VARIOUS: Can’t Be Satisfied (Label: Kent)

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VARIOUS: Can't Be Satisfied

Ace/Kent’s latest slab of Southern soul archiving is this wonderful 22 track look at the work of Memphis hustler Gene Lucchesi who, like many of his business neighbours, marvelled at the success of the legendary Sam Philips. The logic was , if Sam could do it, why couldn’t Gene… so he started up his own little label – XL, and, like the Sun man, he recorded mainly local acts in the hope that one of them might break out. He hit pay dirt in 1965 with the novelty pop of Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs’ ‘Wooly Bully’ and with the profits he built the Sounds Of Memphis Studio and launched a second label, using the studio’s name. Further success was elusive but the quality of the two labels’ soul output is unquestionable …as evidenced by this selection. Sound-wise, most of the music is as you’d expect – steamy and “southern” – soul with a nod to the blues and country. Spencer Wiggins’ ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ (the album’s overall title) is arguably XL/Sounds of Memphis’ signature sound. Amongst the selection though there are some cuts that don’t comply strictly with the southern template. The two George Jackson tunes (‘Talking About The Love I Have For You’ and ‘Walking The City Streets’), for instance are comparatively light while Lou Roberts’ ‘Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Love’ and the Minits’ ‘Still A Part Of Me’ are almost uptown. They’re all good cuts, but if its southern soul you want, then it’s here in abundance and if you doubt the quality, then know that Lucchesi’s house band were eventually poached by Jerry Wexler who eventually dubbed them the Dixie Flyers.
(BB) 4/5