. I never thought I would use "technical proficiency" in the same sentence as "The Black Lips," but you can color me impressed. Showing both restraint and some modest musical chops, you can hear on this recording that The Black Lips took this show quite seriously. And for that, I tip the hat to them. I should also add that (rather fittingly) Atlanta upstarts Gentleman Jesse and Asheville transplants The Reigning Sound opened. Of course, both bands unquestionably smoked. Before The Reigning Sound started, however, Michael Julian Bond (son of civil rights leader Julian Bond) came out and decreed that it was Hannibal Day (complete with all the necessary proclamation paperwork) and the Man of Honor said a few words. Overall, my only criticism of the entire night was how short Hannibal’s set was. It topped out at 25 minutes, and appeared to be cut short by Hannibal’s health. In fact, The Black Lips said three songs were to follow, but instead came out and performed a few of their own songs before sending everybody home. What am I saying? Just listen to the show. You’ll get the idea pretty quickly. After the show, I immediately purchased a 4" square dye-sub ceramic tile of Hannibal standing in front of a Starbuck’s. Not too shabby. I only wish I got one of the ceramic plates which practically disappeared before the night began.
I think it’s great that some of these soul legends are being appreciated by a whole new generation of fans. Birmingham’s own Neal Hemphill just had an excellent collection of his recordings released. Then there’s the fine (no, just plain incredible) reissues that the folks at Numero Group have culled together. And hell, now Mary Weiss of the Shangri-Las has The Reigning Sound performing with her and an album on the way! Pray tell, could this be a trend? If it is, count me in.
As an mp3 blog obsessive, I’ve been asked where are a few soul/R&B mp3 blog sites worth recommending. If you’re looking for obscure tracks, or to perhaps be turned on to some old artists, here’s a whole mess of places to start.
2 Minutes of Bliss 2
Get On Down With The Stepfather Of Soul
Funky 16 Corners
Funk & Soul
The "A" Side
The "B" Side
The Soul Detective
Now go out and buy Hannibalism! right now!
Thanks to Curt for the outstanding recording.
The Mighty Hannibal – Hannibal Day Induction
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk1
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk2
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk3
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk4
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk5
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk6
The Mighty Hannibal with The Black Lips-tk7