Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, The Complete Duo Recordings - album review

Download: The Dark End of the Street;  Sweet Inspiration; Do Right Woman,  Do Right Man; I’m Your Puppet

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The Independent Culture

Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham are living evidence of the white legacy of Southern soul music that lies beneath the surface cliches of “blackness”, responsible for several of the genre’s signature works, including “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man”, “Sweet Inspiration” and, of course, “The Dark End of the Street”, besides penning poppier hits like “Cry Like a Baby”.

Moments From This Theatre features the pair recorded live in 1998, with just Oldham’s electric piano and Penn’s acoustic guitar shading the latter’s husky, abraded drawl.

There’s a warmth and intimacy to the results that belie the ostensible tragedy of the material, with the audience emboldened to chuckle at a poignant line in “Ol’ Folks” about giving flowers to your granny in her lifetime because “she can’t use them when she’s dead”.