Monday, June 25, 2007

BlushRadio 6 - It's a Sweet Thing

Well, it's my turn again to serve up another batch of soul for your enjoyment. Thanks a lot for your comments on my last effort - much appreciated!

TSU Toronados - The Toronado
I could almost let these guys introduce themselves, but they get a fine introduction at the start of the track. Most famously heard as the band backing Archie Bell & the Drells on"Tighten Up", this is the Toronados at their best and under their own name for a fine slice of instrumental soul.

The Ambers - I Love You Baby
A great favourite of mine that I still manage not to know a great deal about. It was released on Verve in 1966 and is their only single for the label as far as I know. This song must have one of the best intros ever - an amazing swirl of horns launching into some really classy vocal harmonies with great energy right the way through.

Major Lance - Investigate
...and onto one of the giants of Chicago soul! This is my favourite of the Major's many, many great tracks - and I suspect I'm not alone in that. A tremendous vocal performance - of course - and that great Okeh brass sound underpinning it.

Sugar Pie DeSanto - Jump In My Chest
Sugar Pie DeSanto was a childhood friend of the great Etta James (and recorded a couple of great duets with her) and was one of the many R&B artists who got a start in recording through the famed bandleader Johnny Otis. This track comes from quite a few years later in 1965 when she was recording for Checker - it's the flip to "Mama Didn't Raise No Fools" and yet another reason to always listen to both sides of a 45! This one has fantastic atmosphere, and is led throughout by a great horn riff - and of course, being a Sugar Pie DeSanto track there's more than a little attitude, too!

JJ Barnes - Sweet Sherry
Another really well known tune, this one from the Detroit master JJ Barnes. Those are the Originals singing harmonies behind him, by the way. Lovely.

Norma Jenkins - Me, Myself & I
A very nice piece of soulful, melodic pop on Joe Evans' Carnival label. The lyric is sweet and clever, and the song is just so catchy it hooks you right from the word go.

Bluesbusters - I've Gotta Get There
This single is a tremendous double-sider on Capitol. The Bluesbusters are an odd combination, a successful vocal duo from Jamaica comprising Lloyd Campbell and Philip James who although mostly famous for their Rocksteady recordings also put out a number of soul sides. This is quite a nice example of one, I think.

Chuck Jackson - Beg Me
And once again onto someone who needs no introduction! This is Chuck Jackson at his gravelly best for me, really pouring his all into it.

Bobby James & Vicki Adams - Love Is Such A Sweet Thing
A really storming tune on the Stop label from Nashville. Vicki Adams also has a nice solo release on Stop ("I'm Drowning"), but beyond that I really don't know all that much about them. Not that it matters - sit back and enjoy!

Fontella Bass & Bobby McClure - You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)
Fontella Bass, of course, you already know - "Rescue Me" must be one of the most famous songs in all of soul music - her first single for Chess. Before that, though she recorded a couple of duets with Bobby McClure - one of which, "Don't Mess Up A Good Thing" was a hit. This is the flip side to the other one "Don't Jump" and is further proof - as if we needed it - that you can't judge a record by its sales!

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

BlushRadio Volume 5

Jackie Day - Before It's Too Late
Robert Parker - Barefootin'
Irma Thomas - Don't Mess With My Man
Barbra Mercer - Nobody Loves You Like Me
Chris Clark - Whisper You Love Me Boy
Ronnie Love - Chills and Fever
Brother Jack McDuff - Can't Get Satisfied Pt 1
Carl Carlton - I Can Feel It
Jessica James and the Outlaws - We'll Be Makin' Out
Little Mary Staten - Steppin' Stone

I hope that you are in fine fettle and ready for another soul packed volume of the Blush Organisation’s finest platters. Ed’s served up another wonderful podcast a couple of weeks ago and now it’s my turn to step up to the plate and share with you some of my favourite records. It’s another mixed bag of sixties soul and r&b, some well known and a few obscurities.

Ed and I hope to keep the podcasts coming thick and fast, with a new one posted every couple of weeks or so. We thank you for your kind comments, so far, knowing that people are digging what we do is a real buzz.

Jackie Day – Before It’s Too Late

First up we have a song that I’ve loved this song since I first heard it on the Kent compilation For Dancer Only. It’s the kind of driving northern soul that I love to dance to and play. This has been a regular in my sets for a number of years now and will continue to be for years to come.
Robert Parker – Barefootin’

This is our first trip to New Orleans in this podcast. Ed and I used to promote a night named after the Robert Parker track Hip Huggin’, which I am bound to feature in a future podcast but this time I’ve opted for probably his best known track. There's a great piece on Robert Parker over at Funky 16 Corners.
Irma Thomas – Don’t Mess With My Man

We stay in the Crescent City for the debut single from a true soul legend, Irma released one more record on Ron before moving on to Bandy, Imperial and Chess, to name but a few. There was a fantastic piece on Irma’s career over on the B Side recently, which is well worth checking out.

Barbra Mercer – Nobody Loves You Like Me

I’ve written about this beautiful song before on this blog. This is a nice easy record to pick up and won’t set you back much but what a song.

Chris Clark – Whisper You Love Me Boy

I was originally going to include the wonderful Loves Gone Bad on this podcast but I got beaten to it by the fantastic Office Naps, so I thought I’d opt for another cut from this blue eyed soul sensation. This track’s intro is lifted from Stevie Wonder’s I Was Made To Love her but puts it to good use. A light vocal delivery over Motown’s trade marked backing, ticks all the right boxes.

Ronnie Love – Chills and Fever

I love the sleazy horn line a the start of this record and it continues to move along in a greasy manner throughout. This is clearly a Fever cash in record but has real charm and just sounds dirty.

Brother Jack McDuff – Can’t Get Satisfied Pt 1

Brother Jack McDuff is one of my favourite organists and I pick up his records whenever I come across them. This track is from the album Tabacco Road which is well worth picking up.

Carl Carlton – I Can Feel It

This is the second track that I’ve written about before on here, so I will direct you to my original posts to read a little more about the track.

Jessica James and the Outlaws – We’ll Be Makin' Out

Next up we have some girl group perfection, in the form of Jessica James and the Outlaws’ wonderful We’ll Be Making Out. This is another easy track to pick up that won’t set you back a fortune. What you get for your money is fantastic sing-a-long soul, with wonderful backing vocals, that would be a hit on any dance floor.

Little Mary Staten – Steppin’ Stone

As with my last podcast, I’m finishing with a moody number from a wronged woman. Steppin’ Stone is the B side to Helpless Girl and is not a cover of the Monkees track. This is a mid-paced number with a really great jazzy breakdown near the end. I know nothing about Mary Staten and as far as I know, this is the only record she released, can anyone shed any light on this?