I’ve written an article about the soul of the Caribbean which you can find here but I’ve not yet covered the soul recordings made by artists from that part of the world who moved to Canada. Perhaps the best known of these is George Banton, but others like Balford Lindsey, the excellent Aubrey Mann, Kenny Hamilton and Glenn Ricketts are well worth investigating.
Bert Lynch doesn’t seem to have been anything like as prolific as the artists mentioned above, but this one 45 more than makes up for this. Judging by the wah wah guitar Poor Man’s Prayer was cut in the early 70s but its sound is set firmly in the southern soul of the 60s. Lynch’s heartfelt rendition of the “sufferation” lyric is is both moving and emotionally compelling. And the arrangement and background vocals suit the mood perfectly.
Judging by the jump up instrumental on the flip Lynch may well have come from Trinidad or Grenada. But more info on this artist would be much appreciated.
UPDATE ~ Both my freinds Ben The Balladeer and Greg Burgess have kindly been in touch with more info on Mr Lynch - and it seems my thoughts about him being a Caribbean artist have been confirmed. Greg writes:-
"There were several mentions of Bert (or Burt) Lynch in Trinidad as recently as 2009. He originally cut the record you've featured as 'Black Man's Prayer' changing the title but not the lyrics to 'Poor Man's Prayer' for the Canadian issue. It was a big record in Trinidad with a release date aroiund 1977. Check out 'I'm Living' by Bert Lynch & Volt Express York 1001. They were a Trinidadian Brass band. 'I'm Living' was recorded in Trinidad with Lynch as producer. I also found a soca cut called 'Mama' by Bert Lynch and A.B.B. on the C.A.M.L. label out of Trinidad - a tad mawkish but gets better as it chuggs along. Early 80s I'd say."
Ben writes with details of further soul recordings as well:-
"Don't Leave Me (York) and Let Me Be Your Lover (Half Moon) and also All Alone (Half Moon)".
Many of these seem to be from the 80s but they all have Bert's excellent soulful tones on them. When I manage to get more details on these 45s I'll redo the discography properly.
I'm very grateful to both Ben and Greg as always.
Poor man’s prayer / Shoes ~ YORK 1002 (early 70s?) (Note flip credited to VOLT EXPRESS)