Tell Me, Baby by Walter Hyatt
(This is copied from my blog, sideatrack1.com. To listen to the songs, please drop by.)
“Tell Me, Baby”, from Walter Hyatt’s King Tears album (1990), is one of my all-time favorite songs. Its beautifully melancholic melody and lyrics just hit the right spot – I can’t explain it. Much like Ray Charles’ “Georgia On My Mind”, it’s one of those songs that I just can’t help but listen to on repeat (and is naturally in my desert-island mix).
Before releasing his two solo albums, Hyatt was a member of Uncle Walt’s Band, a wonderful Americana band from the 70s-80s. Their An American in Texas Revisited album (1980) was one of my first exposures to non-mainstream Americana/Roots/Whatever You Want to Call It music, and it set the stage for further exploration.
You can hear traces of jazz influences in Uncle Walt’s Band, but it wasn’t until his first solo album, King Tears, that Hyatt managed to let loose his inner jazz vocalist without ever losing touch with his Folk/Country/Swing roots (it’s a crime that this album and Hyatt himself aren’t recognized more). The entire album is excellent, but “Tell Me, Baby” is…special.
Hyatt tragically died on a plane crash in 1996 and couldn’t complete his third album, but the posthumous release, Some Unfinished Business, Volume One (2008), culled many of his unfinished songs and overdubbed them onto the final production versions with the aid of many of his admirers.
Tell Me, Baby, Walter Hyatt.
Tell Me Baby, Allison Moorer. A great cover from her debut album, Alabama Song. Her live version during a Walter Hyatt tribute concert on Austin City Limits (1997) is even better!