Americana Highways presents this premiere of Sam Moss’ song “Ain’t That Peculiar,” a song from an album by Moss that’s recently been digitally restored by Chris Stamey. The album, Blues Approved, will be released on CD and digitally by Schoolkids Records on January 28, 2022, with a vinyl edition to follow.
The original sessions were produced by Sam Moss at Route 8, Box 1-C and at Creative Audio/Turtle Tapes. The album was produced and mixed for this release by Chris Stamey, with input from Gene Holder and Mitch Easter, at Modern Recording (Chapel Hill, N.C.).
“Ain’t That Peculiar” was written by Marin Torplin, Robert Rogers, Warren Moore, and William “Smokey” Robinson Jr. and made famous by Marvin Gaye.
Musicians on this track are Sam Moss on guitar and vocals; Henry Heidtmann on bass and piano; Farfisa on backing vocals (and engineering); Mike Kennedy on congas; Mike “Wezo” Wesolowski on harmonica; and Faith Jones on background vocals. It was originally recorded at Creative Audio.
In the video trailer Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Mitch Easter and Rick Miller (So. Culture on the Skids) all appear. It’s wonderful to be given this new gift from the past of music from a man who touched so many people. The song is infectious and the new mixing with the added harmony vocals is a delight. It’s wild to consider that Sam only did his part once! See what Chris Stamey and to say about it:
The core of Blues Approved was recorded on four tracks with Mitch Easter on drums, in a little house in the woods in 1977, listening back to takes on a home stereo, with a dog barking in the background. But a few supercool additions came from later sessions, with Henry Heidtmann, Jay Johnson, and Ted Lyons at Creative Audio/Turtle Tapes in Winston-Salem, N.C. I mixed ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’ from the original 16-track, adding only the remarkable Faith Jones to the already-soulful ‘Ronettes’ of Sam, Jay, and Henry. Sam tilted the Marvin Gaye classic toward the blues end of the spectrum, with ‘Weso’ Wesolowski (Luxuriant Sedans) on harp. Here’s how Henry remembers it: ‘The sessions Sam did with us . . . all started the same way. The phone call. ‘It’s Moss. What are you doing tonight? Well, let me tell you!’ Next stop would be the ‘Tato’ store (those in the know, will know) and perhaps Ronnie’s for a couple dozen wings. After a brief woodshedding of the tune, the 2″ tape rolled. . . . At Sam’s insistence, Jay used his producing finesse to emphasize [minimal] mic placement over the faders. It made for a transparent live sound without using multiple tracks. . . . Sam knew what he wanted and did his parts once. Once. ‘No need to do that again,’ he’d say. He just knew when it was right.” —Chris Stamey
Earmark this for yourself to buy the album! https://schoolkidsrecords.com/UPC/634457076884