‘STONE CRUSH’ is the title of a new and intriguing compilation from Light in the Attic Records. The collection’s full title will give you just a little flavour of what it’s all about – ‘Stone Crush: Memphis Modern Soul 1977-1987’. Essentially, the 20 tracker offers a snapshot of the Memphis soul scene after Stax had closed its doors. The set has been curated by Memphis collectors and DJs Daniel Mathis and Chad Weekley and together they explore a long neglected chapter in the Memphis soul story.
The album is stuffed with rarities and collectables like the two cuts from Captain Fantastic & Starfleet … the slow burner that is ‘Keep It To Yourself’ and the electro flavoured ‘Under Cover Lover’… original copies are considered holy grails by DJs and collectors. Equally rare is ‘Stone Crush On You’ (for which the album is titled). This one’s from O T Sykes – a dentist by day, a soul man by night!
Highlights abound. My two favourites right now are ‘No Seat Dancing’ by Frankie Alexander and Sweet Pearl’s ‘You Mean Everything To Me’. Both are gorgeous, brass filled mid –tempo grooves – like Tower of Power’s mellower moments. If you like disco, try Tom Sanders’ ‘I’ll Get To That’; funkateers will find plenty to enjoy in Kick’s ‘Lollie Pop’ while soul buffs will recognize the ‘Court Of Love’ references in ‘Convict Me’ from Libra… the theme rather than the sound.
Most of the artists are relative unknowns but the accompanying full-colour booklet by Memphis curator/writer Andria Lisle and Grammy Award-winning writer Robert Gordon fills in some of the details. The collection hits the streets on April 3rd on 2-LP, CD and digital. “Galaxy Haze Orange/Red” colour vinyl will be available from U.S. indie retail stores and as an exclusive to the Light In The Attic Online Store, “Blue/Orange” colour vinyl will be available with a bonus 7″ single of Mark Anthony & Lyte Speed’s rare roller skate boogie funk classic ‘I’m Just A Boogie Roller.’
If you’re Stateside, to commemorate the release of ‘Stone Crush’, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis will host a special night of music on April 3rd featuring live DJ sets. The free event kicks off at 7:00 pm and is open to the public.