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Booker T

Soul Man: Booker T digs out a Potato Hole.
Gary Copeland

To many, Booker T's glass-smooth Hammond B-3 is the sound of soul. The 65-year-old Memphis native, born Booker T. Jones, was the driving force behind the legendary MGs, a murderer's row of musicians also featuring Steve Cropper (guitar), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass) and the late Al Jackson Jr. (drums). Until Jones left for the West Coast and a solo career in 1968, the MGs were not only one of the great record-label house bands of all time — backing Stax stars such as Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, Rufus & Carla Thomas and Otis Redding — but one of the great bands of all time, scoring several instrumental hits of their own including the immortal (and still ubiquitous) "Green Onions," "Time Is Tight" and "Hip Hug Her." Between periodic reunions of the surviving MGs, Jones has been a producer (Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine"; Willie Nelson's Stardust), side man (Soul Asylum's Grave Dancers Union — seriously) and solo artist, most recently on 2009's Grammy-nominated Potato Hole. Though his Potato backing band Drive-By Truckers is now busy with its own The Big To-Do, whoever Jones has with him Saturday will no doubt be up to the task — the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient does have a pretty good ear for talent. And everything else.


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