After so many successful compilation series' on Tramp like the critically-acclaimed Movements, Feeling Nice, and Praise Poems comps, the people behind the label decided that the jewel of golden-era funk, soul, jazz, r&b and groove was so brilliant and multifaceted, it was necessary to found a new one. Those of you who collect our vinyl compilations may have realized that each respective side of each double LP focuses on a certain genre. Countdown to...Soul is no exception; four sides focus on four different facets of the golden era of Soul music.
Jackie Johnson's opener gives you a taste of what you can expect on Side A: raw funky-soul from the late '60 with a gospel feel (The Chances), midtempo, finger-snapping Soul (Hank Hodge and Holly Carroll) and in between an obviously James Brown influenced cut by 15-year old lead singer Archie Brooks (The Fugitives) who emulates the Godfather's cadence smartly.
Side B is all about soul-jazz instrumentals for fans of Ramsey Lewis and Jimmy Smith. Don Patterson is probably the biggest name, followed by Ulysses Crockett. Spider Martin and the John Lewis Sound are lesser known, but this our mission at Tramp is to shed a deserved spotlight on their funky talent.
Side C jumps right into the mid '70s and its slick dancefloor-funk sound. Reuben Bell is probably the best known artist on this album. The other two cuts are no new discoveries for the seasoned funk 45 collector, however regular music buyers are likely to be hearing their names and tunes for the first time.
Admittedly, Side D might be an acquired taste. However, Tramps intention is (and always has been) to seek for the unknown and to present songs which are hard to categorize. "Tell It Like It Is", "The Steel Man" and "I Helped You Go" could be filed under 'country-funk' if such a genre existed. And what song could complete this album better than John Brown's beautiful "The Sound Of The Wind"?
So there you have it, more than a dozen obscure but brilliant Rare Grooves where the majority of the songs have not been compiled anywhere else. This could be the beginning of another successful series. It's up to you.
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