Friday, July 23, 2010

"I Can't Stop Crying" - Sam Hutchins / The Masqueraders

Sam Hutchins - I Cant Stop Crying

The Masqueraders - I'm Just An Average Guy

I'm a huge fan of the soul group The Masqueraders, and I was very happy recently to come across what is kind of a lost, sideways piece of their canon I had never heard before. A journeyman vocal group from Texas, The Masqueraders tried and failed to make it in Detroit during the mid sixties (though they cut some wonderfully atmospheric lo-fi jams for Lou Beatty's LaBeat label), but really hit their stride artistically when they wound up at Chips Moman's American Recording Studio (home to recent hits like The Box Tops "The Letter", Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" and Joe Tex's "Show Me") in 1968, cutting a string of aching but oh so rich and creamy soul ballads with the dynamite American Group house band backing them up.

What really sets the 'Raders apart from many of their contemporaries, besides the ripping lead vocals of Lee Jones, is that they wrote almost all their own material. Somewhere along the way they picked up a buddy from Texas named Sam Hutchins, who became almost the sixth Masquerader, opening their shows and filling in when members drifted out of the group for a while. Chips signed him up too and he cut three singles which the ‘Raders wrote and backed him up on; including today’s number, “I Can’t Stop Crying”. That falling over hi-hat thing that Gene Chrisman goes into about half way through just slays me!

After 40+ years with only fleeting hints of success, The Masqueraders are still performing on Beale St in Memphis today (repping for Texas in big cowboy hats), sometimes joined by their old buddy Sam Hutchins.

You can read an excellent
interview with them here, and you can buy the excellent
The Masqueraders: Unmasked anthology heree. It’ll make you feel real warm and creamy…

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