Proper soul fans will know all about veteran Philly vocalist KENNY HAMBER. Born in Baltimore in 1943, Kenny has enjoyed a long and successful career, working with a classy list of doo-wop, soul and gospel groups while serious collectors cherish his work with Philadelphia’s Arctic Records.
Working with DJ SPEN and his Quantize team, big Ken has enjoyed something of a renaissance lately. Last year his collaboration with Spen to recreate the O’Jays’ ‘Used Ta Be My Girl’ won plenty of support and put Mr H’s name right out there again.
For their latest collaboration Spen and Kenny have (bravely?) decided to update another 24 carat soul classic – Darrell Bank’s immaculate ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’ , though for some reason they truncate the title to ‘Open The Door’. The 1966 tune is in every true soul fan’s “best of the best” . Even Van Morrison has it in his top ten! And if you have an original UK London release you’ll know you’re sitting on a small fortune! So, you can see why we just used the word “bravely” above!
What Spen and Kenny have done is record a reasonably faithful cover… their “original Soul Funk” mix. They don’t stray too far from the original Revilot release and nothing wrong with that. But, then Spen being Spen, we have five other mixes that take the familiar tune into soulful house territory. There’s 2 Spen and Reelsoul mixes (original and radio edit), a DJ Fella Piano Soul mix, a DJ Fella Lose My Mind mix and a DJ Fella Soulful House mix. All offer their own interest with different fills, tweaks and percussive breaks but what’s important they all keep Kenny’s big gospel fuelled vocal at the centre of things! One thing’s for sure too, this one will have the soul purists debating and arguing for ages but as we often say, you pays your money…