01 Beverly – Billy Watkins
02 That Righteous Feeling – Marvin Phillips & The Spinners
03 Love Me To Death – Terry & The Tyrants
04 You Must Believe In Yourself – Johnny Copeland
05 Working For The Woman I Love – Freeman King
06 Can’t Count The Days – Jeb Stuart
07 If I’d Lose You – Jackie Day
08 My Name Is Misery – Al King
09 Back In The Saddle – Tommy Youngblood
10 I Want To Know – Willie Headen
11 I’m Guilty – Vernon Garrett
12 Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – The Ikettes
13 Good Luck Aka New Love – Felice Taylor
14 I’ve Gotta Get You Back – Mary Love
15 Poor Sad Child Pt 1 – The Windjammers
16 I Could Never Love Another – The Four Tees
17 It’s A Great Life – Bobby White
18 Baby, Baby, Baby – Leon Peterson
19 Cut Me Loose – Gene Taylor
20 Feel Like I Want To Holler – Frank Armstrong & The Stingers
21 It’s Ok – Esther Williams
22 The Ta Ta Song – Little Henry & The Shamrocks
23 This Life Of Mine – Jimmy McCracklin
24 Whenever I Can’t Sleep – Willie Gauff & The Love Brothers
For Connoisseurs Only Volume 3 – Various Artists CD (Kent)
Only 1 left in stock
01 Beverly – Billy Watkins
We rattled off three Kent/Modern sourced LPs pretty quickly in the early 80s, now we’re up to six 24 track CDs and counting. That’s not bad for a label primarily associated with the blues and we’ve doffed our caps a little more to that genre on this latest instalment.
Arguably the later 60s and early 70s blues recordings have been under-represented on Ace, as that era doesn’t seem to be particularly favoured by blues fans. Possibly it’s because of the soul music influences creeping in, but that is all the more reason for a few to be represented here. Al King’s My Name Is Misery is a case in point, though influenced by fellow King, B.B., the clean and crisp Maxwell Davis production utilises a horn section so good it could have helped out in Memphis, had that city’s brass musicians ever been abducted. Tommy Youngblood’s Back In The Saddle has that languid, sexy West coast feel to it so apparent on Johnny Watson’s records; whereas the unexpected bonus find of an unissued Jimmy McCracklin track is sung in a more traditional, doleful, piano blues, ballad style.
Other acts like Johnny Copeland, Vernon Garrett and Gene Taylor perform at that tough arena where soul meets the blues and all three acts give rousing renditions of that hybrid. Early “Birth Of Soul” contenders from Marvin Phillips, Billy Watkins and Little Henry & the Shamrocks are more doo wop-influenced, the Marvin Phillips’ track being a particularly fine unissued master which is debuting here.
And then there are the out-and-out soul sides. Mary Love, Jackie Day, the Ikettes and Felice Taylor represent the distaff side and as ever their contribution is solid soul singing on some choice West coast compositions. We thought we’d mopped up all of the recently departed Jackie Day’s Modern sides but we have a future treat outlined in the sleevenotes. Fast, funky and frenetic sums up the late 60s contributions of the Windjammers and the Four Tees, whereas Bobby White and Frank Armstrong’s one-off, off the wall contributions defy most soul conventions; but are captivating nonetheless.
Soul ballads are in that southern style beloved by Los Angelinos. Willie Gauff and his everlovin’ Love Brothers, Jeb Stuart, Freeman King (our only artist ever to have appeared in Hill Street Blues) and the aforementioned Ms Day give us four of the very best.
My favourite association has to be with Terry & The Tyrants and their final Kent recorded track Love Me To Death. Group member and co-composer Jimmy Russell took some time out to show me around LA the last time I was there and the visit to Modern’s South Normandie Avenue studios, offices and pressing plant helped me visualise the operation. His enthusiasm for, and championing of, producer Maxwell Davis, who helped create many of the tracks on here, was also most instructive and will hopefully lead to further projects.
Studying a specific label group like this one is a never-ending learning process for us all and I’m finding out more facts and insights as my brief grows ever wider. The research to find out the provenance of the Marvin Phillips’ track alone took up one afternoon. But it’s also a very rewarding task and the smile I got from reading Jim Dawson’s sleeve note description of Willie Headen’s shoe-shine and singing ventures was priceless (and quoted). By Ady Croasdell – Ace Records
You may also like…
Double Shot Of Soul – Various Artists CD Album (Kent)As any California-based habitual vinyl junkie will attest, it's hard to avoid the bright yellow labe£12.50 SOLD OUT Read more
Era Northern Soul – Various Artists CD (Kent)Herb Newman’s Era Label was well established in Los Angeles by the time the soul era (pun intended£12.50 Add to basket
For Connoisseurs Only Volume 1 – Various Artists CD (Kent)The word connoisseur conjures up images of delicate porcelain, fine wines and old blokes and birds i£12.50 Add to basket
Kent’s Cellar Of Soul Volume 2 – Various Artists CD (Kent)Europe, and the UK in particular, has taken the uncharted territories of black American soul music a£12.50 Add to basket