The Official POPS blog.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The High Priestess of Soul

Howdy gang!  Hope your Friday is trucking along like mine is.  The weekend is upon us and for some of you lucky individuals you get a 3 day weekend.  Anyway, on to why I'm writing today.  Nina Simone is why I'm writing today.  While sitting at the front table at the shop she just popped into my head.  I adore Nina Simone and I believe more people should get on the wagon!  Now trust me I know Nina Simone isn't obscure and I'm not hipping you fine folks to some diamond in the rough, but that doesn't mean she's not worth checking out.  She was a protest singer, folk musician, jazz musician, and the "High Priestess of Soul"!  So today I'm going to post some of my favorite tracks by this amazing woman.  I was thinking about a top ten but that's a little hard for me because it always changes, so I decided on 5 tracks so...  Off we go!

1. Mississippi Goddamn (1964)

One of my favorite protest songs of all time.  She belts out rage about what happen to Medgar Mevers in Mississippi.  You can find this song on her album "Nina Simone in Concert".  This song was banned in most if not all southern states because of the "Goddamn" in the title.  Check it out, it's a doozy!

2. Sinner Man (1965)

This is a great traditional spiritual that has been performed by several artists.  Nina Simone's version is 10 minutes and it's a treat!  She exorcising someone's demons that's for sure.  Give this track a listen and tell me it's not amazing.  You can find this track on her album "Pastel Blues", and "Gospel According to Nina Simone" (1973).

3. I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl (1967)

This track she lets her guard down for a bit and allows the listener to realize that she is like all of us.  She wants some good loving.  Folks there's nothing wrong with that now is there?  Check this track out, preferably with your special so and so and well you now where this is going gang.  You can find this track on the album "Nina Simone Sings the Blues".

4. Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter (1974)

 Most people recognize this track being performed by Ike & Tina Turner, it's funky but I prefer Nina Simone's version.  This piece right here has been used by b-boys & girls all over the world to break it down on the cardboard.  It's basically about a person that just talks a bunch of ish and really has nothing to offer to anyone but buffoonery.  We all know this person.  Check this joint out, it rules!  You can find this track on the album "It Is Finished"

Last but certainly not least...

5.  I Shall Be Released (1969)

Originally written by Bob Dylan and performed by the Band on their first album "Music From The Big Pink".  Their version is great but I prefer Nina Simone's version.  To me the song was meant to be sung by a strong woman.  Through the entire track her voice moves you in an almost religious way.  Check this track out.  Her voice quivers with an elegance that cannot and will not be duplicated.   You can find this on the album "To Love Somebody".

Okay folks thanks for checking this piece out today.  Hopefully somebody out there either has gained a new respect for this fantastic musician.  If anything I hope this makes you seek out your Nona Simone records in your collection today and jam them.  If you don't have any I hope this makes you seek out anything by her.

Enough of my blabbering and thanks again gang!

Yours truely,


Murphy Winston


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