It's been 35 years since singer Sweet Pea Atkinson's last solo album, but it takes time to form a diamond - along with grit, polish, and loyal support from some of the greats in the music industry. Modern blues master Keb' Mo' has been a Sweet Pea devotee since the two men met in a recording studio in the late '90s, and when former band mate Don Was took over as president of Blue Note Records, one of his first orders of business was signing him to the iconic label.
"Sweet Pea is one of the last great R&B and soul singers. He's a man of charisma and style, a timeless talent who's greatly respected by his peers, and the epitome of cool." - Keb' Mo'
Through a five decade career, Atkinson has enjoyed some stellar gigs as lead singer for Was (Not Was) and The Boneshakers, touring vocalist with Lyle Lovett's band, and studio background singer on more than 100 albums for artists ranging from Bonnie Raitt and Taj Mahal to Brian Wilson and Walter Becker. Most fans know him best for his soulful growl on "Walk The Dinosaur," the Was (Not Was) hit from 1989.
On "Get What You Deserve," his aptly titled new album, Atkinson's vocal style rises and dips between Wilson Pickett's rhythmic shout and Otis Redding's gritty croon, but there's a fresh, entirely original voice at work here, too. Dig his soulful plea on "You're Welcome Baby, Stop On By," the soaring heights of "Am I Grooving You," or his seen-it-all, sang-it-all weathered timbre on "Last Two Dollars." This is a man with mileage and wisdom in his rhythm and blues. This is an album for close and repeated listening - perfect for long spring road trips and top-down summer nights.