Various Artists

Troubled Waters: Deep Soul from the Deep South

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What sets Troubled Waters apart from the majority of deep soul collections is its expansion of the genre's template -- moving well beyond the Memphis and Muscle Shoals material that comprises most sets of this ilk, the disc also goes far beyond the earthy grit of your typical deep soul record to encompass material that, at times, recalls the modern soul made north of the Mason-Dixon line for its sophistication and subtlety. Bringing together 23 rare singles, album cuts, and unreleased sides, Troubled Waters is as much a godsend for the longtime deep soul collector as it is for the neophyte; much of this stuff is appearing for the first time ever on CD, but its sheer quality and consistency -- not to mention excellent fidelity and annotation -- should earn it a place in your collection regardless whether it's next to the Stax/Volt singles box set, or merely a budget-line Otis Redding retrospective. Highlights include McKinley Mitchell's "The Town I Live In," Hank Sample's "If You See That Girl of Mine," Eddie Houston's "I Won't Be the Last to Cry" and Ruby Wilson's "Bluer Than Blue."

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