It really is hard to believe that Volume One hit the streets in the March of last year. Since then Ady Croasdell has spent countless hours trawling through tape boxes, unearthing more gems from the streets of Detroit, to satisfy our craving for all things soulful.
This latest release in The Soul Providers series is another aural delight and further demonstrates what a gifted soul Dave Hamilton was. As you'd expect, all tastes are catered for on this well-executed compilation that I've been listening to almost continuously since my review copy arrived.
Dave's extensive collection of tapes has revealed some fascinating previously unissued recordings and the news that there are enough for a third volume is good news indeed.
So what are the highlights here... well to be honest there are so many it is truly difficult to know where to begin. For the die-hard 60s fans, whose preference is the northern groove, we have current in-demanders from Tobi Lark, Dottie & Millie, JT Rhythm and the swarthy James Lately. If that wasn't enough we also have the track, proclaimed by many, as the best discovery to hit the dance-floors this decade-.-Who Are You Trying To Fool has already become a rare soul anthem and Little Ann's stunning performance of this at the 6Ts Cleethorpes' Weekender left many of us in a state of shock.
OC Tolbert cut numerous sides for Dave, four of which are featured here, and it would be unjust not to acknowledge what a talent this guy had. A committed vocal was his trade-mark, only too evident on the breath-taking Give It To Glory-.-the combination of gospel inspired lyrics, a crossover rhythm and pure raw emotion will almost certainly see this become the left-field 'hit' of the CD. Utter brilliance.
For Hamilton traditionalists there are the obligatory instrumental tracks with Ain't That Groovy sounding so Hitsville it wouldn't come as any suprise to discover the Funk Brothers had dropped by intending to shoot some pool but were press-ganged into working. In addition there are cool male harmony group performances from the Barrino Brothers, Tokays and Additions, foxy solo femmes like Jackie Dee and Sue Ann Jones and neat solo males in the form of Danny Cobus and Gil Billingsley. For those of you sensible enough to buy Volume One don't even hesitate over this release...if anything it's better and that really is saying something.
By Andy Rix