Stand by to be baptised by the truly deep, clear waters of Soul; and quite aptly the title of the opening track on this double CD is "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go". And where the History of Soul guys want you to go is on a journey commencing in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1927 and what was probably a so called field recording for Chicago's Okeh label by Miss Arizona Dranes. The first side of this collection is principally Spiritual, Gospel and acoustic Blues music that clearly displays where much of post war R&B and Soul music has its deep roots and aptly concludes with a duet consisting of Spiritual singer Ethel Davenport and Bluesman Brownie McGee. But don't get me wrong it isn't as clear cut as Spiritual on side one and Blues on side two as the immediate post war period covered on disc two gave birth to some great Gospel sides cut by the likes of the Pilgrim Travelers and Clara Ward who plays this fine collection out. With fifty seven tracks this is amazing value and the accompanying booklets are arguably worth the asking price in their own right. Keith Rylatt - Manifesto
There are a lot - A LOT - of poor quality 'out of copyright (OOC)' compilations out there. Not with these guys. They know their stuff and if the prices seem a bit steep for OOC stuff all I'd say is that you'll find stuff on here that you won't find elsewhere. PLUS - the comps are all put together with a real eye for detail. The only thing I'd change is the notes (which are great) should follow the track listings rather than be jumbled all over the place. I find it easier to rip the discs and play the tracks to follow the sleeve notes. That wee thing aside - these are great comps. Buy the lot - I am!
Here's a wonderful collection, the first volume in what is promising to be a great and ambitious new series chronicling the history of Soul music. In an effort to tell the whole story, this set goes way, way back to some of the earliest blues and spiritual recordings ever released and then takes you all the way up to 1940s and 1950s recordings by the likes of Roy Brown, Mahalia Jackson, and Percy Mayfield. Some examples of truly rare early gems featured here that get to the heart of the story are "Honey In The Rock" by Blind Mamie Forehand, "Denomination Blues Part 1" by Washington Phillips, "Judgment" by Sister Mary Nelson, and "Dough Roller Blues" by Garfield Akers; tracks like these really do transport you to a different time and place, and are such a delight to hear. You get truly sublime Gospel like "Them Bones" by Mitchells Christian Singers, down and dirty blues like "In My Girlish Days" by Memphis Minnie, and tracks that seem to walk the line between Saturday night and Sunday morning like "Cross And Evil Woman Blues" by Reverend Gary Davis. All of this great music is accompanied by some wonderfully extensive liner notes, full of great photos, label reproductions, and much more.