Archie Bell & the Drells

Archie Bell & the Drells

Photo by Marco Torres


Past Event
Archie Bell hasn’t released an album in 25 years, but now that he has, there’s no reason not to pull out all the stops. Entitled There’s Gonna Be a Showdown Again, the record — produced by engineering ace Andy Bradley and recorded entirely at Houston’s Wire Road Studios — is an obvious callback to his 1969 LP There’s Gonna Be a Showdown, released the year after Bell and the Drells (and, lest anyone forget, the TSU Toronadoes) gave America “Tighten Up,” a.k.a. the nation’s biggest dance craze since the Twist. The song has been the cornerstone of Bell’s repertoire ever since, so of course it reappears on his new album, folded into a duet-medley with “Treat Her Right” singer and fellow Mr. Excitement Roy Head. Featuring guitars by another Houston-area musical legend, the late great Kenny Cordray, Showdown also boasts three duets with country crooner Mickey Gilley and several songs from Bell’s days as a top hitmaker at Gamble & Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, the pivotal Philly label which coined the “TSOP” sound that in many ways paved the way for disco. Nearly a half-century on, Bell’s signature thousand-watt grin hasn’t dimmed in the slightest, nor has his contagious musical energy.
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