Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oscar Toney Jr Contempo Sessions

Sticking with great Southern Soul singing - next up Oscar Toney Jr and a worthy reissue on Shout of his early 70's recordings in London.

Sublime southern soul work from Oscar Toney Jr -- from an obscure later chapter in his career! Toney's probably best known for his late 60s sides for the Bell label in the US -- but this album is a rarity recorded in London during the early 70s -- a date that has Toney sounding even more heartbreaking and mature than before, with some surprisingly great backings that really retain an American feel for his music! There's a nice sense of warmth throughout -- thanks to relatively full backings -- but Oscar's vocals have all the down-home qualities we love from his Bell years, and perhaps even have a greater sense of longing and yearning, given the distance between his home and the studios for the set. Titles include a great cover of "Is It Because I'm Black", plus "For Your Precious Love", "My Girl", "Everything I Own", "Everybody's Needed", and "The Thrill Is Gone". CD features 3 bonus tracks too -- "Kentucky Bluebird (45 version)", "Everything I Own (45 version)", and the funky "Chicken Heads", recorded with backings from Ultrafunk. Dusty Groove

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