It's been a while coming but I'm finally back with a very long overdue mixtape and finally Mo' Soul Episode 7 for you.
Since the last episode dropped here things have been pretty manic and finding time to digitise some records has proved tough due to one thing or another getting in the way. So anyway without further ado here we go with another clutch of records that have either been on constant rotation on my turntables or I've recently turned up digging.
Kicking the next 50 minutes of goodness off is a previously unreleased record from Etta James which has been picked up, finally issued and seems to be getting much deserved spins on the scene at the minute. Cracking strings and Etta's honeyed vocals make this a huge winner.
Nicknamed "The White Negress", Chris Clark was the US answer to Dusty Springfield. Aside from being the first white woman to record for Motown Records, she also made her mark on the scene charting with 'Love's Gone Bad' which reached #41 in the US R&B chart. 'Something's Wrong' is again another strangely unreleased 45 which has been given a pressing and has also been getting a lot of interest amongst collectors.
I'll go on record and say 'If That's What You Wanted' has to be a Top 20 favourite record of mine, where exactly in that Top 20 is too hard to say as any of the hardened collectors out there will surely understand! Both strangely sad and musically uplifting at the same time, this for me ticks every box and has it all going on. As I'm sure my poor Girlfriend will gladly confirm, I could quite happily listen to this over and over again without ever getting bored. Every listen bringing out another unnoticed detail! Fantastic in absolutely every way!
Joseph Moore rounds out the Northern part of this mix with 'I Still Can't Get You' from 1965. This has been a staple of my playbox for sometime now and never fails to get the dancefloor going. Arguably one of the rarest releases on the Chicago Mar-V-Lus label topping out at four figures in recent auctions.
Bringing us upto date is Charles Bradley with 'Strictly Reserved For You', the first 45 from his new 'Victim Of Love' LP. Charles has been causing quite a stir with his live tours which all seem to quickly sell out. I was lucky enough catch his show and met him backstage at his recent Koko gig in London a few weeks back. Aside from putting in an electric performance which I won't forget in a hurry, he's an extremely humble and affable man as well. Be sure to catch his 'Charles Bradley: Soul Of America' Documentary.
Whilst this might not be one of 'Wicked' Pickett's most well known releases having been overshadowed by 'In The Midnight Hour', 'Land Of 1,000 Dances' and 'Mustang Sally', this is still a massive record worthy of inclusion here. Released in 1965, 'Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)' made it to #13 in the R&B charts and was co-written with Eddie Floyd and guitar legend Steve Cropper during one of 3 sessions at the Stax studios.
Eveyln Freeman's Gospel and R&B crossover record from 1962 featured backing from the 'Exciting Voices', a group of some 14 singers which also included her husband. This is an awesome record which always ignites the floor when I've played it. The thumping bass backbeat ties things together and her raucous vocals round off a great underground record. Imperial Records also put out an instrumental cash in version a year later in 1963 entitled 'Didn't it Rock' which you can catch HERE. 'Didn't It Rain' was also interestingly covered by the psych-rock outfit, The Tormentors who put out a version on their 1967 LP 'Hangin' Around'. catch that version HERE.
Heading into the funkier side of things is Dawson Smith and his 1974 Scepter release. I know very little about Dawson Smith himself but the credit crunch message on this 45 is pretty apt for today's dancefloor. The track has also been sampled by Hip Hop outfits Alliance Ethnik and The Underwolves.
Frank Raines Detroit label Funk Night Records has consistently dropped strong releases since it's first release back in 2010. Will Sessions team up with Funk legend Ricky Calloway for 'Jump Back' a full on Deep funk onslaught which totally delivers. Massive drums, bass and guitar keep this moving along nicely behind Ricky Calloway's vocals. Pure quality!
Keeping on the heavy 'New Funk' vibe is the Keb Darge and Kev Roberts produced monster, 'It's Alright Now' from the New Mastersounds backed with The Haggis Horns. It's hard to think that this record is 12 years old now but it still sounds fresh!
Affiliated with several NoLa labels and artists such as Dave Bartholomew and Danny White, Al Reed delivers with this Wardell Quezergue arranged Funk cut on Axe Records. This has been recently coupled together with 'Shake 'Em Up' and given a release on tramp Records.
Flipping things with a couple of Ska 45s and first up is The Skatalites with 'Beardman Ska'. This 1965 Coxone Dodd produced single was a recent eBay pick up of mine from a couple of weeks back. This is a reworking of 'Live It up' by Ernie Freeman, brother of Evelyn Freeman (small world!). Jackie Mittoo holds this one down with an infectious piano riff that's been sampled several times.
After making time to head across town for the recent London Record Fair, I spent the afternoon digging through more crates of records than you could shake a very large stick at. Fortunately for me 'Funky Kingston' was in one of those crates and having missed out on it several times on eBay it was a no brainer and it came home with me!
Jukebox Jam Records are another label with well thought out and consistent releases. This Billy Hamlin cut from 1962 has been packaged with a dancefloor friendly edit which loses the amusing intro that is featured on this mix. This has been limited to 500 copies so make sure you grab one before it's too late!
Rounding up today's mix is a track lifted from Dollar Bills recently released live album. Recorded earlier this year at The Shake 'Em On Down Club in Camden this is a Doctor Ross styled blues stomper which rounds out today's offering perfectly. 'Yes, I'm Feelin' Fine' is taken from one of a small handful of 10 inch test pressings that I was lucky enough to procure from the label itself. A welcome addition to my collection!
I hope you enjoy today's offering, stay safe and I'll be back here shortly with some more of the "Good Stuff"
Etta James - I Can't Shake It - Soulwax
Chris Clark - Something's Wrong - SOUL
Frankie Beverly & The Butlers - If That's What You Wanted - Inferno
The Seventh Avenue Aviators - You Should O' Held On - Congress
Joseph Moore - I Still Can't Get You - Joeboy
Charles Bradley - Strictly Reserved For You - Dunham
Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do) - Atlantic
Evelyn Freeman Conducting Exciting Voices & Orchestra - Didn't It Rain - United Artists
Dawson Smith - I Don't Know If I Can Make It - Scepter
Chairmen Of The Board - Since The Days Of Pigtails (And Fairytales) - Invictus Records
Will Sessions Featuring Ricky Calloway - Jump Back Pt1 - FNR
New Master Sounds - It's Alright Now - Deep Funk Records
Al Reed - 99/44/100 Pure Love - Axe Records
The Skatalites - Beardman Ska - Supreme Records
Toots And The Maytals - Funky Kingston - Dragon
Billy Hamlin - If You Ain't Got No Bread (You Might As Well Stay In Bed) - Jukebox Jam
Dollar Bill & His One Man Band - Yes, I'm Feelin' Fine - Rollin Records (10" Test Pressing Version)
LISTEN TO EPISODE 7 HERE