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Kent Box Set - Back To The River: More Southern Soul Stories 1961-1978

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Kent Box Set - Back To The River: More Southern Soul Stories 1961-1978 magazine cover

Back To The River: More Southern Soul Stories 1961-1978

This box set is the 'follow up' release to the best selling critically and publicly acclaimed  2006 release “Take Me To The River: A Southern Soul Story” Box set ( details here ) and is now out and about

A 3 disc box set, this release follows on the first release, again with 75 tracks which include objects of desire such as rarities, unreleased and well known gems but this time around the scope is more expanded than its predecessor.

Delivered as a 3 disc box set complete with a 64 page booklet with over 17,000 words ensuring every track gets covered

As always others can tell the story better, here's Soul Source member Dean Rudlands words from the Ace records website...


....Take Me To The River” was only ever “A” southern soul story, and that many others could be told from a variety of perspectives. Here we tell three of them.

Disc One brings another view on the recordings of Muscle Shoals and Memphis. This time we focus more on artists who weren’t native to those areas: Solomon Burke recording at American, Mary Wells at Fame or Betty LaVette at Sounds Of Memphis. These studios were being used to revitalise waning careers or kickstart those that had yet to get going. The disc also features recordings by artists primarily associated with Muscle Shoals and Memphis – check the previously unreleased take of Otis’ ‘Free Me’ – and overall gives further evidence of the musical vibrancy of those two great recording centres.

Disc Two covers the wider region of the south. Taking in Miami, Texas, New Orleans and several other stops, it reveals how the regional music of the time was connected but at the same time distinct and allows us to find out what Jerry Wexler did when he fell out with the studios in Memphis and Muscle Shoals. The disc also shines a spotlight on the small scene in Mobile, Alabama and the super-rare Steve Dixon 45 that emerged from there.

Disc Three focuses on the influence southern soul had in the northern cities – a story not just of displaced southerners creating the sound of their homes states, but of the music industry’s tendency to follow big-selling trends wherever they come from. It’s possible to trace a timeline through this story that shows you when Otis and then Al Green were topping the charts. It also shows Aretha at her finest refusing to travel south and instead having the area’s best musicians flown in for her New York session.

More words and images on the release via



Track Listing:

Side 1

     1.    Solomon Burke - "I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)"
     2.    Bettye Lavette - "Nearer To You"
     3.    William Bell & Judy Clay - "Private Number" (extended version)
     4.    Otis Redding - "Free Me" (take 1)
     5.    Bobby Bland - "A Touch Of The Blues"
     6.    Dee Dee Sharp - "This Love Won't Run Out"
     7.    Eddie Floyd - "I Got Everything I Need"
     8.    Gloria Walker & The Chevelles - "Please Don't Desert Me Baby"
     9.    Sam Baker - "Sugar Man" (extended version)
     10.    Joe Perkins - "Think I'll Go Somewhere & Cry Myself To Sleep"
     11.    Jeanie Greene - "Sure As Sin"
     12.    Rudolph Taylor - "What's That You Got"
     13.    Mary Wells - "I Found What I Wanted"
     14.    Melvin Carter - "I've Got Memories" (demo)
     15.    Joe Simon - "Message From Maria"
     16.    Mable John - "Problems"
     17.    OV Wright - "I've Been Searching"
     18.    Clarence Carter - "She Ain't Gonna Do Right" (demo)
     19.    Barbara West - "Give Me Back The Man I Love"
     20.    Bill Coday - "You're Gonna Want Me"
     21.    Bettye Swann - "I'm Just Livin' A Lie"
     22.    Jimmy Braswell - "Home For The Summer"
     23.    Ella Washington - "Too Weak To Fight" (extended version)
     24.    Na Allen - "Everytime It Rains (Teardrops From My Eyes)"
     25.    The Soul Children - "Yesterday"

Side 2
     1.    Joe Tex - "The Only Girl I've Ever Loved"
     2.    Brook Benton - "Rainy Night In Georgia"
     3.    John Fred & The Playboys - "Love Comes In Time"
     4.    Joey Gilmore - "Somebody Done Took My Baby & Gone"
     5.    CP Love - "I Found All These Things"
     6.    Helene Smith - "A Woman Will Do Wrong"
     7.    Steve Dixon - "Depend On Me"
     8.    Esther Phillips - "I'm In Love"
     9.    Sam Dees - "Easier To Say Than Do"
     10.    Terrie & Joy LaRoy - "Without Love What Would Life Be" (with The Bill Parker Show Band)
     11.    Count Willie - "I've Got To Tell You" (with LRL & The Dukes)
     12.    Joe Wilson - "You Need Me"
     13.    Joe Medwick - "Nearer To You"
     14.    Della Humphrey - "Your Love Is All I Need"
     15.    Toussaint McCall - "Nothing Takes The Place Of You"
     16.    George Perkins - "How Sweet It Would Be"
     17.    Warren Storm - "Daydreamin'"
     18.    Stanley Winston - "No More Ghettos In America"
     19.    Little Beaver - "Do Right Man"
     20.    Johnny Adams - "(Sometimes) A Man Will Shed A Few Tears Too"
     21.    Reuben Bell - "Asking For The Truth"
     22.    Joe Valentine - "I Can't Stand To See You Go"
     23.    Don Hollinger - "You Got Everything I Need"
     24.    Charles Crawford - "A Sad Sad Song"
     25.    Aaron Neville - "Tell It Like It Is"

Side 3
     1.    Ground Hog - "Going Back Home"
     2.    Freddie Scott - "Cry To Me"
     3.    Little Buster - "Looking For A Home"
     4.    Jimmy Lewis - "The Girls From Texas" (extended version)
     5.    Aretha Franklin - "Ain't No Way"
     6.    Roy C - "I Found A Man In My Bed"
     7.    Clay Hammond - "Take Your Time"
     8.    Al Gardner - "Just A Touch Of Your Hand"
     9.    Don Covay - "You're Good For Me"
     10.    Billy Sha Rae - "I Found The One"
     11.    ZZ Hill - "Don't Make Me Pay For His Mistakes"
     12.    The Soul Brothers Six - "What Can You Do When You Ain't Got Nobody"
     13.    Otis Clay - "That's How It Is (When Your In Love)"
     14.    Marion Black - "Go On Fool" (extended version)
     15.    Fontella Bass - "I Want Everyone To Know"
     16.    Oscar Weathers - "You Wants To Play"
     17.    The Fuller Brothers - "(I Want Her) By My Side"
     18.    Barbara Mason - "Shackin' Up"
     19.    Willie Hightower - "Don't Blame Me"
     20.    Lester Young - "Stop"
     21.    Bill Locke - "Someone To Take Your Place"
     22.    Lee Moses - "If Loving You Is A Crime (I'll Always Be Guilty)"
     23.    Timmy Willis - "Easy As Saying 1-2-3"
     24.    Little Richard - "I Don't Know What You Got But It's Got Me" (part 1 & 2)
     25.    Bobby Rush - "Mary Jane"


Available now via Ace records site and also the usual retail suspects

Seen at approx £28.00




Members Comments

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Thats a real top drawer compilation. Even if you know all the tracks and maybe have them on vinyl or on other CD's this is still something worth having.

Well done Kent for putting together another tremendous collection of outstanding and historic music.

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Ace/Kent's delve into Southern Soul has been brilliant with some outstanding compilations.  I have the first box set of this which is just fantastic and this will almost certainly join the collection.  A must have IMO

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Huah ! Nice indeed. Plus it's not one of those ridiculous ego tripping' box set or compilation sucking poor mish-mash... Thumbs up !

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