Living By The Days (CD Reissue)

Don Nix

Real Gone Music, 2013

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Don Nix, born in 1941 in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of those people who has spent nearly all of his adult life in the music industry yet is still not a household name. This is due to the fact that his time as a producer, arranger, session musician, and songwriter has overshadowed his releases as a recording artist.

He began his career as a member of the studio band, The Mar-Keys, along with Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn. He played the sax parts on their 1961 top three hit single, “Last Night.” my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Nix’s career has had an eclectic nature to it. The Mar-key was hired as a house band for the Stax label. He has worked with such artists as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, Jeff Beck, Freddy King, and Albert King. He coordinated and sang in the choir for George Harrison’s Concert For Bangla-Desh. His composition, “Goin’ Down,” has been recorded by Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jeff Beck, and Stevie Ray Vaughan among others.

During 1971, he signed with the Electra label and recorded his second solo album, Living By The Days. That album has now been reissued by Real Gone Music.

It was an album that did not change the course of American music. What he released was an album of solid music that fused blues, gospel, and soul into one creative mix. It was very close to the sound Delaney and Bonnie was producing at the time.

Nix was an accomplished songwriter, and here he penned eight of the nine tracks. “Olena” is a demonstration of his soulful approach. “Going Back To Iuka” is a straight electric blues tune with a nice solo to connect the parts. “Three Angels” is New Orleans barrel roll blues meets Southern gospel. He even manages a bluesy take on the Hank Williams’ tune, “I Saw The Light.”

The accompanying booklet contains the lyrics and a nice overview of his career. The sound has been remastered and comes across as clean and clear.

Living By The Days is a nice trip back to the early 1970s and finally resurrects Don Nix’s mix of musical styles and sounds. It contains some good music from the era and is worth a listen.

Rating: B

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