Reporter Eugene Sylvester (Editor newspapers outside of Boston) interviews Jimmy Miller in the CCI Industry Report.
When the late Jimmy Miller was on the top of the world with the Rolling Stones, he was given a ten-album deal with ABC Records resulting in various releases, including a B.B. King album produced by the late Joe Zagarino, material by Bobby Whitlock, and this extraordinary record by the lead singer of Ten Wheel Drive, Genya Ravan. Jim Price and Joe Zagarino produced the album for Jimmy Miller Productions, with Miller producing only two of the 12 titles, the Stones-ish “Southern Celebration” and Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock‘s “Keep on Growing.” This is a great setting for Ravan, her impeccable vocals a perfect fit for an album rife with pop and Southern rock. Jimmy Miller produced Delaney & Bonnie & Friends on Tour With Eric Clapton (and George Harrison incognito), and the legendary status garnered by that classic and the Blind Faith album should’ve insured this disc a better fate. Ravan was disappointed that Miller did not produce the entire project, and she has a valid point. Jimmy Miller certainly had supreme intuition, but as with many artists, he lost sight of the business end of things. In retrospect, Zagarino, one of Miller‘s engineers with the Rolling Stones, and Jim Price do a phenomenal job — the Pat & Lolly Vegas tune “When You Got Trouble” is a standout, coming in between the Vegas brothers’ hits with their band Redbone. Van McCoy‘s “Gotta Tell Somebody (‘Bout My Baby,” Richard Carpenter and King Pleasure‘s “Swan Blues,” and two Genya Ravan co-writes with Jim Price, “Don’t Press Me” and “I’ll Be With You,” all present a side of Ravan that is far removed from the jazz/rock of Ten Wheel Drive, except for two tracks. “Under Control” is exhilarating, with Jim Horn‘s flutes actually throwing a little tease of the Ten Wheel Drive sound into the mix; the tune starts funky and slips into stunning pop. “I’ll Be With You” is like a ballad from Ten Wheel Drive, and it is nice that her past is addressed. The majority of this album, though, is a testament to Ravan‘s vocal genius. She would reunite with Jimmy Miller 13 years later in 1986 for the Buddy Guy project, the unreleased album before his breakthrough Damn Right I Got the Blues. The album cover is a trip, with Ravan decked out as a Southern belle, with mimes surrounding her. The inside cover photo and lyric spread is familiar, looking very much like the cover of her And I Mean It album for 20th Century. This is brilliant work from a woman who deserves a bigger piece of the rock & roll pie.
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione [-]