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Dave Hamilton's Detroit Soul Vol 2 - CD Review

Dave Hamilton's Detroit Soul Vol 2 - CD Review cover

CD REVIEW – Dave Hamilton's Detroit Soul Volume 2 KENT


The CD opens with “Party Time” by Chico & Buddy (of the Tokays but performing here as a duo). Even though this dates from 1970, it has the throwback sound of a mid 60's Sam & Dave call & response track. Fast and quite funky, the strong vocals really make this cut. A track that could successfully grace the decks at any late night soul party.

The CD features quite a few numbers from Dave Hamilton himself and most are mainly instrumental dominated cuts that showcase Dave's guitar work. “When I Say Groove” and “Cracklin Bread” (vocal version) are both uptempo and have a psychedelic feel.

However track 23 is something quite different. On this, “I'm Shooting High”, Dave tackles a classy vocal song which he takes at mid-tempo pace. He doesn't possess the best voice in the world but his performance makes this an effective floater of some renown. Little Ann exhibits her potent vocal style on a chugger; “I Gotta Have You -- alt take”. Productive use of a sax add to the bluesy feel of this number, a 5 star cut of some character.

1 Party Time - Chico & Buddy


2 When I Say Groove (Vocal) - Dave Hamilton


3 I Gotta Have You (Alt take) - Little Ann


23 I'm Shooting High (Vocal) - Dave Hamilton

 

“Showdown” is again mid-tempo but this one is much more R&B slanted. The group here, Simon Barbee & the Barbabes (what a great name) warble away in fine style and really sound to be enjoying themselves in the studio. The “Fife Piper” style flute break only adds to the atmosphere on this gem.

Heading uptempo again with O. C. Tolbert's “Love Bandit”. Another track that didn't originally escape from the tape vaults, though for the life of me I can't think why. From 74 we drift back to 72 with the Tokays taking on “A State of Mind”, a story song with great lyrics. The group's vocal performance stands comparison with the song's quality. Again, it makes you wonder just why this failed to make it onto vinyl in the 70's.

“The Dreamer” features a classy rhythm track over which Felicia Johnson adds her powerful vocals. A supper club ballad outing that I can see having captivated the audience in the Driftwood or Phelps Lounge back in the day. Rita DuShay is another premium grade female singer and she tackles a song done in 1966 for Motown by Barbara McNair. Barbara was mainly a night club singer (+ actor) and Rita's take of “All I Need” also has that supper club feel. “My Sweet Baby” is 100% backing track and I much prefer the released version. As is, I find it somewhat lacking.

4 Showdown Part 1 - Simon Barbee & The Barbabes


5 The Love Bandit (Edit of CDBGPD 251) - O.C. Tolbert


6 (Marriage Is Only) A State Of Mind - The Tokays


7 The Dreamer - Felecia Johnson


8 All I Need (Steal Away Tonight) - Rita DuShay


9 My Sweet Baby (Instrumental) - JT's Rhythm Band


dave-hamilton-kent-detroit.jpg


Back once again to the ladies; Tobi Lark's Topper outing “Challenge My Love” is one you surely don't need my views on. Another returnee as O C Tolbert takes on “All I Want Is You”, which again is a well known number. Here we get the longer & later (1972) rap version. For me, whilst the 1967 released take has that 60's Detroit charm, this version from OC has much more guts to it. One for lovers of REAALLL soul. Yet more eminent vocal work is displayed on Presberry's majestic deep soul opus “Somebody Is Wrong”. Who was Presberry; maybe Buddy Lamp, maybe a Temptation, nobody knows ! It's back to doo-wop days on the Del-phis “It Takes Two”. One I'm sure that RobbK would love, especially with it's Motown links. More soul royalty pops up next; Carolyn Franklin. A very sparse demo recording by Aretha's sister helps demonstrate the vocal beauty she possessed. I would have loved them to have completed a full recording of this one.

Dave Hamilton's illustrious guitar work opens up Anxiety's “Love Me Or Leave Me”. We then get a group vocal offering of the highest order on this worthy ballad. Their performance leans towards the sweet soul side of things but that's no criticism. I do wonder why this 1980 recording (made at GM studios) didn't get to lead the group towards major success. Perhaps the track was never fully finished as it has a 'live feel' to it that maybe was to be refined in final mixing. A cut of high value that lasts over three and a half minutes. Elayne Starr was better known as a songwriter but on this display (“Must Have Had Company”) she had the chops to make it in her own right as a singer. Ady thinks that the Morning After had been influenced by the Honey Cone's Hot Wax work. However they were not to follow their triumphant counterparts into the charts, or even onto record shop shelves.

10 Challenge My Love - Tobi Lark


11 All I Want Is You (Long rap version) - O.C. Tolbert


12 Somebody Is Wrong - Presberry


13 It Takes Two - The Del-Phis


14 I Guess I'll Go To Packin' - Carolyn Franklin


15 Love Me Or Leave Me - Anxiety


16 Must Have Had Company - Elayne Starr


17 Mister Fireman - The Morning After

 

Next up; the Dynamics. This group enjoyed a long and sometimes commercially successful career path. We catch them here (1984) towards the end of their recording life, though the group is still in existence today. “Surely” allows them to demonstrate the many studio skills they had picked up down the years, the result being yet another classy cut. Little Stevie's “Moving On” is an uptempo gospel item of value that should even appeal to those that usually avoid religious outings. An uptempo late 60's blues number comes next and has that timeless feel of many blues recordings. A 2nd gospel offering from The Prophet & his disciples follows. This one deals with the issue of drugs and it speeds along like an express train.

The reward of having the final cut on this release is awarded to Jimmy Scott and this guy can 'sang'. Though it dates from 1984 it has that classic throwback soul sound evidenced on many 'golden era' recordings. I can just imagine Jimmy, up on stage at the 20 Grand, singing this direct to a beautiful woman he had picked out in the crowded club. I'm sure he would have brought the house down had this scenario played out in the real world.

18 Surely - The Dynamics


19 Moving On - Little Stevie & The Sensational Reynolds Singers


20 Four O'Clock Blues - Glemie (Blue Boy) Derrell & The Detroit Dynamite Blues Boys - Guitar: Littl


21 You Fool, You Fool - The Prophet & His Disciples


22 Cracklin' Bread (With vocals) - Dave Hamilton


24 Remember Me - Jimmy Scott

 

All in all then, this is a release of many highs and a few lows (depending on your particular taste). Some cuts must surely have been included just to keep the completists happy. But that said, there are more than enough top quality outings on display here to ensure the CD has distinction in abundance. Play it through a few times and many tracks on here will 'sink in' and have you hitting the 'repeat button' time & time again.

 John 'Roburt' Smith           March 2016

 

Video trailer


Track listing

01  Party Time - Chico & Buddy
02  When I Say Groove (Vocal) - Dave Hamilton
03  I Gotta Have You (Alt take) - Little Ann
04  Showdown Part 1 - Simon Barbee & The Barbabes
05  The Love Bandit (Edit of CDBGPD 251) - O.C. Tolbert
06  (Marriage Is Only) A State Of Mind - The Tokays
07  The Dreamer - Felecia Johnson
08  All I Need (Steal Away Tonight) - Rita DuShay
09  My Sweet Baby (Instrumental) - JT's Rhythm Band
10  Challenge My Love - Tobi Lark
11  All I Want Is You (Long rap version) - O.C. Tolbert
12  Somebody Is Wrong - Presberry
13  It Takes Two - The Del-Phis
14  I Guess I'll Go To Packin' - Carolyn Franklin
15  Love Me Or Leave Me - Anxiety
16  Must Have Had Company - Elayne Starr
17  Mister Fireman - The Morning After
18  Surely - The Dynamics
19  Moving On - Little Stevie & The Sensational Reynolds Singers
20  Four O'Clock Blues - Glemie (Blue Boy) Derrell & The Detroit Dynamite Blues Boys - Guitar: Littl
21  You Fool, You Fool - The Prophet & His Disciples
22  Cracklin' Bread (With vocals) - Dave Hamilton
23  I'm Shooting High (Vocal) - Dave Hamilton
24  Remember Me - Jimmy Scott

More info via

http://acerecords.co.uk/dave-hamiltons-detroit-soul-vol-2




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Guest johnny hart

Posted

A Masterclass in how to review a :  CD,Lp, etc!  1, Full and  comprehensive track listing,so you know what you are buying to avoid duplication. Etc' 2,  Knowledgeable, factual, erudite description' Not the usual  jibberish about:  "spine tingler", " ," Super" , Classic Thumper" and my fave cliche " Every Collection should have One".  3, Short and sweet ,taster of a sound clip. 4, Clear picture  of product. Roberts words are up there with the  greats of musical literature ;  Manship,  Mac Cadden and Croasdale,  Oh and. ,"Every home should have one" the CD,  Dave Hamilton Vol 2.! Johnny.

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Guest johnny hart

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Roburt, with a U its Twuu, your head and shoulders etc, sites and magazines! 

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I wonder why "It Takes Two" by The Del-Phi's (Dell-Fi's) ((Martha & Vandellas with Gloria Williamson on lead (Motown's Vells)) is included in a Dave Hamilton CD.  That session was run and produced by Joe Hunter and Fred Brown for their Kable Records.  Hunter was the pianist and arranger, and Don Davis was lead guitarist.  Maybe Dave Hamilton was 2nd guitarist (he certainly didn't play the vibes on it).  Hamilton wasn't likely to have been as important as Hunter or Brown on that session.  I guess Ady will chime in on this, and give us the lowdown.

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Robb, the explanation is in the CD booklet ........... a tape was found in DH's studio containing 3 tracks; Nosy Neighbors (Nosy Folk), My Heart Tells Me So (I Know Its You) & It Takes Two People. The origins of when & where these were all cut is probably lost in time now.

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19 hours ago, Roburt said:

Robb, the explanation is in the CD booklet ........... a tape was found in DH's studio containing 3 tracks; Nosy Neighbors (Nosy Folk), My Heart Tells Me So (I Know Its You) & It Takes Two People. The origins of when & where these were all cut is probably lost in time now.

As far as I remember, Fred Brown and Joe Hunter recorded their Kable cuts in mid to late 1961 and early 1962 at United Sound Systems with Hunter arranging and Don Davis on lead guitar.  The Del-Phi's 2 cuts, were recorded in early 1962 (February or March) if I remember correctly.  I can't imagine why Dave Hamilton ended up with "It Takes Two".  Brown and Hunter leased "It Takes Two" and "I'll Let You Know" to Billy Davis' Check-Mate Records (Chess subsidiary).  Chess may have only had use of the master for a year or two.  It should have reverted back to Brown and Hunter.  Could Dave Hamilton have bought it from them?

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On 12 March 2016 at 00:27, RobbK said:

I wonder why "It Takes Two" by The Del-Phi's (Dell-Fi's) ((Martha & Vandellas with Gloria Williamson on lead (Motown's Vells)) is included in a Dave Hamilton CD.  That session was run and produced by Joe Hunter and Fred Brown for their Kable Records.  Hunter was the pianist and arranger, and Don Davis was lead guitarist.  Maybe Dave Hamilton was 2nd guitarist (he certainly didn't play the vibes on it).  Hamilton wasn't likely to have been as important as Hunter or Brown on that session.  I guess Ady will chime in on this, and give us the lowdown.

Hi Robb,

it's different session to the Kable one abs a different line up, the girls remembered it clearly. I think it was Joe, Dave on guitar and Jamerson on bass. I don't have the notes in front of me. I think it's a better version. We already have an unreleased track from the session out on an Ace girl group CD

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3 hours ago, ady croasdell said:

Hi Robb,

it's different session to the Kable one abs a different line up, the girls remembered it clearly. I think it was Joe, Dave on guitar and Jamerson on bass. I don't have the notes in front of me. I think it's a better version. We already have an unreleased track from the session out on an Ace girl group CD

Thanks!  Wow!  I'd love to hear all the songs from that session.  Was it before or after the Kable one? 

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On 3/13/2016 at 10:51, RobbK said:

Thanks!  Wow!  I'd love to hear all the songs from that session.  Was it before or after the Kable one? 

According to the girls it was Benny Benjamin on drums, Jamerson, Joe and Dave, recorded in Cleveland before the United Sound sessions that came out on Checkmate, not Kable but that set-up of publishing etc. I'll send you the CD with the full story and MP3s of the other two.

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Ady, where in Cleveland was it cut: Agency Recording, Boddies ??

Lots of Cleveland folk (O'Jays, etc) left Cleveland to record as the city had very few good recording facilities back then.

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Different styles and moods, something I like very much in a good compilation. The deep soul piece from Presberry is outstanding. Nice work.

Andy

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8 hours ago, ady croasdell said:

According to the girls it was Benny Benjamin on drums, Jamerson, Joe and Dave, recorded in Cleveland before the United Sound sessions that came out on Checkmate, not Kable but that set-up of publishing etc. I'll send you the CD with the full story and MP3s of the other two.

Why would Fred Brown, Joe Hunter and Dave Hamilton take other Detroit session players and a Detroit group to Cleveland to record???

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Robb, I know it seems strange but there was a lot of interplay between the music folk in Detroit & Cleveland (plus the cities are less than 175 miles apart).

Lots of Cleveland soul music biz guys would go to Detroit a lot (from the mid 60's onwards) to try to learn the Motown-secret. Choker Campbell had come to Detroit from the Ohio / Cleveland area. Mike Terry ran recording sessions in Cleveland (for Way Out) and Beans Bowles would also visit the Way Out guys. 

So lots of interchange going on BUT I also think it's strange coz Cleveland didn't really have good studios back then.

Edited by Roburt

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27 minutes ago, Roburt said:

Robb, I know it seems strange but there was a lot of interplay between the music folk in Detroit & Cleveland (plus the cities are less than 175 miles apart).

Lots of Cleveland soul music biz guys would go to Detroit a lot (from the mid 60's onwards) to try to learn the Motown-secret. Choker Campbell had come to Detroit from the Ohio / Cleveland area. Mike Terry ran recording sessions in Cleveland (for Way Out) and Beans Bowles would also visit the Way Out guys. 

So lots of interchange going on BUT I also think it's strange coz Cleveland didn't really have good studios back then.

I knew there was lots of interchange between Cleveland and Detroit back then.  But it was mostly Cleveland talent going to Detroit to record, because Detroit had a LOT of good and decent studios, and Cleveland only had a couple decent ones.  Detroit had a plethora of good session musicians, while Cleveland had very few.  Joe Hunter, having been a band leader for so many years had many connections in Detroit studios.  Why would he and his partner, Fred Brown take his session musicians ans singing artists all the way to Cleveland, to record in a mediocre studio?  It couldn't be that they couldn't get a recording date in ANY of the 50+ available Detroit Studios.  Even Motown's Snakepit was available for rent back then.  Could The Del-Phi's have been on a weekend gig in Cleveland, and Brown and Hunter decided to take their backing band into a Cleveland studio while there?  Even that doesn't make sense.

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18 hours ago, ady croasdell said:

According to the girls it was Benny Benjamin on drums, Jamerson, Joe and Dave, recorded in Cleveland before the United Sound sessions that came out on Checkmate, not Kable but that set-up of publishing etc. I'll send you the CD with the full story and MP3s of the other two.

The Del-Phi's record came out only on Check-Mate, but the group was signed to Kable at the time and, I'm sure that the session was paid for by Brown and Hunter, rather than Chess.  Otherwise, the master would have been found long ago, together with other Chess masters.  I'm sure that Brown and Hunter, as Kable Record Co.,  leased the masters to Check-Mate Records (Chess).

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On 3/19/2016 at 09:24, RobbK said:

The Del-Phi's record came out only on Check-Mate, but the group was signed to Kable at the time and, I'm sure that the session was paid for by Brown and Hunter, rather than Chess.  Otherwise, the master would have been found long ago, together with other Chess masters.  I'm sure that Brown and Hunter, as Kable Record Co.,  leased the masters to Check-Mate Records (Chess).

Agreed, I was just pointing out it was on Checkmate not Kable

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On 3/19/2016 at 09:19, RobbK said:

I knew there was lots of interchange between Cleveland and Detroit back then.  But it was mostly Cleveland talent going to Detroit to record, because Detroit had a LOT of good and decent studios, and Cleveland only had a couple decent ones.  Detroit had a plethora of good session musicians, while Cleveland had very few.  Joe Hunter, having been a band leader for so many years had many connections in Detroit studios.  Why would he and his partner, Fred Brown take his session musicians ans singing artists all the way to Cleveland, to record in a mediocre studio?  It couldn't be that they couldn't get a recording date in ANY of the 50+ available Detroit Studios.  Even Motown's Snakepit was available for rent back then.  Could The Del-Phi's have been on a weekend gig in Cleveland, and Brown and Hunter decided to take their backing band into a Cleveland studio while there?  Even that doesn't make sense.

Two of the girls in the group conferred on this one so it's more reliable than some memories and there are always quirks in recording history that made the most unlikely of scenarios actually happen.

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Robb, perhaps this was the studio the Del-Phis cut at .........

In 1950, Fred Wolf opened radio station WDOK at 1515 Euclid Ave (the Loew's State Theater building) and hired a young Navy veteran, Ken Hamann, as his engineer for both the radio and the recording studios. Hamann became chief engineer of Cleveland Recording in 1956 and over the next decade he helped build the studio into a state-of-the-art recording and mastering facility. Here many regional and national hit records were produced (the Outsiders' "Time Won't Let Me", the Human Beinz "Nobody But Me" & other successful stuff including tracks by Grand Funk Railroad).

The other top local studio was Agency Recording, which was above the Agora Ballroom. Lots of top acts were recorded by Agency when they played lived gigs @ the Agora, these sessions being released many times on vinyl. But that studio wasn't above the Agora until 1967.

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