The Soul Children

Where Is Your Woman Tonight

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The Soul Children signed with Epic Records after they were left without a label following the collapse of Stax Records in 1974, but 1977's Where Is Your Woman Tonight saw the Memphis trio brewing up a little Stax magic on CBS' tab. David Porter, a longtime member of the Stax brain trust who helped bring the Soul Children to the label, produced Where Is Your Woman Tonight and helped write six of the album's ten songs, while Stax alumni Bettye Crutcher and Marvell Thomas also contributed material for the group. Like its predecessor, Finders Keepers, Where Is Your Woman Tonight was clearly a product of the disco era, and while the group sounds game regardless of its surroundings, the lock-step groove of "Take Me Make Me" and "There Always" sometimes feels at odds with the very Southern vocal stylings of John Colbert (aka J. Blackfoot), Anita Louis, and Norman West, but the dance-oriented tunes on this set feel warm and organic compared to most releases of the day, and Porter had the good sense to give the singers some meatier material as well. "If You Want a Woman This Time" and the title track are both perfect for Louis' confident, expressive voice, and Colbert and West sound great whether they push their tough, gritty sounds to the fore or make room for the lady. There's a down-home vibe to "You Don't Need a Ring," "(You're A) Diamond in the Rough," and "What You Did to Me Last Night" that's the hallmark of Southern soul, and the Soul Children make these songs live, breathe, and shout; this is vital and passionate music from a group that deserved better luck and better timing but made some memorable records despite it all.