"Various Artists - Leo Blokhuis presentert The Sound Of The South: Where Soul Meets Country 1961-1976" Published October 3rd 2011 by Ambo/Anthos Uitgevers
by Greg Burgess
Solomon Burke ~ Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms); Jimmy Donley ~ Think it Over; Joe Hinton ~ Funny (How Time Slips Away); Jimmy Hughes ~ Steal Away; Joe Tex ~ Hold On To What You`ve Got; B.J. Thomas ~ There`ll Be No Teardrops Tonight; Percy Sledge ~ When A Man Loves A Woman; David Houston ~ Almost Persuaded; Dallas Frazier ~ Mohair Sam; Otis Redding ~ You Left The Water Running; James Carr ~ The Dark End Of The Street; William Bell ~ Everybody Loves A Winner; Aretha Franklin ~ Do Right Woman, Do Right Man; Don Varner ~ Down In Texas; Irma Thomas ~ A Woman Will Do Wrong; Eddie Hinton ~ Cover Me; Etta James ~ Don`t Lose Your Good Thing; Toussaint McCall ~ Nothing Takes The Place Of You; Barbara Lynn ~ I`ll Suffer; Hourglass ~ Power Of Love; James & Bobby Purify ~ Just Like Old Times; Clydie King ~ Ode To Billie Joe; Arthur Conley ~ This Love Of Mine; Bill Brandon ~ Rainbow Road; Bettye Swann ~ Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.
Kip Anderson ~ I Went off and Cried; Margie Singleton ~ Harper Valley P.T.A.; Sam Baker ~ Sugarman; Laura Lee ~ It`s All Wrong But It`s Alright; O.C. Smith ~ The Son Of Hickory Holler`s Tramp; Ronnie Milsap ~ Do What You Gotta Do; Joe South ~ Games People Play; Lattimore Brown ~ Everyday I Have To Cry Some; Dusty Springfield ~ Son Of A Preacher Man; Tony Borders ~ Gentle On My Mind; Tony Joe White ~ Rainy Night In Georgia; Homer Banks ~ The Ghetto; Jim Ford ~ Love On My Brain; Wilson Pickett ~ Back In Your Arms; Bob Dylan ~ Tonight I`ll Be Staying Here With You; Elvis Presley ~ True Love Travels On A Gravel Road; Johnny Adams ~ Reconsider Me; Cher ~ I Threw It All Away; Lou Johnson ~ She Thinks I Still Care; Sammi Smith ~ Brownsville Lumberyard; Ella Washington ~ All The Time; Troy Seals ~ Mama Hold My Hand; Delaney & Bonnie ~ Get Ourselves Together; Baby Washington ~ Breakfast In Bed.
Willie Hightower ~ Walk A Mile In My Shoes; Bobbie Gentry ~ Fancy; Lulu ~ Sweep Around Your Own Back Door; Barbara Mandrell ~ I`ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now); Rob Galbraith ~ Jezebel Of The Morning; Lee Dorsey ~ If I Were A Carpenter; Little Richard ~ Lovesick Blues; Clarence Carter ~ Patches; George Soule ~ What I don`t Know Won`t Hurt Me; Ray Charles ~ Ring of Fire; Larry Saunders ~ Stranger; Roy Head ~ Soul Train; Eric Quincy Tate ~ I Want `Cha; Candi Staton ~ He Called Me Baby; Brook Benton ~ Shoes; Sami Jo ~ Don`t Hang No Halos On Me; Tommy Tate ~ Help Me Love; Charlie Rich ~ A Woman Left Lonely; Don Nix ~ Amos Burke; Paul Kelly ~ Hangin` On In There; Allen Toussaint ~ Chokin` Kind; Mac Davis ~ A Little Less Conversation.
Arthur Alexander ~ In The Middle Of It All; Cissy Houston ~ Midnight Train To Georgia; Luther Ingram ~ I`ll Be Your Shelter (In Time Of Storm); Z. Z. Hill ~ My Adorable One; Travis Wammack ~ Slip Away; Denise LaSalle ~ You`ll Loose A Good Thing; Bobby Patterson ~ She Don`t Have To See You (To See Through You); Al Green ~ I`m So Lonesome I Could Cry; Dobie Gray ~ Drift Away; Dan Penn ~ Nobody`s Fool; Warren Storm ~ Daydreamin`; Millie Jackson ~ It Hurts So Good; Dorothy Moore ~ Misty Blue; Ann Peebles ~ (You Keep Me) Hanging On; Donnie Fritts ~ Winner Take All; The Staple Singers ~ Back Road Into Town; Larry Jon Wilson ~ Ohoopee River Bottomland; Delbert McClinton ~ Lesson In The Pain Of Love; Jerry Lee Lewis ~ I`m Knee Deep In Loving You; Bobby Womack ~ Behind Closed Doors.
Leo Blokhuis is an award winning author and music journalist familiar to Dutch TV audiences as host of a prime time music show ‘Top 2000 a Gogo’. In his latest ‘sound book’ he writes of the period in the 60s and 70s when soul and country music traditions married together to create country soul and vice versa. The book part is 176 pages of Dutch text and since my near neighbours language is not one of the main languages that I can read I am unable to comment on Blokhuis’ writing skills. What I can say is that the text is interspersed with photographs of significant artists, record labels and a page on each featured song that lists studio details and participating musicians. Clearly a labour of love the book looks great and feels substantial.
Don’t be put off if you can not read Dutch because the ‘sound’ part includes four CDs featuring no less than ninety seven songs from a host of golden evergreens from Arthur Alexander to Irma Thomas to Aretha to Cissy Houston, just four picked at random. Some of the selections are a tad too familiar but maybe couldn’t be left out. Thus we get James Carr eternal ‘Dark End of The Street’, Percy Sledges’ When a Man Loves a Woman’ Tony Joe White’s ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’, Clarence Carter’s ‘Patches’ each one a thing of great beauty but surely owned all ready by just about all lovers of this genre. By way of compensation though Blokhuis selects lesser known delights from Ann Peebles ‘(You Keep Me) Hangin’ On’, Bobby Womack’s take on Charlie Rich’s ‘Behind Closed Doors’ and Kip Anderson’s ‘I Went Off and Cried’. The inclusion of the deeply moving Vietnam deep soul ‘Mama Hold My Hand’ by Troy Seals was a pleasant surprise and clearly Blokhuis knows his subject also including outstanding cuts by Tommy Tate, Lattimore Brown, George Soule and Bettye Lavette.
This more than worthy labour differs from other surveys of country soul by including several cuts on each CD by artists normally classed as out and out country. I have no doubt that some die hard soul fans will find the warbling of the likes of Larry Jon Wilson, Bob Dylan, Cher, Ronnie Milsap et al highly irritating. For myself I found that I actually warmed to a number of country intrusions particularly Delbert McClinton’s ‘Lesson In The Pain Of Love’ and Bobby Gentry’s ‘Fancy’. It’s hard though to justify the inclusion of Elvis Presley’s mediocre and extraordinarily dull ‘True Love Travels On A Gravel Road’. Maybe it’s to highlight how far Elvis had fallen against say Johnny Adams who follows immediately after the snoozeville of Elvis with his classic ‘Reconsider Me’.
Clearly the majority of sales for this enterprise will be in The Netherlands. Blokhuis deserves for it to be a resounding success for the thought and love with which he has compiled his selections. I am going to quibble with the choice of one or two cuts on the grounds they are country as opposed to country soul records but the vast majority of what is to be heard here is pure class. Blokhuis has produced something to really enjoy and quite possibly cherish. How about an English language edition?