There is nothing more rewarding than getting feedback from readers who say that they've discovered some wonderful music or learned something new from frequenting this site. That said, I'm humbled by the realization that I still have much to learn. Without a doubt, one of the people I turn to in hopes of furthering my own education is Colin Dilnot. Colin is an accomplished writer, not to mention the fact that he is virtually a human encyclopedia as it relates to knowledge of soul, funk, jazz, and the blues. His main blog is In Dangerous Rhythm, but I'd highly recommend viewing his profile to seek out some of his other writing as well. I'm quite honored to share a mix he created especially for Souled On readers. Rest assured, it's nothing short of incredible. Thanks for the mix Colin, and for being so instrumental in keeping soul alive...Scholar
In Dangerous Rhythm Mix For Souled On (mp3)
Thanks Scholar for letting me post up this mix on your blog and giving me the opportunity to share my soundtrack of politicised soul from the 60's and 70's.
1. Rufus Woods- "Before 2001" (Espanola)
A piece of Texan soul from 1968 which begins the soundtrack with hope as Bobby spells out his dream for his future life. I wonder whether Bobby ever achieved his dream?
2. Mighty Hannibal- "Hymn No 5" (CDB Yugoslavia)
A totally different dream than Bobby's written from the view point of a grunt in a Vietnam fox hole. A deeply disturbing opus from Mighty Hannibal who was heavily involved in politics at this time. One of the very few 45s issued in a 1960's Communist country - I think you might guess why? I am currently working on a Hannibal feature based on an interview with him which will be published later this year.
3. Bobby Brown- "Why" (Verve)
One of Johnny Brantley's best ever productions. A driving piece of bass laden soul with blaring horns from the Ohio Players. The lyrics of this song are as desperate as the music - with Bobby screaming why things are so bad? - he wants to know why we suffer? This is not just a plea for justice but also a plea for the decency of being given an answer to why things are so bad. The backdrop to this song was the burgeoning civil rights movement and this is one of the most expressive songs to emerge from that era. The only song of the era which I know which uses the phrase equal opportunities. It was also recorded by the Ohio Players as Tell Me Why on their album of Compass recordings called First Impressions. You can read more about Johnny Brantley productions on my blog as well as a feature in the next issue of There's That Beat magazine.
4. Brothers & Sisters- "Don't Let 'em Tell You Pt 1" (Nickel)
The Brothers & Sisters released a few political songs and may have been involved with the Reverend Jessie Jackson back in the late 60's. Here they are on this powerhouse number heavily influenced by Norman Whitfield's Motown productions.
5. Tenison Stephens- "Don't Rip Me Off" (Aries)
One of many songs written in the late 60's and early 70's about sticking together and not fighting each other.
6. Larry Saunders- "Free Angela" (Golden Triangle LP Free Angela)
7. Larry Saunders- "This World" (Golden Triangle LP Free Angela)
2 tracks from a project organised by Dickie Wonder, the then President of Golden Triangle Records to support the campaign to release Angela Davis from prison. The album featured tracks by Larry Saunders, Nitroglycerine, Dickie Wonder, Brother Love, Tyrone Thomas, Judd Watkins and Geraldine Jones. You can read more about this track and Larry's career in the UK magazine In The Basement.
8. Meditation Singers- "Stand Up And Be Counted" (Checker)
The Meditation Singers were the creation of Ernestine Rundless back in the 50's Detroit. This side features Laura Lee on lead who continued to sing gospel at the same as she was cutting all those classic sides for Chess and later with Invictus/Hotwax.
9. Gary Brown- "Do Something" (Icepac)
This mid-70's side follows on from the one above with the message that people need to help themselves and not rely on others.
10. Amnesty- "Everybody Who Wants To Be Free Part 1" (Now-Again)
Amnesty recorded this side for the legendary Lamp label out of Indianapolis and it was later re-issued on Now-Again. You can still get copies and the picture cover features the history of the group and includes archive photos.
11.George Perkins- "No Need For A Black Man To Cry" (Crying In The Streets)
George sang one of the most famous pleas for recognition and freedom in the 60's - Crying In The Streets on Silver Fox. Here he is back in the 70's and do you think that there might be a hint of irony in his voice. Did things really change and get better or am I being too cynical?
12. Laurence Armour- "Throw The Guns In The River" (Karmoura)
I finish the mix with a plea to think about what we are doing to ourselves.
Word From Colin's Moms:
"Give me an old wall and a garbage can and I can by God sit there forever. Because I am the wall and I am the garbage can."---William Burroughs