I just stepped outside to have my good-morning-cigarette-with-coffee to find that it is now snowing here in NY. Looking up at the level, bleached-slate sky, today’s song popped into my head. It could be this was already swimming around in there because of my recent post of Ken Boothe’s 1973 rock-steady rendition of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine.”

Perhaps this too could be considered a “cover” of the Withers’ classic, but it is also so much more than that. Taking Withers’ original as a jump-off, The Prodigal Sons deliver solid-rock gospel with a rhythm section that trudges on through the darkness; a darkness that they are urging you to know will pass with a persistent spirit. What stands out for me on this track are the emphatic lead vocal by Johnnie Holmes and the odd organ that twitches around the melody (I believe by Cority Quarles), which sounds like a precursor to RZA’s instantly captivating yet always peculiar production technique.

On Newark, New Jersey’s Richburg Records label, and off their 1976 Fred McGriff produced album of the same name—here’s The Sensational PRODIGAL SONS with “No Sunshine In A Storm.”

The Sensational PRODIGAL SONS

To those who don’t have to shovel–enjoy the snow; and to those that do–I’m sure It’ll melt soon.

                                                                                                                                                                 ————————Bobby Calero


Withers, B. (1971), & Prodigal Sons. (1975). No Sunshine In A Storm. [recorded by Prodigal Sons] On No Sunshine In A Storm. [Vinyl] Richburg. (1976)

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