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!