Soul tinged with blues, gospel, funk and jazz from the greatest little studios in the Motor City.
The cottage industry that was Dave Hamilton’s studio has revealed more high quality tracks from their plentiful stash of tapes. This latest collection includes Little Ann’s funky ‘I Gotta Have You’, previously available only as a now-deleted Kent 45. Chico & Buddy’s 1970 TCB single ‘Party Time’ also gets its first CD release, while the flip of that record was Dave’s own in-demand instrumental ‘Cracklin’ Bread’, here with some previously unheard vocal overdubs taking it to a new level. Dave’s ‘When I Say Groove’ is another exciting discovery for hipsters and the big, growling voice of O.C. Tolbert gives us the new-to-Kent ‘The Love Bandit’ and a very alternate long rap intro to ‘All I Want Is You’. Dave’s gospel and blues talents are revealed with Glemie “Blue Boy” Derrell’s TCB 45 ‘Four O’Clock Blues’ and Little Stevie Reynolds’ awesome Demo Ristic single ‘Moving On’. Another Detroit singer with a long and varied career is Jimmy Scott, who reprises his estimable 1972 Detroit Gold ballad ‘Remember Me’.
There are new vocal group offerings from Anxiety, the much-travelled Dynamics and, with their version of the Dave Hamilton classic ‘(Marriage Is Only) A State Of Mind’, the revered Tokays. Fine female vocals are provided by Morning After, Elayne Starr and Tobi Lark, whose ‘Challenge My Love’ is featured in re-mastered multi-track quality with an extended finish. The Del-Phis, here with an early unissued version of their Check-Mate B-side ‘It Takes Two’, evolved into Martha & the Vandellas, who would soon have everybody dancing, and we all know where. Motown fans will also be pleased to hear Rita DuShay singing ‘All I Need (Steal Away Tonight)’, the original version of ‘Steal Away Tonight’ from Barbara McNair’s 1966 LP “Here I Am”.
A most pleasant surprise among the tapes was finding Carolyn Franklin’s pretty but intensely sad ballad ‘I Guess I’ll Go Packin’’. Having recorded four albums for RCA between 1969 and 1976, by the early 80s Carolyn had semi-retired from singing and was caring for her ailing father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, whose New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church was just across the street from Dave Hamilton’s home and basement studios, which explains how a singing star came to record there.