Various Artists

Sweet Soul Music: Voices from the Shadows

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An audio companion of sorts to Peter Guralnick's excellent book on Southern soul, Sweet Soul Music, this 15-track compilation takes in some of the best and relatively obscure soul tracks cut by the likes of Atlantic, Hi, and even Sun Records. The scene is Memphis, AL, and a few other Southern locales; the music is raw and smoldering, resplendent with those indelible Stax and Muscle Shoals-issue charts and grooves. Besides top-notch selections by such southern singing royalty as Solomon Burke, Don Covay, and James Carr, the disc delivers rare gems like the Invincibles' harmony scorcher "Heart Full of Love," the Enchanters' Northern soul turn "I Paid for the Party," Aretha Franklin's sanctified ballad "My Song," and the Soul Brothers Six and Arthur Alexander's upbeat groover "Some Kind of Wonderful." A solid shot for soul fans ready to move beyond the hits.

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