In his country soul song “Everything Shining Ain’t Gold” Boseman says that “I was born in a little ole town way down in Texas” and that part of the hard times lyric at least may be true as he first started recoding in the Lone Star state in the early 60s. He recorded sessions at Bill Holford’s ACA studios in Houston for Paradise records.
His first 45 was a really magnificent slab of hard hitting R & B variously titled I’m Too Good or “Why Do You Treat Me Like Tramp” and released under the intriguing alias “Gashead”. While behind him a couple of horns play a dirge like refrain and a bluesy guitar and piano lay down a slow groove, Boseman comes on like a man with a big problem – hoarsely insistent and screaming out the lyric at the end. This is a blues ballad with an attitude – really first class.
Sadly Gashead’s second 45 for Paradise doesn’t quite hit the highs of his first, but “Sad Feeling” is a fine mid pace Texas shuffler. In 1975 P-Vine issued a brilliant LP which paired Joe Medwick and Boseman together and featured a slew of unissued tracks. The best of Boseman’s cuts was Dying Heart a fine slow blues with Boseman achingly effective.
Like so many Texans before him Boseman moved to the West Coast and recorded absolutely blinding versions of two well loved Muscle Shoals songs for Leon Haywood. This double sided masterpiece kicked off Haywood’s Eve Jim label and it’s a toss up as to which side is the best. For while Another Man Woman (sic) has a fuller arrangement featuring some strong horns and a fully committed vocal Cheaters Never Win has an even better performance from the singer and some very tasteful guitar fills. Although Tony Borders’ original is country cool Boseman is desperately affected by his situation, and in the choruses and at the end comes across as almost unhinged by it all as he spits out the lyric. By far the best ever cut of this great tune.
Funk fans go for the top side of his final 45 on Tangerine which to me sounds as bad as the title “Astrological Soul Train” would suggest. It can’t be the lyrics that they like – unless listening to a great R & B singer chanting “choo choo” gets them going. Fortunately the flip is rather better without being anywhere near his best.
And that seems to have been everything that Boseman ever cut. A real shame as I could listen to him on and on. But he did record three stone classic tracks – more than a large number of considerably more successful singers.
I'm too good / I want to get into something ~ PARADISE 1008 (1963) (as GASHEAD)
You gonna miss me when I'm gone / Sad feeling ~ PARADISE 1011 (1964?) (as GASHEAD)
Another man woman (sic) / Cheaters never win ~ EVE JIM 1941 (1970/1)
Astrological soul train / Everything shining ain't gold ~ TANGERINE 1028 (1972)
1. There are copies of Paradise 1011 which have "Slow Down Young Lovers" on them instead of "Sad Feeling"
2. Versions of Boseman's four Paradise cuts can be ound on the P-Vine LP "Slow Down Young Lovers" (P-Vine PLP 390) along with the previously unissued tracks "Little Mama" and Dying Heart.
3. "Why Do You Treat Me Like A Tramp" can be found on the Collectibles CD "Deep In The Soul Of Texas" and also on the excellent Trikont CD "Down And Out".
Thanks to Martin Goggin for the suggestion, and to Conny Aidanpää and Ana B for extra discographical info.