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Joe McEwen

Joe McEwen

Also known as "Mr C", Joe McEwen wrote widely on soul music for Rolling Stone, The Real Paper and other publications before becoming an A&R man at Warner-Reprise in the '80s. He compiled the legendary Lost Soul albums for Epic and is thanked profusely in Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music.

35 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

Allen Toussaint: Introspective Funk

Retrospective and Interview by Joe McEwen, Real Paper, The, 2 October 1974

PRODUCER ALLEN TOUSSAINT hunches forward over the expansive 16-track control board and stares impassively through the glass at two singers in the orange studio beyond. ...

Swamp Dogg: The "Swamp Dogg" Story

Retrospective and Interview by Joe McEwen, Black Music, December 1975

Joe McEwen talks to soul's most successful failure... ...

Betty Davis: Nasty Gal

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 18 December 1975

ON HER FIRST two albums, Betty Davis staked out a peculiar brand of kinky, tongue-in-cheek funk that garnered her a cult following in Philadelphia and ...

David Ruffin: Who I Am

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 1 January 1976

THIS IS AN encouraging album. After a celebrated re-signing with Motown last year, the ponderous Norman Whitfield-produced Me 'n Rock 'n Roll Are Here to ...

Ann Peebles: Tellin' It

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 29 January 1976

ONCE A CONSISTENT R&B hit-maker, Ann Peebles's output has seen a precipitous drop in both the vitality of her music and the sales of her ...

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes: Wake Up Everybody (Philadelphia International PZ 33808)

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 26 February 1976

WITH THE rumored schism between Harold Melvin and lead singer Teddy Pendergrass, the current status of the Blue Notes seems to be in limbo. Though ...

Junior Walker & The Allstars: Junior Walker and the All-Stars: Hot Shot

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 24 March 1976

HOT SHOT is the first Junior Walker album in three years, which is surprising in light of the current reign of disco/dance music, Walker’s natural ...

Funkadelic, Parliament: Parliament-Funkadelic: Mothership Connection

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 25 March 1976

WITH THE "Parliafunkadelicment thang", leader George Clinton has succeeded in creating two distinct identities for one band—the mystical voodoo of the Funkadelics and the stabbing, ...

The Isley Brothers: Two Generations Of Innovation

Report and Interview by Joe McEwen, Phonograph Record, June 1976

A SHORT HOP across the George Washington Bridge, Teaneck, New Jersey is a crowded suburban community, dominated by upwardly mobile black families. In the past ...

The Emotions: Flowers

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 9 September 1976

SALVAGED FROM THE debris of the Stax bankruptcy, the Emotions have reemerged with one of the year's most refreshing soul albums. Producer Maurice White, who ...

The Meters: The Meters: Paul's Mall, Boston

Live Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 4 November 1976

THE METERS may well be the finest performing American band. Without resorting to such modern pop trappings as smoke bombs and gyrating pianos, the Meters ...

The Bee Gees: Bee Gees: Children of the World

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 4 November 1976

FROM MUSHY pop ballads through late-Sixties psychedelia and low-key rock, the Bee Gees have demonstrated a chameleonlike ability to adapt to disparate pop trends. These ...

Earth Wind and Fire: Earth, Wind & Fire: Spirit

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 16 December 1976

THE SONGS OF Earth, Wind and Fire combine pure urban fantasy with the type of facile brotherhood messages that also crop up in the music ...

Funkadelic: Tales of Kidd Funkadelic

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 16 December 1976

WHAT YOU SEE ON Funkadelic album covers is what the band is about: "THE SABER-TOOTH, SLIPPERY TONGUED & MOST NASTIC MAU-MAU BOOTYBUSTERS OF NOXIOUS NEEGROW ...

O'Jays: Message in the Music

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 16 December 1976

NOW THAT the Staples are unabashed sex merchants, the O'Jays are pop's foremost message mongerers. But the O'Jays don't write or produce their albums, so ...

Al Green: Have a Good Time

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 27 January 1977

IF HIS RECORDS ARE ANY indication, Al Green is a troubled, no, haunted man. ...

Gwen McCrae, KC & the Sunshine Band, Latimore: KC and the Sunshine Band: Part 3/Gwen McCrae: Something So Right/Latimore: It Ain't Where You Been

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 10 February 1977

IT WAS THE STUFF from which legends are carved: an office, a studio no larger than a motel room crammed with organs, pianos and a ...

The Trammps: Roseland Ballroom, New York NY

Live Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 5 May 1977

A YEAR AND a half ago, the Trammps were a band of promise. They were also a lot of fun. Presided over by MFSB drummer ...

Joe Tex: The Soul Of An Underdog

Profile and Interview by Joe McEwen, Boston Phoenix, The, 31 May 1977

THE SHOW was held at South Philadelphia's Spectrum, still a brand-new facility in 1969, but it could well have been the fare at North Philly's ...

Marvin Gaye: Live at the London Palladium

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 2 June 1977

ALONG WITH Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye must be considered one of the most reticent pop performers. This is his second live album in three years, ...

Johnny Guitar Watson: A Real Mother for Ya (DJM DJLPA-7)

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 30 June 1977

JOHNNY GUITAR Watson has been around. Twenty years ago he recorded a frantic, B.B. King-styled blues for R.P.M.called '3 O'clock in the Morning' that helped ...

The Sylvers, Tavares: The Sylvers: Something Special (Capitol ST 11580); Tavares: Love Storm (Capitol ST AO-11628)

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 14 July 1977

I KNOW, I know. I'm not supposed to admit liking a record by the Sylvers, much less write about it. Even my girlfriend, who prefers ...

The Moments: The Moments Greatest Hits (Stang)

Review by Joe McEwen, Village Voice, The, 5 September 1977

The Moments Move Into the Bedroom ...

Diana Ross: Baby It's Me

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 1 December 1977

DIANA ROSS' gifts aren't easy to capture on record. In fact, it's been a decade since anybody has done it consistently. She's campy and prone ...

Rod Stewart: Foot Loose and Fancy Free

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 15 December 1977

THERE'S SOMETHING to be said for the New Wave rebellion against (to borrow a phrase from the not-so-young-himself Willy De Ville) "old meat". Even if ...

Earth Wind and Fire: All 'n All

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 26 January 1978

AT THEIR WORST, Earth, Wind and Fire indulge in some of the most pretentious excesses in current black music. As on past Earth, Wind and ...

Lee Dorsey: Night People (ABC AA-1048)

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 4 May 1978

DECAY AND decline are never simple in pop music. Take New Orleans R&B as a case in point. A once-flourishing scene had just about sputtered ...

The Manhattans: There’s No Good In Goodbye; It Feels So Good

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 18 May 1978

IN A FIELD ONCE glutted with heavyweights, lightweights and pretenders, the Manhattans stand almost alone, a throwback to an era when an orange sharkskin suit, ...

Etta James: Deep in the Night

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 1 June 1978

ONCE, WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN, I bought a copy of "My Dearest Darling" by Etta James, a record I'd heard as an oldie on a ...

Bunny Sigler: Let Me Party with You (Gold Mind GZS-7502)

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 15 June 1978

FOR CLOSE to a decade, Bunny Sigler has been one of Philadelphia's best-kept secrets. His five-year association with Philadelphia International netted just two albums (though ...

Aretha Franklin: Almighty Fire

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 29 June 1978

THERE'S A SONG on Almighty Fire that has little to do with the rest of this Curtis Mayfield-produced album. 'I'm Your Speed' ends side two ...

Cissy Houston, Singers' Singer, Steps Out

Profile and Interview by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 29 June 1978

Legendary background vocalist ...

Rev. James Cleveland: Savoy Delivers the Gospel

Interview by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 21 September 1978

ELIZABETH, N.J. — Fred Mendelsohn likes to tell a story. "I was at an Arista convention in New Orleans," he says, inching forward in his ...

Denise LaSalle: Under the Influence (ABC)

Review by Joe McEwen, Village Voice, The, 11 December 1978

Denise LaSalle: on Top of the Influence ...

Curtis Mayfield: The Anthology 1961-1977

Review by Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 4 February 1993

CURTIS MAYFIELD and the Impressions: The Anthology, a two-CD, forty-song set, is a remarkable document. Lovingly assembled by Chicago-soul authority Robert Pruter, this collection connects ...

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