Album of the Day
Both as backing band for some of the 1960s' biggest stars and as headliners in their own right, Booker T. & The M.G.'s represented the gold standard for instrumental soul. Their third studio album, AND NOW!, marked a new era for the Memphis group as original bassist Lewie Steinberg was replaced by Donald “Duck” Dunn on all 12 tracks. Along with such fine originals as minor R&B hit “My Sweet Potato,” the band leave their funky stamp on songs ranging from the traditional “Jericho” to show tune “Summertime” to 5 Royales/James Brown favorite “Think.” Stax Studio head Jim Stewart helmed the sessions for the 1966 collection, and he gives each player a chance to shine (Booker T. Jones' keyboards and Steve Cropper's guitar work are particularly impressive). We'll give the thoroughly enjoyable AND NOW! another spin to wish Jones a happy birthday.