Artist: Ann Peebles Album: I Can’t Stand the Rain Bass Player: Leroy Hodges
Thanks for checking out this week’s Bass Transcription of the Week! Today I’m looking at a bass line by a player that Matthew Wilson, current bass player for John Nemeth, requested that I look at: the bass player is Leroy Hodges, and the song is Ann Peeble’s “I Can’t Stand the Rain”!
The Song: “I Can’t Stand the Rain” is the title track and opening song for Ann Peeble’s 1974 album, and it certainly serves as a strong introduction to the album. The song is built on the backbone of a very fat backbeat courtesy of Howard Grimes. The verse are built around a simple I7-IV7 chord progression, introducing more chords in the chorus. The progression lends itself to the rich horn pads that accompany Peebles’ vocal throughout.
The Bass: Leroy Hodges is a master of simplicity, and his playing on “I Can’t Stand the Rain” is very clear evidence of this. He utilizes a sparse staccato-feel for the duration of the song, which creates a very powerful pocket between him and Grimes. During the verse sections, he incorporates an understated yet effective melodic bass line that serves as a counter-melody to Ann Peebles’ singing. During the B sections, Hodges lays back more and plays a simple rhythmic root pattern while the horns help fill in the space. Things like this show a keen awareness of everything that was going on in the arrangement on Hodges’ part, which allowed him to deftly serve the song to the utmost.
Favorite moments: The simple use of melodic pattern in the A section bass line; his simplicity during the B sections; measure 31, which ends up being a slight flourish that adds a lot to the dynamic nature of the song.
Thanks again for reading! If you enjoyed this, feel free to check out more of my transcriptions on this page! I also run a bass cover series on YouTube where I play these transcriptions along to the track, so you might enjoy that as well! Please let me know what you think, as I love to hear from readers, and if you have any requests I’d be happy to oblige! Thanks so much and watch for a new Bass Cover on YouTube this week!