WELCOME TO SIR SHAMBLING'S DEEP SOUL HEAVEN
Here you’ll find articles – some brief, some less so – on soul music and the artists who made it. Mostly concentrating on deep soul and southern soul recordings from below the Mason - Dixon line in the Golden Age between about 1960 and 1980 when the dreaded synthesisers began to take over. But like all the “rules” of the site, this one was made to be broken, and a lot of other sorts of black music have found their way here as well.
To help you find your way around the site:
Artists - an ever growing index that will lead you to biographies, discographies, label shots and, of course, the music from deep and southern soul artists - famous and not so famous. Sound files you can listen to or download are highlighted by this symbol
Articles - Index of some reviews, articles and ramblings from Sir Shambling and various guest writers. These include small features on what this site is all about, a definition of the music highlighted here, who Sir Shambling is and a "thank you" list of friends without whom this site would not have been possible.
Links - Sir Shambling's favourite websites, record dealers, magazines and other friends of this site.
Contact Sir Shambling - leave your comments positive or not right here.
NEW!! Search - Search for artists, labels or anything or anybody else covered in this website.
NEW!! CD Reviews - a section highlighting CDs both old and new of interest to southern and deep soul fans.
ANNOUNCEMENT ON SOUNDCLIPS.
This website has been open for well over 10 years now and during that time many tracks which can only be found here have been included on commercial CDs, both legitimate and bootleg. As have numerous images and information. Sometimes this website has been acknowledged as the source, sometimes compilers have asked my permission to use my material but mostly music and other stuff has simply been taken.
I have tended to view this thievery as the price that has to be paid for making this rare music freely available to everybody who wants to hear it, and to increase awareness of deep and southern soul.
But recently matters have taken a substantial turn for the worse. Two individuals – one in the US and one in the UK – have issued CDs that don’t just include the odd track from here but are actually entirely based on this website. Pretty much all the tracks, images and whole paragraphs of text have been lifted wholesale. These cynical and blatant attempts to make easy money from my work are completely unacceptable. And since taking pictures and text are dependent on the taking of the music I have had to act to prevent the music being such an easy target.
Accordingly all the tracks on this website have now been “seeded” with a series of “bleeps” through the course of the song which will make it much harder technically and music more expensive to use them for any sort of commercial CD. Sadly this also means that listening to them for pleasure has been seriously compromised. I must apologise to all who come here for the music and not to make money out of the site – but since the only alternative was to close the site completely I hope you will understand. The cause and responsibility for this action rests with the greedy bad guys not me.
I will of course be pleased to send music to anybody who is interested in any of the songs here and who wants a track purely for their own enjoyment rather personal gain. Just use the contact form here to send me an email and I will respond. Again I am sorry for this inconvenience but the blame for it lies elsewhere.
10 October - My friend Greg Mudry has continued his look at the indispensible female CDs with his review of Candi Staton's Ace UK collection "Evidence - The Complete Fame Masters". You can read it here.
27 August - My friend Greg Mudry has written two more insightful, excellent CD reviews, this time concerning the fabulous two CD set of all Ann Peebles outstanding stay at Hi Records which you can find here; and the wonderful collection of Jean Wells foremost recordings "Soul On Soul Deluxe" which you can find here.
Greg's own excellent entertaining blog "Sisters Sing Soul" can be found here.
1 July - I am delighted to announce that the first three of what I hope will be a continuing series of CD reviews by my friend Greg Mudry have been posted on the site. They are Candi Staton's recent set "Life Happens", Millie Jackson's "On The Country Side" and the Laura Lee CD "The Chess Collection". You can find the full list of all the CD reviews on this site here.
Greg is the man behind the excellent blog "Sisters Sing Soul" which is a highly enjoyable and informative listen. Noy just for the quality of the music that Greg plays but also for his insights and helpful and penetrating comments.
You can find "Sisters Sing Soul" here.
13 March 2016 - New Book Published!
My very good friend John Lias has just published the first volume in his definitive history of the Soul LP. This very handsome hardback tome, beautifully presented, deals with artists whose names begin with A – K and is encyclopaedic in its coverage. The time span John has chosen is roughly 1960 to 1982 when the dreaded CD took over from vinyl, and so this is really a history of the Golden Age of the soul album. In terms of musical genres there is – obviously – a preponderance of soul singers and performers but John has also included references to works by other artist such as Esther Phillips who recorded in a much more bluesy style for most of the 60s. The author admits that sometimes inclusion or the absence of it can be an arbitrary decision based on whether he admires and enjoys a singer or not, but there are some pretty hard and fast rules as well. Nobody who didn’t have a vinyl release – 45 or 33 rpm – before 1982 gets in, solely disco or gospel artists are out. No promos or bootlegs and no various artist compilations. But the central core of soul albums is perfectly intact and although these issues always generate discussions I can’t imagine any soul fan being disappointed at John’s choice of entries. For all artists included John has provided a small commentary on the artist themselves, full of good sense, and an assessment of their recorded output that is a model of accurate musical judgement. The book is very well written and great fun to browse through – “I’ve never heard of that one” – or read through “John has got him absolutely right”. There are some fine cover illustrations in the middle to drool over as well. All in all this publication is absolutely essential and my copy has been beside me ever since it arrived. Can’t wait for Volume 2!
It’s available on Amazon and from the author who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8 June - My good friend Matt Futerman will shortly be undergoing radical colon surgery to remove cancerous cells. Thanks to problems with his US health insurance he will not be able to afford to live during the recovery period from his surgery while he is not earning. His friend Becky Perkins has set up a Fundraiser to enable friends to donate to help him out. The Fundraiser can be found here
Please give generously if you can. Thank you.