DAVID HUDSON: The Royal Sessions (Soul Junction)

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David Hudson is an archetypal Southern soul singer. He made an underground name for himself in the 70s and 80s working for the Alston and Waylo labels and it was during his time with Waylo that he got to work with Willie Mitchell at the latter’s Royal Sound Studios in Memphis. There they recorded the collectable album ‘Nite And Day’ which was released in 1987. A further collaborative album was planned and seven tracks were recorded before Waylo pulled out of the deal for reasons unexplained. Those seven cuts have lain in the Memphis vault till very recently, when the UK’s Soul Junction label acquired the rights to release the music. John Anderson and Dave Welding (the brains behind Soul Junction), however, took a brave decision. They decided to release the long player as Hudson, Mitchell and Waylo intended – on vinyl only… and – voila – here it is.

 Imaginatively titled ‘The Royal Sessions’, the album boasts eight tracks – one tune, the fabulous ‘(Girl I’m Coming Home To) Something Good’ appearing as a full length feature and as a Radio Edit. I’ve used that “fabulous” adjective simply because I couldn’t think of a better way to describe the beauty of the cut. It’s a truly delightful mid-tempo roller with a killer hook in the chorus and of course, the understated Mitchell production (particularly the brass section) complements it perfectly. ‘Be That Way Sometimes’ is another sweet swayer while ‘You’re My Dream Come True’ is a killer ballad. ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ is another standout – a lovely, lazy, jazzy romp. The album’s oddity is ‘When I’m Loving You’ – not the kind of thing you’d not normally associate with Willie Mitchell. It features thumping, programmed drums (à la SOS Band) and rides a tight, almost funky groove. It’s as if artist and producer are trying to come to terms with what was, back then, the newer soul sounds. Despite that, it’s still a great cut. Of course, we’ll never know why the LP was never released back in the day… but, thankfully, it’s available now. However, I believe that this vinyl release is strictly a limited edition and Soul Junction vinyl has the habit of selling out fast. You’ve been warned. Find out more at the label’s fab new web site – www.souljunctionrecords.co.uk

(BB) 4/5