The Soul Children

Finders Keepers

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Suckers for good Southern soul know that the Soul Children always serve heaping helpings. Eventually reduced to a trio (they began recording for Stax Records as a quartet), they consisted of J. Blackfoot (John Colbert), Norman West, and Shelbra Bennett. Of the nine songs here, seven are stunners. For some reason, the two weakest cuts are the first two, which should have been the last two songs on the album. The strongest of the mighty includes "Midnight Sunshine," a chiller led by Blackfoot about creeping on another man's woman around midnight, but avoiding each other in the daylight -- deep soul magic. "Finder's Keepers" is a fast, sweaty workout about losing your woman to another man, fronted again by Blackfoot in his gutsy, soulful baritone. The third, "One Broken Home for Sale," led by Bennett, has one of the catchiest choruses you'll ever hear: "one broken home for sale, furnished and complete for rent or lease, one broken home for sale, no money down, come and browse around." Bennett sings the sucker like she's lived the words, and West and Blackfoot augment her thrilling vocal with seasoned home-cooked blends. Other treats are "We Got to Get Our Thing Together," also done by the Dells, and the compassionate "I'm Just a Shoulder to Cry On."

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