Dave Hamilton's Detroit Dancers, Vol. 2

Dave Hamilton

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Dave Hamilton's Detroit Dancers, Vol. 2 Review

by Richie Unterberger

Dave Hamilton was a producer, session musician, and songwriter on the Detroit soul scene starting in the 1960s. You can't really tell that from the liner notes, which basically say nothing about Hamilton's role in this music other than that the CD was compiled from his collection of tapes. It can be presumed, though, that Hamilton was involved in all of these records in some capacity, and he does have songwriter and production credits on some of the tracks. Most of them date from the mid- to late '60s, although some were done as late as the early '80s; some were unreleased demo-type tracks, and several came out on the Topper and TCB labels, indicating that Hamilton might have been involved with those companies. So, the music? It's acceptable, and not exceptional, period Detroit soul. As was the case with several small Detroit-area soul labels of the time, it often sounds like a minor-league Motown (indeed, Hamilton played on some Motown sessions himself). Motown is a good model, but nonetheless, adhering to a role model does not, in fact almost always does not, mean the resultant product stands up to the prototype, and that's the case here. Sometimes the micro-model is obvious; Tobi Lark's "Challenge My Love" sounds a lot like a Mary Wells song, "Ain't That Groovy" (an instrumental by the Dave Hamilton Band) like a Marvin Gaye backing track, Dottie and Millie like an amalgam of the Marvelettes and early Supremes -- you get the picture. It's not bad, but there's the nagging feeling that the musicians involved were just below the standard good enough to get involved with Motown itself. As is the case with several Kent/Ace compilations, the decision to sprinkle in a few disco- and urban contemporary-influenced cuts from a decade or later than the end of the 1960s disrupts the groove as surely as a hoseful of cold water in the face.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Danny Cobus 00:21 SpotifyAmazon
2 Danny Cobus 02:53 SpotifyAmazon
3 Little Ann 02:12 SpotifyAmazon
4 O.C. Tolbert 02:46 SpotifyAmazon
5 Tobi Lark 03:04 SpotifyAmazon
6 03:07 SpotifyAmazon
03:05 SpotifyAmazon
8 Dave Hamilton Band 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
9 Tokays 02:17 SpotifyAmazon
10 Dottie / Millie 02:32 SpotifyAmazon
11 02:37 SpotifyAmazon
02:17 SpotifyAmazon
13 Gil Billingsley 04:18 SpotifyAmazon
02:39 SpotifyAmazon
15 03:54 SpotifyAmazon
16 Barrino Brothers 02:36 SpotifyAmazon
17 Little Ann 02:31 SpotifyAmazon
18 Dave Hamilton 02:27 SpotifyAmazon
Jackie Dee 03:09 SpotifyAmazon
20 Little Ann 03:04 SpotifyAmazon
21 05:46 SpotifyAmazon
22 03:26 SpotifyAmazon
The Ravins 03:07 SpotifyAmazon
24 James Lately 02:31 SpotifyAmazon
25 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick