Saturday, 4 May 2013

Matt Lucas- Motor City Twine

Matt Lucas released a handful of really interesting 45's during the early 60's, he was another artist who was part of the bridge from rockabilly to a more R&B or rock and soul style of music. Matt was a drummer who played in a similar vein to Levon Helm, very crisp but with feeling and enough looseness to get people up on their feet. I've previously reviewed his version of the Hank Snow classic I'm Movin On which cracked the Hot 100 in 1963, he released a few more singles for Smash but none were able to capture the success of Movin On. Like Ronnie Hawkins, Lucas found popularity in Canada and accepted an invitation from promoter Harold Kudlets to work in Canada. There was a vibrant club scene up north and Kudlets was the biggest promoter in Canada, he was given the nickname the colonel by Hawkins who deemed that if Elvis could have a colonel for a manager then so could he!

In 1965 Lucas was invited by producer Ollie McLaughlin to cut a record for his Karen label. McLaughlin had found success as a manager for Del Shannon and vocal group The Capitols The M C Twine was recorded at Detroit's United studios with some of the Motown players backing him. The song has a distinct soul flavour and would have been popular on the northern soul circuit. Lucas kept the party theme from his previous records and it sounds like everyone is having a ball in the studio. The song was a regional hit across Detroit and probably found it's way into the CHUM chart in Canada but the record soon became a prized rarity. Lucas cut another record for Karen but soon left the music business for a time. It's another interesting record that adds another piece to the jigsaw, a rockabilly artist who went on to record in a more blue-eyed soul manner. It's also interesting that his guitar player Narvel Felts cut more r&b material in the early to mid 60's, I would have like to have heard Narvel cut a country soul record like Charlie Rich. It's a shame but I'd love to find more of the material Charlie cut at Hi studios in the mid to late 60's, the songs I have heard are stunning.

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