Kent’s Cellar of Soul Volume 3, album review

Various Artists, Kent

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The Independent Culture

For British soul fans of a certain age this ongoing series from Kent records will bring back memories of a pre-disco era when in sweaty nightclubs, on specialist jukeboxes and blaring out from offshore pirate radios came a wealth of black American soul music that rarely bothered the charts but became an underground movement that attracted a growing number of  ardent fans.

Whether it’s the strident opener, “Peaches ’n’ Cream” by Ike and Turner’s backing group, The Ikettes, bluesman Lowell Fulsom’s wry “Tramp” (later covered by Otis Redding and Carla Thomas) or blind singer Clarence Carter’s self-explanatory "Funky Fever” this was music that captured your mind, soul and feet.

Some did make the charts such as Brenton Wood’s hugely infectious “Gimme Little Sign”, while there’s even a homegrown stomper in the shape of “Sign On The Dotted Line”, by Welsh singer Gene Latter.

And if you ever need to answer the question that singer Ben E King once posed: what is soul? then a listen to the heart-stopping "Oh Wee Baby, I Love You”, a 1965 track by Fred Hughes that’s deeper than the Marina Trench, should clear that up in less than two minutes and 30 seconds.

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