Soul songwriting legend Dan Penn laying down “Memphis Women and Chicken” at Chickie Wah Wah. The elder statesman of white soul has contributed numerous standards such as “Dark End of the Street,” “You Left the Water Running” and “I’m Your Puppet.” In this intimate show, with a tune-hungry audience crowding the stage, the master made every note count.
He should have been a superstar along the lines of Eric Clapton. Or John Mayer. Someone like that. As gifted as he was as a soul singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer, Hinton should have been rich and famous instead of a tragic cult hero who died broke and broken, known mostly only to hardcore Southern R&B obsessives, a man whose best recordings aren’t even in print right now.
But that’s how the hand of fate works sometimes.
After moving to Muscle Shoals, Hinton played guitar on Staple Singers, Boz Scaggs, Waylon Jennings, Mavis Staples, Toots Hibbert and Jimmy Cliff records. His playing is featured prominently on the Aretha Franklin LP “This Girl’s in Love with You.” And “3614 Jackson Highway,” the underrated covers album Cher made at Muscle Shoals Sound, bearing that Sheffield studio’s now famous address.
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