Howard Tate - Blue Day

Howard Tate
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Some people will hear the music Howard Tate made over the last 40 plus years and conclude that he is a blues singer. However, it's probably more accurate to call the Macon, Ga. Native a southern soul singer. Still, as Tate's latest recording Blue Day shows, blues and southern soul could be called kissin' cousins. One of the similarities between a lot of southern soul songs and the blues is that they share the same harmonic structure. But then too, jazz, rock and a lot of other 20th Century Music are rooted in the blues at some level.

Besides, Tate's personal story is one that a lot of blues singers can relate to. Tate scored several soul hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but he left the industry and dropped off the scene. Unfortunately, he fell into a life of substance abuse and ended up in a homeless center before turning his life around in the 1990s.

Some people will hear the music Howard Tate made over the last 40 plus years and conclude that he is a blues singer. However, it's probably more accurate to call the Macon, Ga. Native a southern soul singer. Still, as Tate's latest recording Blue Day shows, blues and southern soul could be called kissin' cousins. One of the similarities between a lot of southern soul songs and the blues is that they share the same harmonic structure. But then too, jazz, rock and a lot of other 20th Century Music are rooted in the blues at some level.

Besides, Tate's personal story is one that a lot of blues singers can relate to. Tate scored several soul hits in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but he left the industry and dropped off the scene. Unfortunately, he fell into a life of substance abuse and ended up in a homeless center before turning his life around in the 1990s. Tate worked as a counselor and became a minister before finding his way back into the music industry earlier this decade.

That personal story means Tate has the background as well as the vocal chops to carry off a song like "Miss Beehive," the opening tune on Blue Day which is an ode to Amy Winehouse. Tate can get down in the gut- bucket when singing about living high on the hog despite being broke on "Live Like a Millionaire." Tate moves with ease from the sacred to the profane while maintaining his sincerity. He can sing about divine guidance through the lean times on a song such as "If God Brought You To It," on one track while telling a story about back-sliding on "Back To My Old Ways Again."

Blue Day is filled with throw back music, and the sound might be a bit too earthy for ears of many modern fans. However, Tate knows how to work a lyric and tell a story, and he knows how to use a lived life in the pursuit of making some pretty good art.

By Howard Dukes

 
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