Various Artists

Bill Haney's Atlanta Southern Soul Brotherhood, Vol. 2

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As with volume one, this is taken from holdings of producer, writer, and label owner Bill Haney, who had a hand in a lot of soul tracks recorded in Atlanta in the 1960s and 1970s. Some of the material on this 26-song compilation appeared on labels huge (Capitol) and tiny ones (Haney's own Chant); eight of them were previously unissued. There's exactly one well-known name here, Arthur Alexander, represented by a previously unreleased mid-'60s cut, "You Ain't for Real," that hardly matches up to his better work. On the whole it's journeyman Southern soul, sometimes close to the Stax sound, as on Randolph Walker's "Pride and Soul," which can't fail to recall Otis Redding with its pleading vocals, sharp blues-soul guitar, and punctuatin' horns. Jerry Woodard's "Something I Never Had" gets even deeper into the Otis trench, its slow tempo and spare guitar reminiscent of tracks like "I've Been Loving You Too Long." Gay Meadows, on the other hand, is trying for a Ben E. King thing on "Only One," probably the earliest track (dating from 1962), while Charlie Thomas gets into a candlelit Sam Cooke mood on "Why'd You Have to Make the Little Girl Cry." Overall, the disc is inoffensive and inessential.

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