Review: Feeling lucky? With grooves as raw, sizzling and energetic as these, there's a strong chance you might be. Hot on the heels of their "Mesquite Beat" 45 comes this equally earthy and frank doublet. "'Bout To Blow" is a big pant swinging blues affair while "Saints & Beggars" takes us up a notch with a whirling 6/8 signature whirling waltz where the horns and drums take the lead and we follow in their every dreamy footstep. Look out for the album Mesquite Suite coming on Tramp very soon.
Review: Deep into his chamber-lurking follow-up Wu odyssey, Leon Michels stumbled upon shy New York twosome The Shacks and convinced them to record this hazy summer-primed 45". Singer Shannon steals the show with softness and honesty as the band weave a psychedelic bed of sliding guitars and faraway harmonies. Both laced with a woozy 60s edge and beautifully playful lyrics, the whole EP sparkles with soul and talent from both The Shacks and Leon's ever-reliable troupe.
The Family Daptone - "Hey Brother (Do Unto Others)" (3:52)
Soul Fugue - "The 100 Knights Orchestra" (4:58)
Review: Soul and funk heads won't want to miss this very special seven-inch from the Daptone Records crew, and not just because it's the label's 100th "45". The A-side features an all-star '60s soul cover of the Frightnrs rock-steady cut featuring vocal contributions from Saun and Starr, James Hunter, Lee Fields, Naomi Shelton, Duke Amayo, the Frightnrs and two legends who are no longer with us: Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones. It's a one-off that won't be repeated for obvious reasons, but more importantly it's very, very good. Over on the flip main man Bosco Mann takes charge, conducting and producing "two opposing armies" of woodwind and horn players from the label's expansive musical roster. As you'd expect, it's something of an epic.
Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) (3:11)
Blues In The Night (3:13)
Review: A powerful Stax flashback of two tracks from Arkansas soul don Taylor's 1967 debut album Wanted One Soul Singer. As covered by the likes of Lou Rawls, "Ain't That Loving You" is heartfelt bluesy ballad with a sultry swagger and serious yearning on the choruses while the even rarer "Blues In The Night" closes the B on a super-tight floor-bound riff and gutsy delivery from Taylor. Both bonafide northern soul classics and confirmed rarities with both cuts regularly fetching triple figures, this reissue changes everything. For more reasons than one.
The Temptations - "I Can't Get Next To You" (Wonderlove re-edit) (3:54)
Jack Hammer - "Swim" (Wonderlove short re-edit) (3:55)
Review: Wonderlove is the re-editor at the controls for the latest edition of the Soul Flip reworks series, which this time boasts tidy rearrangements of killer cuts from the Temptations and Jack Hammer. It's the former's 1969 single "I Can't Get Next To You" that gets the rework treatment first, with Wonderlove making merry with the track's jangling piano riffs, hybrid rock/soul groove, insatiable vocals and much-sampled drum breaks (which get extended for added dancefloor pleasure). If you're in the mood for something heavier and fuzzier, the "Short Re-Edit" of Jack Hammer's insatiable, spiraling funk workout "Swim" will have you dancing like you've got ants in your pants.
The Tolbert Family Singers - "Ride The Gospel Train" (feat Brother O C Tolbert) (3:36)
O C Tolbert - "Give It To Glory" (5:46)
Review: With Cordial Recordings, LoveVinyl's Roual Galloway is doing a terrific job in making rare, sought-after tracks available to a wider audience. In truth, you'll struggle to find a more rare and expensive gospel killer than The Tolbert Family Singers' "Ride The Gospel Train", a drum machine driven chunk of gospel-boogie with crunchy funk guitars that's been changing hands for hundreds of pounds online. Andrew Weatherall is a fan and it's easy to see why. Flipside "Give it Glory", a solo cut by Tolbert Family patriarch Brother OC Tolbert, is a sweeter and breezier slab of gospel-soul that has never before been released on vinyl. Two killer cuts for the price of one: nice one, Roual!