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The latest release from SOUL DIRECTION RECORD’S ORIGINS imprint features two contrasting sounds from obscure US soul man HENRY “HANK”  HODGE.

Here’s what we know  about Hank. Though born in Georgia, he grew up in Jacksonville, Florida where, after school, he trained as a barber! Hankering to break into show biz he also formed a band – the J-Notes Band (managed by Joe Giles) and featuring Hank alongside co-vocalist Evelina Smith with Ray Love on tenor sax and flute, Ron Tooley on trumpet, John Sanders on guitar/vocals, Ed Coley on bass/vocals and Dick Curtis on drums/vocals. The band played many of the local dances at the Women’s Club of Jacksonville in Riverside as well as other venues like the Southside Women’s Club and more. Mr H  even  set up his own label, Eye, but it seems that  no more than four sideswere recorded – and it’s two of them that make up the new Soul Direction 45.

The A side is a boisterous and pacey ‘Eye For An Eye’ which is  credited to the Hank Hodge and the J Notes. It’s a little rough round the edges – but that’s part of its authenticity and appeal. The disc’s B side is a softer, smoother ‘Since You Said Goodbye’ which portray Hank as a fine soul balladeer with a powerful, emotive, classic soul voice.

After his dalliance with the music biz, Hank took up carpentry/joinery and set up a successful interior design company. He was also a dedicated member of his local church. He died in 2012 aged 74 and this Soul Direction release has been made possible via the full cooperation of Hank’s brother, Larry.

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