Sweet British harmony soul from this overlooked 70s group – a really wonderful record that continues some of the best mellow group styles of the earlier part of the decade! Dave Collins – of Dave & Ansel Collins fame – is a member of the trio – but the sound here is more in keeping with the best New Jersey group modes than any of his earlier hits – a wonderfully fragile mode that has the voices hanging in air, coming together in sublime late night harmony sounds! A few numbers get slightly more uptempo, but the record's a pretty ballad-heavy one overall – and tracks include "Indebted To You", "Never Lose Never Win", "Why Can't We Be Lovers?", "Think I'll Leave This Song Just Like It Is", "Hogtied", "Chase A Miracle", and "Cold Steel". LP, Vinyl record album
A brilliant British set from Ram John Holder – not really blues at all, but a cool kind of crossbreeding of styles in the 60s London scene – almost the same mad mix of modes you might hear in The Equals! Holder is a singer with a long legacy behind him by the time of this set, including some work on the folk circuit too – all of which makes his approach different than more conventional UK blues, and has some of the headier qualities at times you might hear from the Terry Callier generation – even though Holder's got a very different sound than Terry. There's plenty of funk on the record – some great drums, bouncing basslines, and an overall tightness that's more gritty soul than blues – although there's definitely a bluesy bent at times too! Titles include "Brixton Blues", "Too Much Blues", "Pub Crawling Blues", "Wimpy Bar Blues", and "Hampstead To Lose The Blues". LP, Vinyl record album
The coolest, funkiest, and most soulful set ever issued by Chakachas – a record that's way different than most of their Latin-based music – with a strong American funk vibe all the way through! There's still lots of percussion in the mix, but it's often used in ways that echo more of a pan-global and African approach – plenty of congas at the bottom, next to some riffing guitars, sweet reed lines, and some occasional strong soulful vocals. The cut "Jungle Fever" isn't on here, but the whole album definitely feels like that one – with that killer sense of spacing and percussion that makes the group really funky on that hit. Titles include the killer "Stories", plus "Oye Mi", "Bantu", "Love Love Love", "Oye Mi Guaguaco", "Soledad", and "By The Way" – as wel as the very cool "The Party". LP, Vinyl record album
A beautiful collection of early Sansu Records material from Betty Harris – a fantastic funky female singer from New Orleans – and one who rose up in the same generation as greats like Lee Dorsey and Ernie K Doe! And like some of her best Crescent City contemporaries, Betty gets key help here from the young Allen Toussaint, working with his studio partner Marshall Sehorn – in a style that really creates all these tight, sharp corners on the tunes – all elements that really underscore the funky depth of Betty's vocals. Titles include "Ride Your Pony", "What A Sad Feeling", "I'm Evil Tonight", "What'd I Do Wrong", "I Don't Wanna Hear It", "Bad Luck", and "Mean Man". LP, Vinyl record album
A really incredible mix of reggae and soul – a set released in the early 90s, but which was recorded in the years before – as a long-running collaboration between singer Devon Russell and guitarist/producer Earl Chinna Smith! Russell's got a sweetly crackling vocal style that really lives up to the honesty of Curtis Mayfield's music, but with a spirit that's definitely all his own – and which, with the reggae-styled backings, make the whole thing way more than just a cover album of old Curtom tunes. Instead, the album maybe stands as a testament to the power of the message in Mayfield's music to transcend time and space – served up on tunes that include "Keep On Moving", "Move On Up", "The Makings Of You", "Love To The People", "Wild & Free", and "Give Me Your Love". Features bonus tracks – "Choice Of Colors" and "Falling In Love With You". LP, Vinyl record album
A rare 70s soul set from Carol Woods – a singer who's done a fair bit of work on the musical stage, but who has plenty to offer in this obscure debut album! The record was mostly cut in New York, yet only issued in the UK – which is part of the reason for its obscurity – and the sound is full, proud, and plenty darn soulful – almost a post-Supremes sort of vibe, but with a hipper 70s approach – very well put together by producer Beau Ray Fleming, who's probably better known for his later work with Mandrill and Sun. Woods' vocals are full and rich, but never overdone – and she reminds us a lot of some of her other 70s contemporaries who'd worked the stage, but could slide into a soul session equally well – such as Melba Moore. Titles include "If I Let You", "But You Know I Love You", "Bigger Than I", "There's Gotta Be A Way", "The Woods Are Full", "Can You Remember", and "Why You Wanna". LP, Vinyl record album
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