CD Rare Blues & Soul from Nashville: The 1960s (CD 6264480),
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Rare Blues & Soul from Nashville: The 1960s
1. Slow Down Baby - Sam Baker
2. He'll Be Sorry - Sam Baker (previously unreleased)
3. You'd Better Check What You Got - Sam Baker
4. No Way Out - The Mighty Men
5. I Had a Dream - The Mighty Men
6. You Too Much - The Mighty Men
7. Somethin' Else - The Mighty Men
8. Don't Stop Now - The Mighty Men
9. Oh Baby - Rudy Greene
10. Let Me Down Easy - Earl Gaines
11. Show Me Something - Earl Gaines
12. Bad Habit - Dee Brown (previously unreleased)
13. Heap of People - Dee Brown (previously unreleased)
14. Reap What You Sow - Eddie James
15. Walking in the Park - Gene Allison
16. Sugar Booger Baby - Bobby Lindsey
17. Can You Handle It - Levert Allison
18. Shape I'm In, The - Levert Allison
19. You Made a World - Levert Allison
20. When She Touches Me - Rodge Martin
21. Close My Eyes - Rodge Martin
22. Let Me Be the One - Luvenia Lewis
23. Not Strong Enough - Luvenia Lewis
24. Since I Fell for You - Dottie Clark
25. Yesterday's Mistake - Roscoe Shelton (previously unreleased)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SBIRD0003
Liner Note Author: Fred James.
Photographers: Earl Gaines; Johnny Jones ; Ted Jarrett.
According to the liner note excerpt on the back of this set, other than New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Nashville, TN, had more functioning independent record labels than any other city in the United States during the 1940s, '50s, and '60s. There are performances by 13 unique artists on this 23-track collection, ranging from the straight-up polished Southern soul and blues of Sam Baker, whose voice resembles a young Smokey Robinson with more grit (his three tracks here, "Slow Down Baby," "He'll Be Sorry," and "You Better Check What You Got," are among the album's finest), to the raw harmonica roadhouse blues of the Mighty Men and the strolling rhythm & blues of Roscoe Shelton in an alternate unissued version of "Yesterday's Mistake." There are killer cuts by Dee Brown, whose "Bad Habit" is a revue-type soul cut that, once heard, can never be forgotten. Lee Gaines has two classic soul-blues numbers thanks to his wondrous falsetto. The shimmering doo wop soul of Dottie Clark's "Since I Fell for You" wouldn't have been amiss on Chess Records, while the strutting groove in Gene Allison's beautiful tenor on "Walking in the Park" is full of drama and pathos. Eddie James' "Reap What You Sow" is a crooning ballad, with killer hand percussion giving the tune an exotic edge. Bobby Lindsey's "Sugar Booger Baby" is an early example of Nashville-styled funk & roll. Contrast this with the early-'60s Ike Turner-influenced groove in Levert Allison's "Can You Handle It." Rodge Martin really tugs at the heartstrings in "When She Touches Me," backed by a killer greasy session band. The early doo wop vocalizing of Luvenia Lewis fuels two strong numbers here: the ballad "Not Strong Enough" and the uptempo rhythm & blues jump called "Let Me Me Be the One." The liner notes by Fred James are truly informative historically and culturally, and the sound mastering is top-notch as well. The booklet is presented beautifully with photos and annotated discographical information, making this a necessary purchase for any fan of Southern soul. ~ Thom Jurek
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