After Laughter Comes TearsLight in the Attic ****
Hip-hop fans will recognise the title track as one sampled by the Wu-Tang Clan and redone by Alicia Keys. But this retrospective of the Memphis singer’s Stax and Volt career shows that the woman born Mary Frierson (Otis Redding came up with Rene’s stage name) had plenty of other gems in her back-catalogue. Rene was signed both as a solo act and as a member of The Drapels to her hometown label when she was still in high school. In the studio, she had the benefit of members of the Stax all-star house band and the MGs providing musical muscle on tracks such as Bar-B-Q, the rock-steady Deep in My Heart and the mournful, dramatic title track. By 1967, Rene opted to quit to raise a family. A timely reminder of what a great soul voice with a fantastic band and timeless songs is capable of doing.
Download tracks: Bar-B-Q, After Laughter Comes Tears, I Wish I Were That Girl