A pair of later gems from Brook Benton – back to back on a single CD – and with a bonus track too! First up is Home Style – wonderful work from Brook Benton – and the kind of record that always gets overlooked in discussions of southern soul, but which is proof that Benton's always been a key force in the genre! Brook virtually invented the style with his earlier country soul recordings – and by the time of this 1970 set, he's in perfect form vocally – and working under some wonderfully sophisticated arrangements by Arif Mardin. The result is the kind of cross-genre record that Brook could do effortlessly – and which should have made him huge, but instead kind of got him left behind by all the other folks who were copping his style. Yet with the strength of a record like this, we'll take that overlooked fame as still OK – because the set's a gem just waiting to be discovered by later generations like us! Rhythm's by the Dixie Flyers – augmented by jazz players that include King Curtis, Pepper Adams, and Joe Newman
. Titles include "Aspen Colorado", "For Lee Ann", "Whoever Finds This, I Love You", "Don't It Make You Wanta Go Home", and "Let Me Fix It". Next Is Story Teller – Ccol Cotillion work from Brook Benton – southern soul mixed with smoother, sophisticated moments – and a perfect realization of the sound that Benton was going for in the 60s! There's a bit less country here than before – although Brook also still has one foot in his roots, too – and the overall approach has mellower soul touches that are great – keyboards, guitar, and electric bass that roll along gently next to Benton's wonderful vocals. The album was recorded at Criteria Studios, and up north in New York – and titles include "Movin Day", "Sidewalks Of Chicago", "She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye", "Poor Make Believer", and "Shoes". CD also features the bonus track "A Black Child Can't Smile".