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Audio CD, August 9, 2011
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Product Description

2011 album from the veteran guitar slinger. As the original guitarist of Stax Records house band Booker T. & The M.G.'s., Steve Cropper has had a storied career. Voted #36 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time, Cropper has worked with Blues legends such as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and the Blues Brothers Band. Dedicated is a tribute to R&B and Doo Wop act, The 5 Royales. The collection features reworked versions of the groups most enduring songs, and includes duets with Steve Winwood, Lucinda Williams, Bettye LaVette, John Popper, Sharon Jones, and others.


"4 Stars" -- Mojo Magazine

"Dedicated shines a light on an unjustly forgotten figure in R&B, and reminds us just how much class Steve Cropper has." Jeff Tamarkin, Mojo "Mr. Cropper has remade an album's worth of "5" Royales songs with various singers and guest players on "Dedicated" (429 Records), and it's a good platform for his playing, whether he's seizing Pauling's licks or, in "Help Me Somebody," replacing the vocal line with sighing lead guitar." -- Jon Pareles, NY Times

"Given what a mixed bag tribute albums usually are, Dedicated is not only a surprise for its consistency, but a shining example of what they can -- and should -- be. -- Thom Jurek, AMG

"In a collection of standouts, the Cropper/Winwood pairing in "Thirty Second Lover" is the song that stops you and makes you say, "Wow!" Stevie W. gets gritty in his vocals (as if he's singing for the Spencer Davis Group again), and Stevie C. lays down flowing, liquid guitar riffs and full, round notes that he bends on the guitar strings with the ease of Superman twisting iron bars.

Also notable is Williams' bluesy take on the Royales' original "Dedicated to the One I Love." On "My Sugar Sugar," vocalist Sharon Jones is wonderful in capturing a '50s sound, and Blues Traveler harmonicat John Popper adds very nice blues harp accents." -- Dan Aquilante, NY Post

3 1/2 Stars (out of four)

The storied guitarist for Stax band Booker T. & The MG's has crafted a loving tribute to The "5" Royales, specifically his hero, songwriter/guitarist Lowman Pauling. Cropper and co-producer Jon Tiven honor the bygone '50s R&B group and a golden era with 14 feisty, soulful tracks sung by such guests as Delbert McClinton,Lucinda Williams, Bettye LaVette, B.B. King, Sharon Copeland and Steve Winwood. A fine Royale treatment. -- Edna Gundersen, USA Today

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Digital Booklet: Dedicated - A Salute To The 5 Royales
Digital Booklet: Dedicated - A Salute To The 5 Royales
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 9, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 429 Records
  • ASIN: B004ZQBP0O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,861 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Polar Bear on August 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD
"Dedicated" is Steve Cropper's debut project on 429 Records. For those of you unfamiliar with Cropper's track record, he has an impressive resume: a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the staff song writer and in-house guitarist on Stax Records staff, and a member of Booker T & the MGs. He also is credited with writing some true R&B classics: "Knock on Wood," "In the Midnight Hour" and "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay." "Dedicated" is a tribute to guitar player Pete Pauling and his band of the Five Royales, one of Cropper's biggest influences, and named after the 5 Royales's hit "Dedicated To The One I Love." Aside from Cropper's guitar playing, the album features an amazing set of musicians which includes bassist David Hood (Muscle Shoals sideman), keyboardist Spooner Oldham (Fame Studios sideman and top notch song writer who has also played with Neil Young), Dap-Kings saxman Neal Sugarman, drummer Steve Farone, and drummer Steve Jordan. There's also an all star line up of special guests: Steve Winwood, B.B. King, Shemekia Copeland, Delbert McClinton, Lucinda Williams, Queen guitarist Brian May, and singers Sharon Jones and Bettye LaVette. Cropper's playing on "Dedicated" is classic; his rhythms are tight, his fills original and unique, and it's easy to see why he's one of the best guitar players of all time. The best part of these songs is that they are straight from his heart, something you can easily feel from your first listen. If you want to hear some incredible re-makes of classic songs that feature a phenomenal list of musicians, look no farther. You've found it here!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Constant Listener on August 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Dear Music Appreciator,

These are the kinds of songs that can add instant, classic atmosphere wherever they're played - partytime, workytime, or sexytime. These are soulful, rockin', rhythm and blues sounds coming at you straight out of the 1950's through the fabulous 21st century filter of the great Steve Cropper, a crack studio band, and a litany of guest stars including the incomparable Lucinda Williams.

If you're not familiar with the work of the highly influential group The 5 Royales or soul guitar god Steve Cropper, turn on the Amazon samples for a listen while you look these guys up on Wikipedia or AllMusic or something.

Lucinda Williams fans should take particular notice here for her lead vocals on the classic hit "Dedicated to the One I Love," and the highly emotional "When I Get Like This."

Buy this, and add a little more atmosphere to your life.


Constant Listener
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By r.j. zurek on August 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It was one of those seminal moments in music history. The 5 Royales had just finished a performance at the Tropicana in Memphis when guitarist Lowman Pauling was approached by a tall young white boy. This was unusual for the time; the only white people who met the band backstage were promoters or record executives. The young Steve Cropper wanted Lowman to show him how to "make that guitar stomp." In an impromptu peformance, the guitarist showed his stuff for Cropper and his best friend, Donald "Duck" Dunn.

Over fifty years later, things have definitely come full circle. In the liner notes to the Royales' "It's Hard But It's Fair", Steve credits Pauling for influencing his style of playing. With "Dedicated", Cropper not only pays tribute to the 5 Royales, but he's made it his mission to educate the public about his favorite band. In the booklet for "Dedicated", Cropper writes "If I can educate these young ears as to where the music started, because they're always asking, and if I can get them interested in the 5 Royales, then I've done something."

"Dedicated" is the brainchild of songwriter/producer Jon Tiven. A veteran producer, he shares tenor sax duties with Dap-King member Neal Sugarman. The guest vocalists are a who's who of roots musicians: Lucinda Williams and Dan Penn duet on "Dedicated to the One I Love" and Williams ACHES on "When I Get Like This". "Messin' Up" with Sharon Jones and "Say It" with Betty La Vette are back to back modern soul gems. As for the guys, Steve Winwood on "Thirty Second Lover" and Delbert McClinton on "Right Around The Corner" prove that some veteran singers do age like fine wine.

I'm a bit puzzled with the choice of Buddy Miller as the lead for "Slummer The Slum.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dave Fever Tree Sigmon on August 15, 2011
Format: Vinyl
Booker T.& the MGs were probably my favorite sixties American band. I appreciated them most when they played backup on Otis Redding records, but they were great on their own. The foundation of the MGs were steady timekeeper Al Jackson and rhythm-in-the-lead guitarist Steve Cropper.

It's here that the guitarist extraordinaire pays homage to the criminally forgotten fifties band, the Five Royales,who provided him his compass in life. Attesting to Cropper's sainthood are two killer instrumentals, "Help Me Somebody" and particularly the vivacious "Think". Every singer and backing band member bring new life to these songs with the utmost commitment and taste. Yet the voices are different enough from one another to project variety. Steve Winwood has never sounded so 1950's, Bettye LaVette sounds more updated but proves she's still supple and B.B King's biting guitar retains its sting. But, along with the instrumentals, the illuminating highlights include Buddy Miller's take on "The Slummer The Slum", Dan Penn's "Someone Made You For Me" and the Lucinda Williams duet with Dan Penn, "Dedicated to the One I Love". This reverent reading rivals both the Shirelles and the honorees, the Five Royales.

Cropper had stated in his WNPR interview that he had heard of Lucinda Williams by name only. But once she stepped up to the mike, he was struck and made claim that she did "a fabulous job". I concur wholeheartedly and she's definitely earned her featured spot as the final cut.

Kudos to co-producer Jon Tiven for his brainstorm behind this and especially to the late Lowman Pauling who was some kind of guitarist, tunesmith and lyricist.
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