r&b Archive

Album Reviews: Two Various-Artists RSD Releases

The Other Side of Sun, Part 2 Sun Records had seen its heyday come and go by the time Shelby Singleton bought the label in the late 1960s. But purchase he did. And with that, Sun became part of an impressive catalog that included plenty of hits in a wide variety of genres. Even though

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… Barnes went on the road with Deniece Williams, too, and sang the male part of the Williams-Johnny Mathis duet, “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.” Initially, he did his part from backstage, but headliner Lou Rawls insisted he come out and sing at center stage with Williams. “Plus,” Rawls told him,

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Jackson got a deal that saw him relocating briefly to London, so he and Barnes parted ways. Around that time Barnes got a call from George Clinton, then with Golden World Records in Detroit. “I was missing working with him and he was missing working with me,” Barnes says. “We were

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… The group with Barnes and Feemster cut a demo recording “I spent $10 to make it,” Barnes says. He played it for one of the members of Little Anthony’s group, who loved it. They rehearsed with Anthony, and were heard by talent scout William Parker. Parker got the group an audition

Soul Stalwart: Sidney Barnes (Part 1)

Sidney Barnes’ early recordings and songwriting efforts are prized by aficionados of Northern soul. But that music represents only a fraction of his massive body of work. Barnes has had a career spanning more than five decades, and he’s worked extensively in a dizzying variety of genres: doo-wop, soul, rhythm and blues, blues, jazz, funk,

Hundred-word Reviews: Reissues, Archival Releases, Compilations

My shelf full of albums to be reviewed has run out of space. So once again it’s time for a raft of hundred-word reviews. All sixteen titles in this roundup are reissues, compilations and/or archival releases. 6-String Drag – High Hat (Schoolkids Records) Before Americana was coined as a genre, there was alt-country. Combining rock

2017’s Top Ten You Might Not Have Heard/Heard Of

My brow furrows a bit when I read “Best of” lists published in November or early December; are December releases set aside for consideration in the following year? Or are they ignored? A look at albums released in the last month of 1967, for example, includes Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love, Traffic’s Mr. Fantasy,

The Fritz: A Vibe of Their Own

Keyboardist and songwriter Jamar Woods was part of an all-star lineup celebrating New Year’s 2018 at New York City’s Gramercy Theatre. Billed as the James Brown Dance Party, onstage that night were former musical associates of Prince and Brown as well as members of the Roots, Tedeschi Trucks Band and more. The assemblage of musicians

Boxed Set Review: Isaac Hayes — The Spirit of Memphis

Isaac Hayes was the man. Certainly, he developed an outsized public persona, with his bare chest, furry boots, wide-brimmed hat, chains and gold-played Cadillac (though not all at the same time), and that persona was as cocksure and swaggering as the description suggests. But the thing is, he earned it. From his days as a

Sidney Barnes: A Preview

Note: I recently conducted a wide-ranging and lively interview with Sidney Barnes; the result of that is an in-depth feature running soon in Record Collector Magazine. In the meantime, this shorter feature will whet your appetite. — bk Born in a West Virginia mining town, Sidney Barnes eventually moved with his family to New York