One of our favorite releases, this guy can sing and play and write, he's got it all. Would have been a huge hit in the 70s!
ALIVE NATURALSOUND RECORDS are proud to announce the signing of HEATH GREEN & THE MAKESHIFTERS, a group of incredible deep-feel musicians hailing from Birmingham, Alabama. The band is fronted by Heath Green, a singer who bears the Eddie Hinton mantle as much as anyone living does. The Makeshifters heavy sound has been compared to Leon Russell and The Shelter People, Humble Pie, and Joe Cocker
Check them out performing live in the studio for the Spectra Sonic Sound Sessions here. Prepare to be blown away!
"You would think that with all of the attention being paid to the resurgence of Alabama soul music that someone like Heath Green would surely be on the radar of every A&R guy out of Nashville by now, yet for someone who has been quietly plying his trade for well over two decades, Mr. Green has somehow managed to avoid the spotlight due to a lifetime of patience, tough luck, and working man’s caution.
As a longtime fixture on the Birmingham music scene through groups like Mudpie and Fishergreen, Green has carved out a reputation as one of the finest songwriters and performers around, combining gritty storytelling born out of the dirt and red clay of his home state with an electric delivery that’s on par with the best soul men of the modern era. And nowhere is that more clear than in this riveting performance of the unreleased song “Livin’ on the Good Side” with his new band The Makeshifters. Featuring the blistering fretwork of Jody Nelson from local indie rock savants Through the Sparks, along with longtime collaborators Jason Lucia and Keelan Parrish holding down the rhythm section, its wild mash-up of low slung blues/funk, Black Sabbath guitar licks, and scorched earth howls make for a stirring introduction to one of the best kept secrets on the Magic City music scene. Kind of like lightning in a bottle, but with more fire. Dig in and hold on tight, it’s about to get hot around here." LEE SHOOK
Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw
"Okay, this is the shit. From the chugging opening bars of “Out to the City”, and that voice – close your eyes and tell me Frankie Miller isn’t back in the house. This is swampy Americana at its finest from a very talented bunch hailing from Birmingham, Alabama.
It was the PR guff’s reference to Heath Green’s musical diet of the Stones, Faces, Humble Pie, early Ike and Tina and especially the incendiary live output of the circa 1970 Joe Cocker/Leon Russell-era that initially turned my head and boy, has this lad eaten well !
The Makeshifters manage to incorporate all the best trademarks of rockin’ blues and soul, coupled with quality song-writing and heart-wrenching emotional outpour.
Part roadhouse rock, part impassioned laments, this is a very impressive debut – a bluesy groove, fret board athletics, an intense edginess – not unlike the raw, fresh energy with which The Temperance Movement launched themselves upon our unsuspecting consciousness. And did I mention that voice?
Green is the kind of natural, raunchy vocalist who probably sounded this way the first time he ever opened his mouth – effortless, melancholic, world-weary and lush. “Ain’t It A Shame” will give you goosebumps the way a Ray Charles/Janis Joplin duet might have done, building emotionally through its ripping guitar break – a track which is high up on the “wow” scale.
There’s so much to enjoy throughout this album – the insistent up-tempo rhythm of “Secret Sisters”, “Ain’t Got God” is something of a mini-epic addressing the eternal battle between good and evil whilst “I’m A Fool” recalls the heady days of deep south R&B.
This is a very exciting new album – delivered with fervour and passion aplenty. I guarantee if it had been released in 1970, it would be a collector’s item by now – screw the nostalgia-naysayers, Heath Green and the Makeshifters have produced a stunning debut.
Oozing respect for the varied sources from which the band has drawn its inspiration, it is delivered with fire-in-the-belly, preach-from-the-pulpit gusto. As the swampers of Muscle Shoals would tell you, there’s something in the water down there in Alabama and whatever it is courses through the veins of this fine band. *****
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