Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That Deep, Deep Soul ...

I am a hopeless sucker for some good Deepies ... I won't lie about it. Although my taste for that genre has earned me lots of funny looks (especially from my husband.) But no persecution or intimidation will keep me from delving into that sound of pain and misery and longing and crying and -- you know what else.

Here's a little bit of info about the genre which I consider the all-inclusive one, because it includes elements of blues, rock, country & western and, of course, a huge dose of gospel. Deep Soul is not about words; it is all about feeling. Rhythm is the key to Deep Soul -- the all embracing genre in American music which originated from the African-American churches of the South. Funny enough, however, the majority of its creators have been whites. I say "funny" because, to me Deep Soul sounds as black as music can probably sound compared to the relatively white-scrubbed Motown sound, for example, which was almost exclusively the creation of black artists.

Pioneering Southern/Deep Soul artists were such greats as Ray Charles, James Brown (yes), Bobby Blue Bland, Rufus Thomas or Allen Toussaint.

So, how come my otherwise very nice husband, frowns at the genre? I think I know. It's the simplicity, or rather the lack of highly "manicured" arrangements. And that's exactly what I love about Deep Soul: Give me just the basics -- but send them straight to my heart.

During the 60's Memphis Soul era, Deep Soul was at its best with Stax artists like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke , Carla Thomas, Eddie Floyd, Johnnie Taylor, and .... Wilson Pickett's stepping stone into his ever so glorious solo career was -- you may have guessed it -- the sound of Deep Southern Soul. But there is a host of artists who were not quite as successful as those I've just mentioned. These are the ones I would like to showcase in my Deep Soul posts.


Obrey Wilson -- Break Away Baby
Roy Arlington -- Everybody Makes A Mistake Sometimes
Tiny Watkins -- Forbidden Fruit

For everyone who wants to start a Deep/Southern Soul collection, I would recommend Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures series.

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