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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Starr, Ruby - 1976 Scene Stealer
Starr, Ruby - 1976 Scene Stealer

ARTIST: Starr, Ruby
ALBUM: Scene Stealer
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-11549
YEAR: 1976


LINEUP: Ruby Starr - lead vocals * Tommy Aldridge - drums * Jimmy Henderson - lead guitar * Marius Penczer - keyboards, vocals * David Mayo - bass, vocals

Additional Musicians: Jim Dandy - vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Maybe I'm Amazed * 02 Morning Glory * 03 That's It * 04 I'll Meet You Half Way * 05 Love On Ice * 06 Who's Who * 07 Be My Baby * 08 Mass Transit * 09 Fistful Of Love * 10 Drift Away

You gotta give Ruby credit. She was never bashful when it came to showing off her feminine wiles and here she is once again on both the front and back sleeve and insert with amazing gams, stunning figure and big hair ten years before Aquanet was a weapon of choice. Better yet, Starr was blessed with super-charged pipes that backed-up that steaming down home, down there sexuality; playing the hip-swaying foil to Jim Dandy's good 'ol boy croak in Black Oak Arkansas and in 1975 went the solo route with her first LP as Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost. Endless roadwork and a year later 'Scene Stealer' ditched some of the Grey Ghost line-up in favor of Black Oak members Jimmy Henderson on guitar and journeyman pounder Tommy Aldridge as well as a guest appearance from Mr. Jimbo Dandy himself, minus the washboard.

The Songs
The sweet southern lilt of Paul McCartney's 'Maybe I'm Amazed' was convincing enough for Capitol to pick it as a single and early enough to beat out the hugely popular live Wings version released later that year although in the end chart action for Starr was paltry at best. From here the album chugalugs through typical mid-rocking deep-fried fare, vocally in the same A-list category as Janis Joplin and Tina Turner but rarely conveying any homespun originality. The second side tries a little harder, but ultimately is as bad as last week's grits with the weird rat'tat'tat percussion and popcorn organ on 'Who's Who' to the predominantly instrumental Sea Level-ish 'Mass Transit' leaving an awful aftertaste that even a shot of Jack couldn't wash away. Sandwiched in-between, a pointless cover of The Ronettes 'Be My Baby' and stranger yet, the horny and funked-up Starr/Jim Dandy duet 'Fistful of Love' which sounds almost note for note like Black Oak Arkansas' take on 'Balls Of Fire' released the same year.

In Summary
While a kissing cousin to Black Oak; 'Scene Stealer' is like so many of that band's hog-pile of albums - long on southernisms, but too often short of shit-hot tunes to lock in with the likes of the Allmans, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Outlaws. Ruby recorded one more album 'Smokey Places' in 1977, moved on to the communal Grey Star and released a couple unknown solo singles in the mid-1980's but has been largely forgotten by feminist rockers who flaunt themselves as cutting edge. Starr was an original and in the trenches with the ugliest of rock bands when their mommies and daddies were still young-uns and bra-burning was a major act of girl power four decades before the term was coined. Wonder what she would have thought of Auto'tune although my guess is, not much.

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#1 | gdazegod on February 24 2013 06:26:40
God damn, some of the photos of Ruby back in the day were awesome! HOT!
#2 | sabace on December 05 2016 20:15:14
love Ruby
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