VARIOUS: Slow ‘N’ Moody, Black & Bluesy & More (Label: Kent)

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VARIOUS: Slow 'N' Moody, Black & Bluesy & More

This bumper 26 tracker is something of landmark for Ace/Kent. The original ‘Slow ‘N’ Moody & Black & Bluesy’ was released in 1983 as a vinyl long player and was Kent’s third release – but the first to focus on down-tempo soul. The music was taken from the archives of the US Kent and Modern labels and its success prompted the UK Kent team (essentially Ady Croasdell) to dig for more deep soul treasure. The album was eventually transferred to CD in 1994, but legal wrangles forced its deletion a few years ago. Now, though, it’s back – bigger and, dare I say it, better with the addition of some previously unreleased material… notably Millie Foster’s version of Van McCoy’s ‘Sweet Bitter Love’, Willie Gauff’s ‘Farewell’, Joe Haywood’s ‘The Last One To Know’ and a remarkable ‘Everybody Needs Somebody’ from the criminally underrated Jimmy Holiday. Then there’s a slew of goodies that weren’t on the original compilation. Of those, there’s a smouldering take on Jim Webb’s country song ‘The Smartest Fool’ from Ruth Davis (of Bo Kirkland fame) and a delightfully dreamy ‘I’m In Love’ from Larry Sanders. Bear in mind that all the biggies from the original releases (vinyl and CD) remain. So we still have Z. Z. Hill’s ‘Nothing Can Change The Love I Have For You’, Clay Hammond’s ‘You Messed Up My Mind’, B.B. King’s ‘Ain’t Nobody’s Business’ and that man Jimmy Holiday again with ‘I Can’t Stand It’. Less well-known, maybe, but as enjoyable are Little Henry and the Shamrocks’ ‘(Baby) Come To Me’, and Terry and The Tyrants’ ‘Weep No More’. What gives this lengthy album a real unity is the passion and honesty of the music …no gimmicks, no sophistry, no smart-ass writing, just soul commitment and simple tales of love, lust, losing and winning – all underpinned in basic, down home philosophy – best summed up by Johnny Copeland’s possessed ‘Every Dog’s Got His Day’ … to which title he passionately adds “… and a good dog just might get two days“. I’m sure Johnny had his day… he deserved it!
(BB) 4/5