This time it really is a collection of personal favourites with few surprises - particularly for those of you who've heard me DJ over the last few years!
Houston Person - Hey Driver
A bit of a change of style from most of the tunes on the BlushRadio so far, but this jazzy boogaloo groove from 1969's 'Goodness!' LP is a real winner. Earlier in his career Houston Person was probably best known as the tenor sax man playing with Johnny 'Hammond' Smith, and he later formed a lasting musical relationship with the great Etta Jones. Finally, a classic Houston quote from around the time this track was recorded. On being asked about the constant presence of his sax at his side he replied, "Man, I always have my horn with me... then no matter what happens I know my horn is with me."
Words to live by, I think!
James Bounty - Auction On Love
Not a tune I know an awful lot about, although I believe Red Dog was a Detroit label. This was another of the first few tunes that got me into the whole Northern soul sound and has stuck with me ever since.
Otis Rush - Homework
Pure R&B gold! Otis Rush is best know as a Blues singer and guitarist, with a unique guitar style arising through his use of a typical right-handed guitar played upside-down and left-handed without restringing it. Homework was his only release on the Duke label in 1962 (his earlier successes being on the Cobra label in the mid to late 50's) and is an absolute classic.
Debonaires - Headache In My Heart
Wow, what a great tune! A brilliant, moody atmosphere, some great girl group vocals and a really clever lyric make for a winning combination. The very fine Soulful Detroit website has an excellent article on the history of the Debonaires, so I'll point you in their direction rather than pinching their research here!
Moses & Joshua Dillard - My Elusive Dreams
Moses Dillard had a long career in music as both the leader of his own bands (including the Dynamic Showmen and the Tex-Town display) and as a guitarist working out of Muscle Shoals. His duo as Moses and Joshua (with James Moore) was short-lived, but did manage to produce this cracking dance tune on the Mala label.
Dynamics - Misery
Another early 60's classic melding the earlier vocal group style with the more soulful trends of the 60s. Once again, there's atmosphere to spare. Tight drumming holds this one together as the melody is driven by a glorious guitar riff and the vocals duck and soar all over the place. Oh, and you can dance to it, as well!
Jackie Edwards - Come Back Girl
A bit of a departure from the so far entirely American cast of these podcasts is the great (and greatly underrated) Jamaican soul singer and songwriter Jackie Edwards. Perhaps best known as the songwriter of some of the Spencer Davis Group's biggest hits. This is a storming uptempo number, but he really ran the whole gamut wonderfully well - check out 'Put Your Tears Away' for a much more emotional offering, very likely coming to a podcast near you soon.
Irma & the Fascinations - Lost Love
A towering piece of soul from Philadelphia's Dynodynamic production team. Irma was Irma McDougal, also of the Four Larks. Despite the tremendous music surrounding it, this tune really is all about the vocal - sit back and enjoy.
Volumes - Gotta Give Her Love
Lovely tune, and another that harks back to the vocal groups of the 50s with its close, intricate harmonies. It also has an irrepressible joi de vivre which to me is the essence of soul music and always keeps me coming back to it.
Incredibles - Another Dirty Deal
Almost Principle One in reverse... the flip side of this record is 'There's Nothing Else To Say', a much played song which in all honesty isn't among my favourites as it always seems to be trying a bit too hard... This smashing tune couldn't be more different, though. A sweet, gentle melody and a clever, inventive lyric combine to produce a truly memorable song which, to my mind, deserves far more attention than it gets.
Toussaint McCall - Nothing Compares Yo You
And once again, one to really let you know it's the end of the night. A truly wonderful ballad sung in McCall's rich baritone, this one never leaves you...
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