Hannibalism! (Norton Records)

Reviewed by Shaun Dale

Hannibalism! tracks 25 years of the career of James Shaw, who recorded for a wide range of labels as Jimmy Shaw, Hannibal, The Mighty Hannibal and King Hannibal. No matter what name he used, though, or what label he appeared on, there was one consistent thread running through all of his music. Hannibal was one sensational soul singer.

Still is, actually, if you take his word for it. The extended notes he contributes to this Norton collection, chronicling his life from his Atlanta, GA boyhood to his friendships with soul legends like Sam Cooke, James Brown, Jesse Belvin and others, close on a promise to come back with a vengeance, and if he retains a fraction of the chops displayed on the 28 tracks here, well, he just might be the source of a mighty soul revival.

Meanwhile, this album stands as the most enjoyable history lesson you'll ever take. Certain, um, lifestyle choices may have kept Hannibal from achieving the widescale commercial success his talent merited, but that talent has happily been preserved and is available again. This is one for your player, not your archives. It's the real deal.

Track List:

Big Chief Hug-um An' Kiss-um * Take A Chance On Me * Please Take A Chance On Me * Motha Goose Breaks Loose * Fall In Love With Me * My Name Is Hannibal * The Biggest Cry * I Need A Woman ('Cause I'm A Man) * Baby Please Change Your Mind * My Kinda Girl * All Night Long * Jerkin' The Dog * In The Midnight Hour * Hymn No. 5 * Fishin' Pole * Shame, Shame * Trying To Make It Through * Get Back * The Right To Love You * Good Time * I Just Want Some Love * Get In The Groove * Somebody In The World For You * We're Gonna Make It * Meet Me At Mary's Place * I'm Coming Home * The Truth Shall Make You Free * Party Life

© 2001 - Shaun Dale