McCracklin was 42 when he joined Imperial in 1963, already a veteran of World War ll, blues and rock’n’roll. He maintained a presence on the R&B chart for the label throughout the decade, despite the rapidly changing, soul-powered times (ruefully confronted on this collection’s title track). But what’s striking are the sounds of jump blues and jazz in these so-called soul records, a thread surviving from the ’40s jukeboxes on which McCracklin was first heard right up to the Black Panthers’ day.
McCracklin’s oddly frail voice and facilely skilful songwriting (from dance-craze novelties to relationship rows) add to the feel of time out of joint. A charming curio.