Eddie Hinton, Cry and Moan (Bullseye Blues Records)

The best news about this CD is that it is a new collection of Eddie Hinton tunes and has been released on a label that will make it widely available. Also good news is that Hinton still sings like a tortured John Fogerty, and plays the same tasty soul guitar that he did backing up Wilson Pickett and Solomon Burke as a member of the Muscle Shoals studio band. It’s hard to go wrong with this much going for a record, but the Bullseye folks have managed to muck it up in production. Aside from the first few auspicious guitar chops to the beautiful soul ballad “Come On Home Baby Lee,” Hinton’s guitar is generally buried in the mix. At times the vocals suffer a similar fate or are needlessly double tracked. It is a production job that makes you long to hear the tape stripped down to Hinton and his guitar. The problem is not just that Hinton gets buried; it is the fact that he is buried under busy horn charts and the roller rink organ of producer Ron Levy. Gone are the punch and scream of the Muscle Shoals horns and¬†Hammond B-3 that decorate Hinton’s two great previous discs. All that said, any new Hinton disc is better than none, and Hinton still shines as the last of the great white soul singers.