Barry Goldberg – Street Man/Blast From My Past

Album Review | Retro World | Review by Liam Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

Still going strong at the age of 74, Barry Goldberg has provided keyboards for only the best artists of the blues and soul world. From stints with Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf in his teens to recent outings with Stephen Stills and Mick Taylor, Goldberg has carved a long career as one of America’s go-to session men. He also played keyboards for a certain Mr Zimmerman at the now legendary Newport Jazz Festival when Dylan went electric. His steady solo output, however, is no less impressive with a dozen or so LP releases since his Billy Sherrill-produced 1966 debut Blowing My Mind. This latest release presents a single disc reissue of a pair of albums from the early seventies, both originally released on the Buddah label and featuring sassy production from Lewis Merenstein, who took Van Morrison to dizzying heights with his superlative Moondance and Astral Weeks albums. Street Man (1970) is a bold, often brash but consistently soulful instrumental record which showcases Goldberg’s white-hot organ playing via the well-known melodies of such classic songs as “I Got a Woman”, “Soul Man”, “Hey Jude” and “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay” whilst Blasts From My Past (1971) consists of mainly original material from the gospel-infused “It Hurts Me Too” to the psychadelic love song “Sittin’ In Circles”. The latter album, recorded at the infamous Muscle Shoals recording studio and featuring the Mar-Keys horn section, opens with “Jimi The Fox”, a heartfelt tribute to the recently departed Jimi Hendrix which features a rasping guitar solo from Mike Bloomfield. Lovingly preserved by Sony and Floating World Records, this 21-track reissue of two fine albums comes complete with a glossy book full of liner notes by Alan Robinson, detailed musician rosters and original artwork.