Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stormy Weather

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Dorsey Brockington's "Stormy Weather" is a new 45 of previously unreleased material. Released on the Plut label (which I assume is outta Virginia as that is where the recording is from) within the last few months, this record is has really knocked me out. I find it hard to believe it never got a release, it's so good.

"Stormy Weather" opens with the sound of rain on concrete, thunder menacingly cracking in the background. Barbara Stant and Debbie Taylor come in and sing the opening lines and then turn things over to the horns. The focus is shared between the female vocals and the horns. And while the vocals are in sync, the horns move between lines that are synced and lines that weave around each other (which sounds fantastic). Behind this the drums, bass and guitar keep it all grounded. The thunder comes in for a false ending as vocals plead to 'let the sun once more', but as things die down, the drums come in, and the horns pick it up again until the rain and thunder closes the song. The production is just top notch.

Very highly recommended 45. Get a copy before they're sold out.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Said To Myself

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Here's a record I was very happy to stumble across recently, Willie West's "Said To Myself". Don't know much about how this Sansu production got on the Warner Bros. label, but this is one hell of a 45!

The production is straightforward, a solid bass line over a bubbly drumbeat, tasteful guitar lines with a nice amount of wah-wah. Horns are restrained and help the tune to build. What the song builds to are moments where the song really opens up. The horns slowly build behind seriously soulful vocals, the drums switch it up, the guitar soars. This is the what really gets the song under my skin. And it doesn't hurt that the music is tight, either. Buy this one on sight.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Wings

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Here's one of those gospel 45s I promised a while back, "Two Wings" by The World Wonders on the Cherub label outta Chicago. It's a very nice mid-tempo tune featuring some great group vocals.

It opens with an organ and guitar over the drums, and then the group vocals come in, and the harmonies just take you away. When the lead comes in for the opening chorus, it's almost an angelic voice, similar to Sam Cooke almost. The group then take turns singing verses, and it's a nice range of delivery styles, and that's what this song is all about. The band never strays very far from it's rhythm, just some guitar flourishes here and there, a subtle change in the tempo, allowing the voices to be the focus. Very nice.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mellow Fellow

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Well, this weekend I found a record I had been keeping an eye out for for a number of years, Etta James' "Mellow Fellow" on Argo. I believe this got a black label Argo issue too (the first press?). I've been trying to remember where I heard this tune, probably an old mod tape, and, unfortunately, it's been a while since I've played any cassettes. It may be time to break into them again and see what other 45s I should look out for. Anyway, this storming slice of soul from 1964 sounds pretty good to these ears with it's hard-hitting drums, the hip guitar work, and the punchy horns.

Anyway, instead of being long-winded, I'm gonna point you directly to Soul Club to give the tune a listen. You'll have to scroll down the page, but it's near the bottom on the right.

I also bought a number of gospel 45s, as well as some jazz and soul 45s, so expect to see some of those featured in the next couple of weeks as time permits.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

If You Believe Your God Is Dead (Try Mine)

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As I mentioned in my last post, I'm a novice when it comes to gospel. I have been exploring the genre a bit, but I'm sure the titles I have bought are more soul & funk -oriented, and probably not for the gospel purist. Anyway, one of the records I have bought that has really knocked me over is The Swan Silvertones' "If You Believe Your God Is Dead (Try Mine)" on Hob is Gospel.

"If You Believe" opens with a guitar, bass and organ getting it together a bit before the drums come in, and they all get in the groove. It's when the vocals come in that they really take off. The sound is tough, funky drums up in the mix, the guitar is nice and scratchy, the bass rumbles.....lovely stuff. There's also some tastyy, very percussive piano that moves throughout the background. The lead vocals are great. He is barely able to contain himself, and gives an intense performance throughout. Highly recommended record here.

From what I could find about the Swan Silvertones, they had a long recording career and it seems that many of their releases are still available.