Clay Hammond / Z.Z. Hill

Southern Soul Brothers

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AllMusic Review by

Hammond has 16 of the 26 tracks on this split-artist compilation, which also includes ten songs recorded by Z.Z. Hill for the same label (Kent) during the same era (the mid-to-late 1960s). Hammond's 16 cuts include both sides of all four of his 1966-69 Kent singles, as well as four from the same period that did not surface until a 1988 LP, and four more from the same time that were previously unissued until this CD. He was a minor but a worthy Southern soul-style vocalist who sounded much like a gentler Sam Cooke, writing all of his material on this disc. On his Kent sides (he had previously recorded for other labels), he adeptly crossed soul with shades of blues and gospel, although the arrangements were not as lugubrious and brassy as much soul actually produced in the South was. Occasionally he used pop-style production to good effect, as on the 1966 single "You Brought It All on Yourself," with its swinging, slightly jazz horn lines. Interestingly, his 1968 B-side "Do Right Woman" is not the famous Chips Moman/Dan Penn song, but a different song (albeit with some similarities to the more famous one), recorded at Moman's studio, no less. The eight songs that were not released in the 1960s are good by outtakes standard. "Togetherness" has something of the ballad feel of Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," while "My Sweet Baby Is Coming Home," with only an electric guitar as backup, anticipates the sound of fellow Cooke acolyte Ted Hawkins. The ten songs that follow from Hill, incidentally, are average period soul that also have some stronger blues elements than many recordings from the genre, combining a few of Hill's 1966-69 singles with four previously unissued numbers.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 03:43
2 02:24
3 03:10
4 02:43
5 03:03
6 02:39
7 02:53
8 03:09
9 03:20
10 03:14
11 02:27
12 02:35
13 02:47
14 03:21
15 02:05 Amazon
16 04:29
17
03:31
18
02:37
19
02:38
20
02:59
21 02:35
22 02:36
23 03:19
24 02:33
25 03:47
26 02:35
blue highlight denotes track pick