Friday, 29 January 2016

"New Breed Workin': Blues With A Rhythm" by VARIOUS ARTISTS (2016 Ace/Kent Soul CD Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...I Said Yeah..." 

Entry number six in an increasingly cool and essential Ace Records CD series (see list below) – "New Breed Workin' - Blues With A Feeling" goes after 60ts American Blues and R&B with a Mod dance rhythm and more often that not gets my increasingly ancient loin juices flowing. Here are the feet/hip twitching details...

UK released Friday, 29 January 2016 (February 2016 in the USA) – "New Breed Workin' - Blues With A Rhythm" by VARIOUS ARTISTS on Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 443 (Barcode 029667244329) is a 24-track CD compilation and plays out as follows (59:11 minutes):

1. The Twitch – DANNY WHITE (1963 US 7" single on Frisco 109, A)
2. My Baby's Gone – PEE WEE FOSTER (2016 Previously Unreleased Cleveland R&B Records recording)
3. Cruel World – ROOSEVELT POWERS (2016 Previously Unreleased Arock Records recording)
4. I Can't Even Enjoy My Home – BIG CHARLEY & THE DOMANS (2016 Previously Unreleased Cleveland R&B Records recording)
5. You Never Know – B.B. KING (from the 1963 US LP "B.B. King" on Crown 5359 – also B-side to "The Letter", a 1964 US 7" on King 391)
6. (I Believe) Something Funny Is Going On – BERTHA TILLMAN (1962 US 7" single on Brent 2031, A)
7. Poor Boy's Song – LORD LUTHER (unissued 1960s recording that first appeared on the 2010 Lord Luther CD compilation "I Am The Lord" on Ace CDCHD 1258)
8. I've Got A Feeling For You Baby – NOOKIE BOY (1962 US 7" single on AFO Records 306, A)
9. Bossman – DEANE HAWLEY (1960 US 7" single on Dore 554, A)
10. Keep A Hold On Him – BEATRICE LEE (1962 US 7" single on Kent 385, A)
11. These Tears (Brass Version) – MARY JOHNSON (2016 Previously Unreleased Foxy Records recording)
12. Lucky Girl – JOAN DUVALLE (2016 Previously Unreleased AFO Records recording)
13. Steamboat – ARTHUR GRANT & THE RED SHOES (2016 Previously Unreleased Arock Records recording)
14. Workin' Man – COOL PAPA JARVIS (2016 Previously Unreleased Cleveland R&B Records recording)
15. Real Real Love – RAY AGEE (1967 US 7" single on Krafton 620, A)
16. What Did I Do Wrong – THE OVATIONS featuring LOUIS WILLIAMS (from the 1977 Japanese LP "Peace Of Mind" on Vivid Sound VG-3003)
17. Let Me Know – ROBERT LEE (from the 1993 Various Artists CD compilation "More Gumbo Stew" on Ace CDCHD 462)
18. Breaking Hearts – VARETTA & THE THOMASES (1963 US 7" single on Brent 7040, A)
19. Playboy – BILLY RAY (1962 US 7" single on Kent 367, A)
20. Yes It's You – BIG BOY GROVES & LITTLE MARGIE (first released on the 2009 Various Artists CD compilation "Toast Of The Coast: 1950's R&B From Dolphin's Of Hollywood Volume 2" on Ace CDCHD 1215)
21. Big John – RICHARD BERRY (1955 US 7" single on RPM 448, A)
22. Looking For My Baby – THE MUSIC CITY SOUL BROTHERS (1964 US 7" single on Music City 855, A)
23. Twistin' School – LITTLE BETTY (1961 US 7" single on Alto 2006, A)
24. Now We Must Part – CHET "POISON" IVEY (1962 US 7" single on Gator 302, A)

The 16-page booklet is the usual Ace info-fest – track-by-track explanations by Compiler and Enthusiast ADY CROASDELL – the text peppered with rare label repros from Gator, Frisco, Sue, Brent, AFO, Dore, Music City and Alto Records. There are publicity of photos of names that are too long forgotten – Danny White (Fan Club invite), Buddy Lucas with his saxophone in full Red Indian headdress, Chet "Poison" Ivey calling himself 'Mr. Soul Personality', Lord Luther by a keyboard with his band, Deane Hawley doing her best Bessie Smith impression and Joan Duvalle looking as side-profile regal as Aretha Franklin in some classy black & white. Long-time Sound Engineer NICK ROBBINS has done the transfers and Remasters and a typically great job it is too despite the obviously less than Audiophile sources. "Yes It's You" by Varetta & The Thomases for instance sounds awesome – as clear as 50ts Ruth Brown Atlantic Records R&B...

"New Breed Workin'..." opens with a winner – a genuinely great dancer preceded by some silly 'parlez vous' French dialogue that's followed by a brassy shimmy-shaker rhythm that's guaranteed to have you shaking talcum powder on the kitchen floor. On second listen I'm digging "Poor Boy's Song" and the languid piano R&B roll of "I've Got A Feeling For You Baby". "Bossman" by Deane Hawley is a fantastic groover in a similar vein as Charlie Rich's uber-cool "Big Boss Man". Beatrice Lee screams her message out at the beginning of "Keep A Hold On Him" to young girls willing to listen - "'s something you better dig!" She 'yeows' and 'yeahs' through her advice song telling the ladies to 'keep him tight" (on the money Miss Lee).

A better dancer is "These Tears" presented here in what’s known as the 'brass version' – pumping horns giving Mary Johnson's impressive growl a real power. Another dude walking down the street is being called 'sugar pie' by Joan Duvalle on the Previously Unreleased "Lucky Girl" – the song tries hard but her slightly off-tone Big Maybelle vocals probably meant it was canned (dips in Audio towards the end too). Arthur Grant & The Red Shoes try their hand at The Drifters Atlantic Records gem "Steamboat" – cleverly mixing in "Ruby Ruby" into the backing vocals. Cool Papa Jarvis bemoans his stagnant working week and the sweat on his brow in "Workin' Man" – a rough and tumbler shuffler with boogie guitar. Far better is the genuinely exciting "Real Real Love" by Ray Agee – the kind of groovy dancer Northern Soul boys would probably chop off your hand for. "What Did I Do Wrong" has The Ovations sounding like Sam Cooke on a boogie tip (great tune) - while "Let Me Know" by Robbie Lee is an organ-led dancer with pleading girly backing vocals. A tiny and obviously ignored trade clipping describes "Looking For My Baby" by The Music City Soul Brothers as 'lively high-powered Blues sounds' and its excellent beat and transfer suggest that a second look has been a long-time coming (clever choice).

Not exactly stormin' like some of the other titles in the series (see review for Volume 1 below) – but there's so much to savour on "New Breed Workin'" that fans of New Breed R&B are going to have to own it. 

Another very nice one from those smart people over at Ace Records...

Titles in Ace's NEW BREED R&B Series of CD Compilation

1. New Breed R&B: Soulful 60s Blues For Today’s Dances (July 2001, Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 199)
2. King New Breed Rhythm & Blues (July 2002, Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 210)
3. New Breed R&B With Added Popcorn – Early 60ts R&B Dancers Right In Today’s Groove (February 2008, Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 291)
4. King New Breed R&B Volume 2 (April 2012, Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 373)
5. New Breed Blues with Black Popcorn (April 2013, Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 393)
6. New Breed Workin’: Blues With A Rhythm (January 2016, Ace/Kent Soul CDKEND 443)

This review is part of my SOUNDS GOOD Music Book Series. One of those titles is BLUES, VOCAL GROUPS, RHYTHM 'N' BLUES and ROCK 'N' ROLL - an E-Book with over 175 entries and 1750 e-Pages - purchase on Amazon and search any artist or song (click the link below). Huge amounts of info taken directly from the discs (no cut and paste crap).

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