Wednesday, January 06, 2016



Caroline International (in association with SoulMusic Records) is proud to present the 2015 reissue of Shake It Well, the 1977 ABC Records album by legendary soul music group, The Dramatics, an expanded edition including the single edit of the title track, a U.S. R&B top 10 hit and the slow jam classics "My Ship Won't Sail Without You" and "Ocean Of Thoughts And Dreams" (also a U.S. R&B top 20 charted single). Shake It Well was the fourth album The Dramatics recorded for ABC Records, following five years at Volt Records. Formed in Detroit in 1966, The Dramatics enjoyed some local success with recordings for Wingate and Sport labels before producer/songwriter brought the group to Stax Records in 1969 where he had been working with Carla Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. While their initial single for the Stax imprint, Volt Records made little impact, a return to the label in 1971 yielded success with the now-classics "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" and "In The Rain," both written and produced by one of Davis' associates, Tony Hester. In 1975, The Dramatics - original members Ron Banks and Willie Ford along with L.J. Reynolds, Larry "Squirrel" Demps and Lenny Mayes - signed with ABC Records: their first three albums for the label spawned R&B hits such as "Be My Girl" and a cover of Billy Paul's "Me & Mrs. Jones"; for Shake It Well, the group continued working with producer Don Davis, reuniting with Tony Hester for two tracks, "Spaced Out Over You" and "Music Is Forever." For the Shake It Well sessions, producer Davis hired top session musicians including, Dennis Coffey, Ray Parker Jr., James Jamerson Sr. and Reginald Burke and the LP reached #10 on the R&B charts and #60 on the Top 200 Albums chart. This reissue of Shake It Well marks its CD debut worldwide and was produced by David Nathan of, mastered by James Bragg of Chase The Ace, with artwork by Roger Williams and informative liner notes by renowned writer Matt Bauer featuring 2015 interviews with group members L.J. Reynolds and Willie Ford. ~ Amazon


Super Dude I...Plus 7 Bonus Tracks. Essential Southern Soul from one of the genre's greatest-ever singer/song writers. Don Covay's 1973's Super Dude was recorded at Muscle Shoals with THE classic soul rhythm section: Eddie Hinton and Jimmy Johnson on guitars, Barry Beckett on keys, David Hood on bass and Roger Hawkins on drums and the album spawned one of AM radio's all-time cheatin' classics I Was Checkin' Out, She Was Checkin' In . This CD edition provides a definitive overview of this fantastic, funky period in Covay's career. Tracks: Overtime Man, I Stayed Away Too Long, I Was Checkin' Out, She Was Checkin' In, Hold You To Your Promise, Memphis, The Pinch Hitters, Somebody's Been Enjoying My Home, Bad Mouthing, Leave Him Pt. 1, Leave Him Pt. 2, Money (That s What I Want), Don t Step On A Man When He s Down. BONUS TRACKS: It's Better To Have (And Don t Need), Hot Blood, We Can't Make It No More, Rumble In The Jungle, A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste, Dungeon #3, There Was Something On Your Mind. ~ Amazon


Four full albums by the legendary Mother's Finest – collected here in one 2CD set! First up is the self-titled Mother's Finest – the Epic debut from one of the hardest, heaviest soul groups of the 70s – so much so that their music often has a fair bit of rockish touches too – especially in the guitars, which are nice and fuzzy! Lead singer Joyce Kennedy is a killer throughout – almost rivaling Nona Hendryx for unbridled energy and raw power – and the rest of the group provide lots of vocal support too – as well as some plenty heavy drums, bass, and guitar! Things really cook on titles that include "Rain", "Fire", "Fly With Me", "Dontcha Wanna Love Me", and ironically-titled "Niggizz Can't Sang Rock & Roll". Mother's Finest Live is a stunner of a live record from Mother's Finest – one that almost comes across with all the majesty and power of the more famous arena rock albums of the time, but which also has plenty of the group's funky touches intact as well! As before, the music here is a wicked take on fuzzy guitar-based rock – one that's often more funk and soul overall, but easily able to cross into both camps and leave plenty of fans behind! If the audience enthusiasm is to be believed, these guys are tremendous on stage – and titles include "Mickey's Monkey", "Fire", "Somebody To Love", "Magic Carpet Ride", "Watch My Stylin", and "Love Changes". Another Mother Further is filled with heavy guitars, funky bottoms, and lots of super-tight musicianship – a killer set from Mother's Finest, and one that has the group effortlessly blending rock impulses with lots of funk and soul! The group make their soul inclinations known with a heavy cover of the Miracles "Mickey's Monkey" right at the start – and blend together lots of similar currents with a solid sound that's unapologetically into searing guitar solos as much as it is some funkier bottoms. Titles include "Mickey's Monkey", "Baby Love", "Truth'll Set You Free", "Hard Rock Lover", and "Dis Go Dis Way Dis Go Dat Way". Mother Factor is one of the funkiest sets ever from Mother's Finest, and maybe our favorite album from the group's late 70s run on Epic Records! Production is by Skip Scarborough, who brings up some of the group's more soulful currents, but without losing their rocking impulses from before – and singer Joyce Kennedy's never sounded better in the setting! Basslines seem to take more prominence than before – and there's less of the rockish guitar solos – and a few tracks even have those cool, compressed midtempo grooves that Skip could do so well. Titles include "Mr Goodbar", "Tell Me", "Love Changes", "Watch My Stylin", "Can't Fight The Feeling", and "Give It Up".  ~ Dusty Groove

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