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Betty Harris – 1980 – In The Saddle

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betty harris

Here’s a Saturday morning treat for y’all! Forty minutes of fierce and funky R&B from the Queen of New Orleans Deep Soul. These songs are raw and heartfelt and Betty’s incredible voice are perfectly complimented by Allen Toussaint‘s gritty production.

With tracks like ‘Ride your Pony‘(also a hit for Lee Dorsey) you think to yourself that this could possibly be a Black Belt Jones soundtrack, with its funky Shaft-esque bass lines. Betty Harris is oft dubbed the true soul Queen of New Orleans for a reason…her smoky velvet voice projects deep soul like no other brooding growly range. R & B means something different now than it did then. In a world where computer beats and bikini-booty constitutes today’s R&B, it’s nice to reflect on what that really used to mean. Betty’s R&B was more about the groove and the melody than selling sex (which is not to say that she wasn’t a sexpot of course).

She was extremely under-rated in her day, and I think that if there had never been an Aretha Franklin, there would have always been Betty Harris.

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