Steve Cropper working in studio


As the Stax records house guitarist with Booker T. & the M.G.’s “The ColonelSTEVE CROPPER has backed celebrated artists such as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. Although most will know him better as a standout member of the Blues Brothers band.

The 20-year-old Steve Cropper became a founding member of the Stax house band along with Hammond musician Booker T. Jones in 1962 with bassist Lewie Steinberg (who was replaced by another “Blues Brothers” member Donald “Duck” Dunn” soon after) and drummer Al Jackson Jr.

Stax Records of Memphis was influential in the creation of Southern soul and the wider propagation of gospel, blues and funk.

Screen grab - The Colonel and Duck in the Blues Brothers

In addition to being one of the most influential guitarists in rock history (ranked 39th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time), Steve Cropper, now 79, is a talented songwriter and producer. Cropper co-wrote  “Knock on Wood” with Eddie Floyd, “In the Midnight Hour” with Wilson Pickett and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Otis Redding.

Steve Cropper 2020

To say that the musician is illustrious is to underestimate his incredible contribution to popular music, and especially to soul, blues and funk… in fact we think he’s worthy of pious veneration. So when the living legend announces a new album, well, we can’t help but get all fired up!

The Colonel has just shared the new lyric video (see for yourself, below) for his title track of the 2021 album “Fire It Up” and, by corks, it’s a dandy humdinger!

There’s a mix of chunky-funky vibes, lots of cha-cha beats, fringed guitar and scoops of his (older now) elderberry and goober-pea voice that sounds kinda nubbly in places, but don’t worry, it’s always wonderfully textured. When the blazing guitar solo finally arrives, it’s a flash of neon and glitter and you’ll be grinning. The whole breezy piece rattles quite happily along, like a trolley on the Riverfront loop. Enriching!

Fire It Up is due for release 23rd April 2021 via Provogue Records

Words: @neilmach 2021 ©


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.