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Living By The Days

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Audio CD, April 2, 2013
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 2, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • ASIN: B00B943SGO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Shape I'm In
2. Olena
3. I Saw the Light
4. She Don't Want a Lover (She Just Need a Friend)
5. Living by the Days
6. Going Back to Iuka
7. Three Angels
8. Mary Louise
9. My Train's Done Come and Gone

Editorial Reviews

It s only a slight stretch to say that without Don Nix, there might not have been a Stax Records or a Memphis Sound. Nix started out as a saxophonist in the Mar-Keys, and, when the Mar-Keys splintered into Booker T & the MGs and the Memphis Horns, stepped into a producer/executive role at Stax while continuing to play as a sideman on numerous sessions. Later, he befriended Leon Russell and recorded for Russell's Shelter label while continuing to produce artists like Delaney & Bonnie, Joe Cocker, Tracy Nelson, Albert King, Freddie King and others for Stax, Shelter and Memphis' Ardent Studios. This album, released in 1971, featured the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, plus Duck Dunn (a high school classmate of Nix s), and the "Shelter People" Nix brought with him from his time at the Shelter label, including Don Preston, Jeanie & Marlin Greene, Claudia Lennear and Kathi McDonald (and, to top it off, bluesman Furry Lewis as narrator)! With a line-up like that, it will come as no surprise to learn that Living by the Days is soul and gospel-dipped Americana (Nix's Civil War garb on the front cover is another tip-off), and springboard for the legendary Alabama State Troupers road show Nix put together with Lonnie Mack and Lewis. What will come as a surprise, however, is that this album has never been on CD in America (copies of its short-lived Japanese release fetch around $250). Our Real Gone reissue features the original gatefold artwork and new notes by Grammy-winning writer Colin Escott. Essential, roots-rockin' American music!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 3, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review is for the reissue on the Real Gone Music label in 2013.

First off, I've waited for years for this album to be issued on CD. Ever since I bought the original Elektra Records album on vinyl (which I still own) I've liked this album. It's short time-wise for a CD-under 38 minutes-but Nix's songs and vocals makes up for that. The band was one of the best from that era. On keyboards were Barry Beckett and Chris Stainton, David Hood and "Duck" Dunn-bass, Wayne Perkins, Jimmy Johnson, Tippy Armstrong, and Gimmer Nicholson-guitars, and Roger Hawkins-drums. Background vocals were handled by the well known Claudia Lennear, Kathi McDonald (whose solo album should be reissued), Don Preston, Joey Cooper, and a spur of the moment group called The Mt. Zion Singers. Bluesman Furry Lewis is a very occasional "narrator".

The music is a blend of soul, blues, and gospel-all genres that Nix heard in his formative years. At times this album sounds similar to early Leon Russell, Delaney and Bonnie, or a bit like Lonnie Mack (who also released a couple of good albums on the Elektra label). Mack's album, "Hills of Indiana", from the same era as Nix's album, should also be reissued. Nix had a way of blending different genres of music into something totally Southern and organic. Songs like "The Shape I'm In", "I Saw the Light" (the only tune not written by Nix), "Living By the Days" (a personal favorite), "Going Back To Iuka", and "My Train's Done Come and Gone" are great examples of Nix's skills as a songwriter/vocalist/arranger.

This is straight, honest music-the kind they don't make anymore.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ on February 12, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Don Nix was a blues rock sessionman not even a stone throw from Delaney and Bonnie or Derik and the Dominos Clapton. He loved that rootsey R&B that many, like the aforementioned, Leon Russel and even early Rita Coolage were delving into.

This is a great country blues R&B album with the same organic sound mined by the above artists in the early 70s. Not a glimmering stand out, but then again, this music flows so deep in the soul, standout is not the order of the day.

Great if you can get it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I remember seeing this album in the cutout bins of record stores back in the late 1970s. Maybe it was the confederate soldier-themed cover, but I never even remotely considered buying it at the time. But now, all these years later, I see it listed on Amazon as a reissued CD, I read the description of the music, and I'm quite intrigued. So I order the CD. First impresssions were quite favorable; Nix has surrounded himself with the legendary studio band from Muscle Shoals, and you know these guys kick musical ***. The songs have a similar country-rock vibe as those of The Band in the early 70s. I also detect a bit of Leon Russell influence in some songs too, not surprising since Nix played on tour with Leon.

The only marks against this album are a couple of gospel songs that are included. Even though one is a cover of the old Hank Williams hit "I Saw the Light" I just can't stomach that song, so it gets skipped. The other song, "Three Angels," is one that Nix co-wrote with guitarist Lonnie Mack. As soon as they hit that chorus ---"Glory, Glory, Hallelujah up above" --- that song gets skipped too. Actually, I rarely get as far as the chorus until my annoyance gets the best of me. Granted, this is a personal pet peeve, but if the song even remotely smacks of religion I don't want to hear it.

The only other negative is the short length of the CD, only 37 minutes. You get the songs from the original album and no extra tracks at all. In this day and age of rediscovered lost tracks and out-takes, it's a bit surprising that they couldn't have found something else from those studio sessions to beef up this reissue.
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