unknown soul songs

Dyke & The Blazers – My Sisters And My Brothers

I previously wrote about Dyke and the Blazers here. I’ve been listening to them a ton lately and can’t help but post another song. There isn’t much information about them on the web. Maybe because their front man Arlester “Dyke” Christian was shot to death at age 27, at the height of the band’s success. I hope you enjoy “My Sisters And My Brothers.” What a great song and only 398 views? Let’s pump this up! Share on Facebook, tweet, call your friends, or do whatever you do.

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Unknown Songs on December 2nd, 2010 by Tony Amoyal –

Sister Rosetta Tharpe-Down By The Riverside

Oh my goodness, how I love this woman! Sister Rosetta was doing amazing things with an electric guitar almost before anyone knew what one was. She was a masterful performer and-as you can see here-an absolute joy to watch onstage. Ahead of her time, she mixed gospel and secular music years before Ray Charles, and played incendiary rock and roll guitar solos long before anyone had even considered approaching music that way. Enough talk, take a trip to heaven with Sister Rosetta!

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on November 17th, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Albert King-Born Under A Bad Sign

“If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all”.
If that’s not what the blues are about, then I don’t know what is.
This was Albert King’s most famous song, and it’s been covered by loads of folks (as well as recorded many, many times by King himself), so chances are you’ve heard it somewhere before, but this version-which I had never heard until I found it for this post-has a neat New Orleans funky feel to it. Even with the cool groove and the background singers in this Allen Toussaint arrangement, King (the “Velvet Bulldozer”) still totally rips the solos, bending the notes this way and that, foreshadowing Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and countless others. Enjoy!

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Posted in Dedication on November 16th, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Diane Birch-Fools/Sweet River Tree

Hello everybody!
Sorry for the period of radio silence there, but I’ve been in the process of moving from Baltimore to Austin, Texas-the “Live Music Capital of the World”. I took my time and made some excellent stops along the way, including Asheville, NC and New Orleans, but now I’m settled, have internet access, and there will once again be some regularity to my posts.

Today we’ve got Diane Birch, who is a phenomenally talented singer/songwriter/piano player extraordinaire. I don’t really know where to classify her, as she’s got her fingers in a lot of different pies-jazz, gospel, blues, pop, rock, soul, and she does an admirable job of blending them all together in a gorgeous sound. A lot of folks compare her to Carole King, but I don’t think that does her justice. Although she is most definitely easy on the eyes, she’s got talent and soul that goes deep beneath her exterior and she delivers all of her songs without a trace of pretension or saccharin pop overkill. Every track on her album “Bible Belt” is worth a listen, but here’s ‘Fools’, one of my favorites, and a bonus solo performance of ‘Sweet River Tree’. Enjoy!

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Posted in Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on November 3rd, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Willie Nelson and Ray Charles-Seven Spanish Angels

Here’s a little bit of country love to start your day. Ray Charles completely owns this performance, and Willie Nelson’s reedy country tenor is the perfect counterpoint to Charles’ molasses growl. Check out how the verses have no drums under them, the full band only plays on the chorus-because the song is basically the same three chords over and over, it keeps it from becoming repetitive and provides that forward movement that a good tune needs.

Another good trick to keep a performance from getting boring is to decorate your hat with about 475 pieces of flare, the way the drummer here has done.

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Posted in Message on September 29th, 2010 by eddielehwald –

Bill Withers – Harlem

Bill WithersBill Withers was the last of six children born on July 4, 1938, in Slab Fork, West Virginia. He was the only man in his family who did not end up working in the coal mines of West Virginia.  Instead, he enlisted in the US Navy and became interested in writing and singing songs while stationed in Guam.  In 1967, after being discharged, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. As a self-proclaimed untrained musician, he became known for his story-telling ability and most of his early recordings did not feature a traditional song structure.  “Harlem” does not have a chorus; instead, each verse escalates in a crescendo as the song progresses. Withers uses this structure to build tension and compliment the story he’s telling in his lyrics.

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Unknown Songs on June 17th, 2010 by Denis –

Dynamic Tints & Pieces of Peace-Be My Lady

If a man writes this song for you and you don’t fall in love with him your heart is made of stone. The Chicago-based group Pieces of Peace is also, almost certainly, the only band to ever be created in Chicago and disband in Singapore.

"Why would you deny me?"

If you’ve made it to Singapore as a band you’ve probably done something right, or have you?

I love my Dap Kings and my Amy Winehouse but sometimes there is nothing like the real deal.  This is song is 1960s soul that melts your heart and reminds you that you have to treat your lady right.

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Underplayed Music, Unknown Songs on May 26th, 2010 by Sean –

Sam Cooke – Having a Party

Sam CookeSam Cooke began his career singing gospel, first with siblings and later as part of other various groups through the early 1950s.  In the second half of that decade, Cooke transitioned to pop music, releasing “Lovable,” his first pop single in 1956.  “Having a Party” was recorded in 1961 under his own record label after he had gained significant notoriety.  The studio version of this song features Cooke’s clear, soothing voice; something he carried over from his gospel days and a quality his fans adored him for.  The live version of the song appeared on “Live at the Harlem Square Club,” recorded in 1963, just one year before his controversial death in December, 1964.  In this live cut, a coarseness can be clearly heard in Cooke’s voice, probably as the result of time spent touring and performing live shows.  This grittier version of the song exemplifies something closer to rock and roll, and captures Sam Cooke’s true versatility as a singer and performer.

Studio version:

Live version:

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Posted in Forgotten Music, Underplayed Music on May 6th, 2010 by Denis –