Soul Brothers (2)
How many versions of the Soul Brothers have there been? Well Bob McGrath in his excellent 3rd version of his Soul Discography counts eleven - and I've written about another set already here. And this New Orelans group comes in at no.1 – I say group even though you can only hear one vocalist on any of their four tracks. Their two 45s for the small local Sho-Biz enterprise both have a ballad side, and as is so often with discs from that city, the slow songs are really well worth hearing.
Lonely Man off their initial release sounds quite muffled, the result of the rather cheesy organ not being properly miked, but that doesn’t really detract from the bluesy chord changes nor the plaintive tone of the singer. The uptempo flip “Later For You” has long been a dance fave. This was produced, and no doubt arranged, by the late great Wardell Q who didn’t get a credit for the second 45 but must have been present. This final 45 is a very rare piece indeed and it does have a super deep track in Take This Pain. I’m a real sucker for this sort of minor keyed ballad, especially when the horns are so good, and the guitarist, Snooks Eaglin, is so inventive.
It’s more than probable that these Soul Brothers were white.
My friend the internet's Soul Detective and Keeper of the Cosimo Code, Red Kelly, kindly adds these observations:-
Hmmmm… listed as a composer on three of these tracks is Tommy Stiglets, who also wrote for Johnny Fairchild on Ace, and 'B. Blankinship’, composer of “Lonely Man”, also cut for Ace subsidiary Diamond Disk as Billy Blank (aka Billy Blankenship). The early Sho-Biz releases before these claim to have been distributed nationally by ‘National Recording’ of Atlanta - a Bill Lowery joint, no? …but after disappearing for several years, the label comes roaring back in 1964 with a couple of Joe Barry 45s and a new numbering system - making me think this had to be a Huey Meaux (or at least Shelby Singleton) label by then……but after disappearing for several years, the label comes roaring back in 1964 with a couple of Joe Barry 45s and a new numbering system - making me think this had to be a Huey Meaux (or at least Shelby Singleton) label by then…These last 1966 releases change numbers once again - and have Wardell listed prominently as Producer - Huey being long gone… Johnny Vincent? But if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on good ol’ T R Siglets being Soul Brother #1… with Bill Blank filling the Bobby Byrd spot, perhaps?
Note ~ Thanks to Ady Croasdell for the suggestion and a special tip of the hat to Red Kelly whose knowledge of these New Orleans matters is vast!