on 22 June 2013
For many people Johnny Copeland was most famous for some classy blues albums on Rounder Records full of great singing and tasty guitar, such as "Boom, Boom" and "Texas Twister". However he had an earlier career when he tried a variety of styles. He produced some good soul sides, some of which were collected together in 2001 on an Indigo Records CD "Ghetto Child - the Houston Sessions". However those brilliant compilers at Kent have put together this outstanding double CD with 43 tracks, some of which have not been released on CD before. It is a gem of a collection of this period in the late 60's when his music was at its most soulful.
The collection starts off with the excellent mid-paced "Its me", with his voice in top form and a Stax-like sax backing with some nice organ in the middle. His voice is even better on the next track "The invitation". "I waited too long" will get your toes tapping as will a number of others such as " If you're looking for a fool" & "No puppy love". For Northern Soul lovers there are two alternative takes to the popular "Sufferin city" version released on Atlantic - I really like the duet on CD two with Lavell White - released as Johnny and Lilly on Wet Soul in 1970. The B side "Somebody's scratchin'" is pretty good too.
If you like your soul with a blues feel there are lots of good examples of this eg "Ghetto Child" & "Old man blues". He does a slower version of James Carr's "Love attack" and if you shut your eyes it could almost be Otis himself!!
To sum up this is a gem of an album with a variety of different styles but throughout some great vocals. If I was to pick any fault it would be a minor one in that I am not over keen on the two Johnny Ace Medleys. So if you like late sixties soul blues this would be a great buy for you.