A damn legendary record from the last years of Chess Records – and for good reason, too! Archie Whitewater were a group that was years ahead of its time – a rock combo, but one with real genre-crossing sensibilities that made them perfect for the experimental styles at the Cadet/
Concept side of Chess – the same slice of the music
al universe that gave us Rotary Connection and important productions from Charles Stepney! The sound here has some surprisingly soulful elements at times – especially the instrumentation, which features some great break moments that get nice and funky, and strands of soulful jazz and blues that really make the music
way different than most other groups we can think of – or maybe a bit like a rare elite who shared such visionary territory with Archie Whitewater, such as Shades Of Joy on their first Fontana record. The keyboards and sax lines are as great as the drums – and the vocals have a melancholy undercurrent that's a really refreshing change from some of the overly-postured modes you'd get from other groups in 1970. Titles include the sublime sample cut "Cross Country" – but there's loads of other nice ones with the same stripped-down "Dusty Fingers" sort of groove – and other titles include "Life Is A River", "Home Again", "Lament For The Walking Dead", "Seacoast", "Country To the City", "Friends & Neighbors", and "Mist Of The Early Morning".