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Steve Cropper’s Fire It Up is timeless, spine-tingling and funky

Steve Cropper, legendary studio backbone of Stax Records, releases Fire It Up, his “first proper album” since 1967



It’s reassuring to hear Steve Cropper – the legendary studio backbone of Stax Records, co-writer of countless 60s soul classics, the former Mar-Keys and Booker T. & The MG’s member routinely ranked among the most influential guitarists of all time – still in fine fettle as he reaches his eightieth year. 

Cropper’s less-is-more solo mastery takes centre stage only on the insidious instrumental Bush Hog

With the other 10 tracks, featuring Roger C Reale’s gruff blues shout and robust brass section, he’s more content to let his liquid economy embellish, deliver spine-tingling solos and drive the funky soul grooves of She’s So Fine and The Go-Getter Is Gone, deploying Soul Man-style hammer riffing on the title track and evoking his Dock Of The Bay on One Good Turn.

Working with co-producer Jon Tiven, Cropper considers this his first proper solo album since 1967. It’s sufficiently timeless to have been released the following year.