Farther up the Road

My favorite American music is probably Soul music from 1964-76, give or take a year on either side. Soul music is a combination of rhythm and blues with some admixture of pop  and, most crucially, black gospel vocal technique rather than the traditional harsher ‘shouting’ that most RnB singers used.

One of the creators of the vocal style was Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland. His first big hit was in 1957. The instrumental backing is standard 1950s RnB and the lyrics are standard 12 bar blues fare (three four bar lines of lyrics, with the first line repeated).

It’s Bland’s vocals that are the standout. There’s an edge of the RnB shout to his voice but it’s tempered with a much wider dynamic range (with a change of register on Now you’re laughing pretty baby) and a warm vibrato on the held notes.

Interestingly the record label reads Farther up the Road but Bland consistently sings further on up the road. There are also some dialect pronunciations that I decided to retain (you gonna instead of you’re gonna; wadn’t instead of wasn’t; axe instead of ask).

Farther up the Road

Further on up the road someone gonna hurt you like you hurt me (2x)
Further on up the road baby you just wait and see

You got to reap just what you sow. That old saying is true (2x)
Like you mistreat someone, someone’s gonna mistreat you

Now you’re laughing pretty baby, someday you gonna be crying (2x)
Further on up the road you’ll find out I wadn’t lying

Yeah, baby, Further on up the road, baby
Hmm, you’ll find out I wasn’t lying

Further on up the road when you’re all alone and blue (2x)
You gonna axe me to take you back baby, but I’ll have somebody new

Hmm, baby further on up the road
Hmm, baby, further on up the road
Hmm, you’ll get yours

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