Saturday, July 20, 2013

CD Review: Classic Soul Returns With Omnivore Recordings "The South Side Of Soul Street"

Soul music grew enormously in the 1960's with record labels like Motown and Stax, but one label that had an underground following was the Minaret record label. From 1967 to 1976 the label produced some of the best southern soul music that never made it big on the charts, but is some of the best music of that era. Artists like Willie Cobbs, Big John Hamilton, Leroy Lloyd & The Dukes, Doris Allen, and others made some outstanding singles that have been forgotten, until now. On August 13, Omnivore Recordings will release "The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976." It feature two CDs (40 songs) of some of the best soul music that needs to be rediscovered as it captures a musical period of immense growth.
 
Beginning with disc one, we get the soul-blues of Big John Hamilton with the single "The Train" with it's groovier B-side "Big Bad John." Some of the songs were taken right from the actual vinyl singles as you hear the little pops and crackles that make records so enjoyable to listen to. The smooth soul sounds of The Double Soul heat things up with "Blue Diamonds" and the classic doo-wop of "I Can't Use You." Johnny Dynamite gets into the action with his soul shuffle of "The Night The Angels Cried" and it's mellow B-side "Everybody's Clown." One of the anchor artists of the Minaret's label was Big John Hamilton who is featured on this collection with 18 songs, including the 1969 special "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do."

Disc two begins with the classic vinyl soul of Willie Cobbs' "I'll Love Only You" and the horn highlighted B-Side "Don't Worry About Me." We also get some women into the act with Doris Allen taking control with the strong vocals of "A Shell Of a Woman." We get the first of four duets between Big John Hamilton and Doris Allen with the smooth, gospel-styles of "A Place In My Heart" and an electric cover of Buddy Miles' "Them Changes." The second disc closes with the mellow, heart-wrenching sounds of Count Willie's "I've Got To Tell You" and the one-two blues punch of Big John Hamilton's "I Got To Get Myself Somebody" and "Free Me."

To find out more about this fabulous collection, please visit omnivorerecordings.com/artists/south-side-of-soul-street/.

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