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MILLIE JACKSON: LOVING ARMS-THE SOUL COUNTRY ALBUM (KENT)
You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl! How true is that! Born in Georgia, Millie was raised on country music. That of the R&B ilk came later. And thank the Lord it did too, otherwise we’d have missed out on some blinding slices of music that gently wooed us, inspired us and/or worked us up into a frenzy. While most of her albums between 1975-1981 actually held at least one country track, it wasn’t until she released “Just A Lil Bit Country” that she devoted a whole album to that genre. For various reasons that album was ‘lost’ saleswise, but now some of those tracks are included on this new compilation. I, of course, honed in immediately to her duets with Isaac Hayes – “You Never Cross My Mind” and “You Needed Me” (dare I admit that I also love Anne Murray’s version of this song!). Both taken from the magnificent “Royal Rappin’s” album. Don Gibson’s “I Can’t Stop Loving You” is given the Millie treatment, and even her take on Dolly Parton’s “Here You Come Again” demands a re-listen. Combining Millie’s sassy, and often irreverent, approach to music, with the gentler, often passive tones of country music, works extremely well as proven here. Sadly, I’m not a lover of C&W which, of course, has hampered to a degree my enthusiasm for this re-issue. But credit where credit’s due: it’s her, it’s him on two tracks, so life ain’t all bad folks!

Rating: 6

About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.
  
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