To ask the question that might be asked by soul fans sitting at the table for a Passover dinner: Why is this soul compilation different from all other soul compilations? Particularly when it's comprised of Kent/Modern '60s singles on a reissue label that has issued dozens of obscure '60s soul anthologies and already heavily raided the Kent/Modern vaults? Well, as the subtitle -- "soulful '60s blues for today's dancers" -- indicates, it draws more heavily from blues and roots R&B than much soul does, although it's definitely much more a soul disc than a blues or R&B one. Frankly it's a little more interesting than other rare '60s soul comps, not just because of the blues/R&B factor, but also because the material is often a little moodier and less predictable than much soul played at England's Northern soul clubs. It's a mixture of pretty seldom-traveled cuts by stars (B.B. King, Lowell Fulson, Ike & Tina Turner, and Bobby "Blue" Bland), fairly well-known singers (Z.Z. Hill, Big Mama Thornton, and Jimmy McCracklin), and no-names, at least to those who don't hang out at Northern soul venues. There are a good number of above-average items here, like Little Joe Hinton's unusually passionate early blues/R&B/soul hybrid "Tired of Walkin'"; Jackie Shane's sultry "Stand up Straight and Tall" (cool organ groove here); the Newports' minor-key "Dixie Women"; Frank Armstrong's percolating soul-funk instrumental "Stuffed Peppers (Aka Humpin')"; Jimmy McCracklin's "I Got Eyes for You," which is actually Muddy Waters-derived blues recorded in 1955 and not issued until 1962; and Jimmy Holiday's "The New Breed," an acceptably urgent alteration of "Shake." As for the rest, even the rather generic stuff is listenable, and the rhythmic pace varies all over the map instead of sticking to the cheery mid-tempo so many soul anthologies do.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger