Ironing Board Sam (from the album Super Spirit) - Ironing Board Sam has been in the center of a career that has never really had a high point. What Sam has proved to be is dedicated to his calling, relying on the Super Spirit that he takes as an album title for his latest release. Beginning at age fifteen, Sam was playing keyboards in his native South Carolina. He relocated to Miami, FLA and came to Memphis, Tennessee in 1959, acquiring the nickname for his use of an ironing board as a stand for his legless keyboards. Sam was backed in 1962 by a band that included a young Jimi Hendrix, as he crisscrossed the United States looking for record deals, landing and losing them along his path.
Ironing Board Sam invented and adopted the ‘button keyboard’ as his instrument of choice. Two keyboards, with the top main set like a Hammond B3 while under the keys are guitar strings fed through a wah-wah pedal and into an amplifier, achieving a sound that of a piano, a guitar or both combined. The lower keyboard provides bass with sixty upholstery tacks connected to electronic sensors. He wears a wire under his coat sleeve that runs to his fingers to conduct electricity to the buttons. Ironing Board Sam works his keyboards on the album opener as a long funky Blues that shouts out “Baby You Got It”. Super Spirit sits down with a slow groove for “Honey Baby”, hooks up to a runaway rock’n’roll rhythm that barrels along crying “I Can’t Take It” as it takes “I Wanna Be There” to church with organ swells and choir harmonies and across a title track is a long highway with waves of psychedelic beats and sound blasts of desert heat.
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