VARIOUS – YOU GAVE ME REASON TO LIVE – SOUTHERN AND DEEP SOUL FROM LOUISIANA – ACE / KENT CD

A celebration of the exceptional music that can occur in the most out of the way places.

South-West Louisiana is rightly famous for its homegrown music: the Cajun sound and its black cousin Zydeco. However, situated between New Orleans and Houston, the region’s music industry was ideally placed to also record local versions of soul, country, funk, blues and pop. This compilation comprises high-quality southern soul which, due to where it was recorded, tends to have been previously overlooked.

The music here spans the early 60s, with artists such as Sticks Herman performing the local version of proto-soul, and the early 1970s, when the influence of Memphis soul could be heard in the voices of Johnny Truitt and Moody Scott. The existence of these recordings is down to record men such as Eddie Shuler, Carol Rachou and J.D. Miller capturing the local talent and touring musicians as they passed through their studios.

Shuler’s ANLA label is the main source, although the artist names are often hardly more than markers, with little known about some beyond the records they made. Terrie & Joy La Roy, Soul Shouting Tommy and Big Daddy Green, for example, all released thrilling singles, then disappeared back into obscurity. Others such as Camille “Lil” Bob carved out careers that lasted decades, whilst Bobby Charles moved from his pop hit ‘Later Alligator’ to Bearsville cult status via ‘Big Boys Cry’, a fine piece of emotional mid-60s soul. Clifton White and Chester Randle were successful band leaders, but only within the local area, and Rockin’ Sidney worked for years as a blues singer before reinventing himself as the internationally renowned face of Zydeco.

These recordings have an edge that suggests they were made outside of Southern Soul’s major recording centres, yet are instantly recognisable as soul music of the era. It is a pleasure to be able to unearth these sounds and present them to a new audience.

DEAN RUDLAND

01 Baby Oh Baby (How Far You Are From Me) – Charles Greene

02 If There’s A Will There’s A Way – Ike Porter & The Fabulations

03 Without Love What Would Life Be – Terrie & Joy La Roy with The Bill Parker Show Band

04 Groove Maker – Dynamic Adam & His Excitements

05 Soul Woman – Camille “Lil” Bob

06 For The Good Times – Johnny Truitt

07 One Man’s Happiness – Moody

08 Sea Of Love – Freddie Love

09 Our Love Will Always Be – Lee Bernard

10 Trust – Count Rockin’ Sidney with the Dukes

11 Why Did I Let You Go – Chester Randle’s Soul Senders

12 You Gave Me Reason To Live – Big Daddy Green

13 Love For Love, Heart For Heart – Ike Porter & The Fabulations

14 To Be Loved By You – Soul Shouting Tommy

15 Lonely Feeling – Sticks Herman

16 Big Boys Cry – Bobby Charles

17 If You Love Me – Clifton White & His Royal Knights

18 On Bended Knees Begging – Big Daddy Green

19 Why I Shed So Many Tears – Terrie & Joy La Roy with the Bill Parker Show Band

20 She’s Gone – Dynamic Adam

21 Don’t Drive Me Deeper (Into The Ground) – Lee Bernard

22 Blues For Men – King Carl

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