[The Chasing the Thrill posts chronicle my adventures in trying to capture that ephemeral moment when song and audio fidelity come together into a sound that makes me forget everything else. Mostly it will be my notes on the vinyl that I listen to, but may include some non-vinyl music moments as well. If you’re interested in the set up I use to listen on, here it is.]
Man, if one was looking for a record to listen to while drinking Mezcal as the noises of a warm spring evening creep through open windows, The Greatest would have to be high on the list of good choices.
One of the ways to tell a great musician from a good one is by whom they choose to collaborate with. Chan Marshall’s choices for The Greatest – Memphis musicians Teenie Hodges, Steve Potts, Dave Smith, Rick Steff, Doug Easley, Jim Spake, and Scott Thompson – elevate and compliment Ms. Marshall’s songs without ever over-powering. 1
I love the record. The songs, the playing, the recording, and the feel all shine on vinyl.
In particular, I love the sound of the high hat. Steve Potts is just such a master of the art of pushing the groove by laying back. 2
The Greatest is Cat Power’s best record (so far). On it, Ms. Marshall and this amazing group of musicians capture something hard to capture – something that endures.
8.5 out 10
It’s amazing how Memphis musicians seem to know how to do (or not do) those things better than musicians from most other places. It seems like that particular “Memphis feel” – that was most acutely codified via the Stax House band (Gilbert Caple, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Al Jackson, Jr., Wayne Jackson, Booker T. Jones, Curtis Green, Isaac Hayes, Andrew Love, Floyd Newman, Gene “Bowlegs” Mille, David Porter, Lewie Steinberg) – is now almost its own genre. ↩
if you’ve ever heard someone refer to a band being “in the pocket,” and wondered what they meant, give The Greatest a listen. ↩