Various Artists

Northern Souljers Meet Hi-Rhythm

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How on earth are you gonna lose with a proposition like this? This platter matters! These 18 cuts represent Detroit soul in the Promised Land -- Memphis -- with the Hi Records rhythm section and of course their horn section too! Northern Souljers Meet Hi-Rhythm contains five Don Bryant cuts including "A Place in My Heart," his read of "Weak and Brokenhearted" (the other version of that nugget here is by the Master Keys), and the slow burner "Cloudy Days." There are a pair Fabulous Peps cuts, the butt funky "I Can't Get Right," and the smoking tough rhythm and soul of "So Fine." Add two Buddy Lamp tracks -- "You've Got the Lovin' Touch" and "Confusion" with a killer set of breakbeats -- and that's already half the disc! But there is so much more it sends the listener flip to wig city! Check out the Persians' take on "Talkin' About That Girl of Mine," with that boss guitar sound (Berry Gordy would never have let that kind of gloriously sweaty six-string vulgarity out of the Motown studio), and the Appreciations' "A Place in Your Heart," that cooks and choogles like the best of Hi and Stax without losing its Motown voice. While every track here is worth mentioning, make sure to dig the Lil Soul Brothers' version of "Been So Long." This is some serious finger poppin' groove form yesteryear that should be on every soul fan's shelf.

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