Rolling Stone - 7/8/93, p.20
"...Top-shelf Memphis R&B, much of it previously unissued, from a Sixties soul thrush long overdue for recognition..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1154 stars out of 5
- "[With] raunchy, rough vocals....Among the stand-outs are the raucous blues of 'Catch That Man' and 'Ain't Giving It Up'."
Personnel includes: Mable John (vocals); Steve Cropper (electric guitar), Booker T. Jones, Isaac Hayes (keyboards); Donald "Duck" Dunn (Fender bass); Al Jackson, Jr. (drums).
Recorded between 1966 and 1968. Includes liner notes by Rob Bowman.
Contains 26 rare or previously unreleased tracks.
Relatively unknown outside the circle of soul fanatics, Mable John had one of the sultriest voices in her genre, and co-wrote some of the era's best, yet unheard, soul classics. Most notable of her material was her theme song "Able Mable," a bluesy finger-snapping piece reminiscent of "Fever," a single once recorded by her little brother Little Willie John.
It's remarkable that the song "Able Mable" or her other singles never pushed her to greater stardom. Coupling the suave of soul with the smokey physicality of blues, Mable John's vocal approach is virtually unmistakeable. Included on STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN are John's most notable singles for the Stax/Volt label, "Able Mable" and "Running Out." What makes the tracks even more remarkable is the impeccable playing by Stax regulars, guitarist Steve Cropper and drummer Al Jackson, Jr. STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN is a portrait of a timeless soul singer at her best.
Personnel: Mable John (vocals); Steve Cropper (guitar); Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones (keyboards); Al Jackson, Jr. (drums).
Liner Note Author: Rob Bowman.
Recording information: Stax Recording Studio, Memphis, TN (1966-1968); Stax Studios, Memphis (1966-1968).
If you're a fan and/or collector of deep Southern soul music from the '60s, you would have encountered in your listening some grade-A sides from one Mable John, most notably the politically incorrect "Don't Hit Me No More." An R&B veteran who did time as one of the Raelettes, her tenure at Stax Records was short, producing little in the way of substantial hits. But what John left behind in the vaults ends up shining like triple platinum here, with 25 tracks of the best Southern soul you'll ever pop into the CD player. Even with Stax stars Steve Cropper, Al Jackson, Booker T. Jones, Isaac Hayes and David Porter all aboard, the real star of the proceedings is John, and better examples of the real thing are very hard to come by. ~ Cub Koda