RIP, Solomon Burke

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

I’ll post a fuller appreciation of my favorite soul singer later this afternoon. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful rendition of “Valley of Tears” with Gillian Welch. And huge thanks to the great Joe Henry for resurrecting Burke’s career back in 2000. Had Henry not produced Don’t Give Up on Me, performances like the one below would probably never have happened.

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12 Responses to “RIP, Solomon Burke”

  1. #1 |  Mike Leatherwood | 

    Requiescat in pace

  2. #2 |  Bob | 

    It took me a while to figure out that Solomon Burke was the dude on the throne, not the dude playing that… instrument with Gillian Welch. (I assumed it was him at first. I though the dude on the throne was the MC or something.)

    That dude, apparently, is David Rawlings, who plays whatever the hell instrument that is quite well. What is that? It’s not a guitar in the classic sense, It’s like a giant assed 6 string violin without a raised bridge.

    Solomon Burke certainly has one hell of a voice, though.

  3. #3 |  Mister DNA | 

    It’s nice to see some love for Solomon Burke. Oddly enough, Burke is the one who gave Larry Fischer the nickname, “Wildman”.

  4. #4 |  Bob | 

    Oh! according to Google, That’s a 1935 Epiphone Olympic archtop, which David has had a one-piece mahogany bridge made for it.

    That’s damn cool.

  5. #5 |  pris | 

    Have loved Solomon BUrke for a long time- his rendition of ‘Fast Train’ from The Wire is one of my faves.

  6. #6 |  KBCraig | 

    LOL @ Bob… you had me expecting something bizarre, not just a parlor guitar.

  7. #7 |  Bob | 

    LOL @ Bob… you had me expecting something bizarre, not just a parlor guitar.

    LOL! Yeah! When I first saw it, the things I noticed were that it didn’t have the characteristic round hole, and that it had what appeared to be Cello styles holes (like a violin) at the front. In the shadow, it also looked like it was the same width at each end of the body. Like some kind of freakish, giant assed violin with 6 strings.

    Once I saw a better picture of it, it looked more like a guitar.

  8. #8 |  Kim Bullard | 

    who is playing organ on that track “Don’t give up on me” ?? the keyboards are so sick on that record.

  9. #9 |  pam | 

    thanks, beautiful

  10. #10 |  Carl Drega | 

    In addition to making such great music you can’t forget the fact that the man put on a GREAT live show. The last time I saw him there must have been 20 people on stage, and he would give out red roses to every woman in the crowd who was invited to come onstage for her rose. With the exception of Springsteen, nobody gave a live show like Solomon.

  11. #11 |  A.G. Pym | 

    Thank you, Radley, for introducing me to the King of Soul a couple years ago when you posted a link to Solomon with the Blind Boys of Alabama doing “None of us are free,” which still stands all my hair right up when I listen to it.

    Requisat in pace, Solomon.

    And, BTW, a parlor guitar has just 4 strings – no 5th or 6th string. That one’s a slightly smaller-scale-length instrument, but a full-on guitar.

  12. #12 |  Stephen Smith | 

    His death was front-page (well, front web page) news in Romania…at least on, on the Sunday he died (right?). I’d never heard about him, but apparently the Romanians cared.