These two deep soul masterpieces have taken my record room by storm; Hal Tiore arrived Xmas morning, my usual vinyl offering from the wife courtesy of Voices main man Rod Dearlove.
Bobby Banks came from the net, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it and grabbed it immediately. It had to come from Austria and took bloody ages.
So what’s all the fuss about then, well, they are like chalk and cheese, Hal Tiore is raw, horn laden and very southern whilst Bobby Banks is almost is a huge production, almost Philly in sound, with lashings of strings, which shouldn’t come as any surprise really when you see that it was produced by Norman Harris and Bobby Martin. Both our heroes have wonderful voices, Hal Tiore’s is harder, grittier, typically southern in its texture whilst Bobby’s is just right for fronting a Philly sound, slightly smoother and more rounded. Both exude power, passion and emotion. Hal Tiore’s tune was produced by Al Mitchell and the simplicity of the recording wouls suggest a one man band operation, ALM records being Al Mitchell records I would venture to suggest.
First stop whenever anything deep arrives is the wonderful Sir Shambling site, Bobby Banks is there in all its glory, but there’s no sign of Hal Tiore.
I can’t date these either, all I can guess is there late 60’s early 70’s, a cop out I know but!
Brown Sugar INC. "Sweet Love Of Mine" (IMPEL 7")
So what do we have here then - a fairly well known label out of North Carolina, Impel, which is probably most famous for the original release of Ann Sexton’s, ‘You’ve been gone too long’. Here we have a priceless piece of Soul. Recorded at the Reflections Sound Studio’s in Charlotte, the whole project is produced by David Lee, the man responsible for the Impel label set-up, as well as for writing the Ann Sexton track. Inspired by the 50’s label, Imperial, David set things in motion by finding & recording local Carolina artists in any number of styles, from funk through pop, country & Soul. There are allegedly 10 releases on the label, although as yet, nothing really as Soulful as this 45 has been found. This ‘b’ side was written by Alan & Bill ‘Sugar Billy’ Jones, well known artists from the area.
Well what makes this special for me then ? You’d have thought with such a relatively small label, the budget wouldn’t make it possible to produce such a strong sound, but what we have here is a simple guitar, throbbing base & drums all tucked up in one corner & the members of Brown Sugar Inc, including the Brothers Jones, belting the track out in another ! The storyline is simple – please don’t take your love away ! The lead vocal & falsetto interweave beautifully, building up to a climax where the boys finally plead just one more time, ‘I love you, please don’t leave’ . . . I guess we can all work out the final scenario.
As a footnote, David Lee is still alive & living in North Carolina. At the moment I can let you know that a full retrospective of his work from the 60’s to his final recordings in the 80’s, is being put together, with a vinyl release being pencilled in for the spring of 2010. With a real ‘smorgasbord’ of styles as mentioned, pop, country, Soul & even some opera, recorded for the 3 labels David ran, a real eclectic mix can be assured !
Until the next choice, ‘keep it deep & Soulful !’