Various – Americana 2 ‘Rock Your Soul’ (BBE) 4/5

americana2Compilations of blue-eyed soul out of the States have become a recent trend, but where this anthology scores highly is in unearthing some of the lesser known, yet fully deserving of wider recognition. Only the Latin-funk of Ray Camacho’s formation will be vaguely familiar and even then only to the cognoscenti. Of immediate interest will be the Chic-esque guitar licks on ‘I Know All About It’ by R.J. Stamp which has an intoxicating mid-tempo groove while in a similar vein RCRs ‘Give It To You’ has mixed harmony vocals that are sure to thrill. One of the most soulful cuts has a Latin undercurrent in percussion on ‘Make me believe’ by Archie James Cavanaugh who definitely needs to be explored in more depth. Latin-fusion dominates on the semi-vocal ‘A Million Stars’ by the Macky Feary band and its use of bubbling Latin percussion and lovely horns recalls the mid-1970s remake of ‘Feel like making love’ while for instrumental fusion look no further than ‘Vaya mulata’ by Luc Cousineau. Ray Camacho’s contribution harks back to the brass and harmonies of mid-1970s Earth, Wind and Fire on ‘Hollywood’ while disco grooves resurface once again on the inviting ‘I’m Ambivalent About You, Baby’ by the intriguingly named Freudian Funk Band. Potential rare groove sounds are present on ‘You Win, I lose’ by vocalist Hal Bradbury. Overall, a fine overview of previously long lost grooves. Tim Stenhouse

RCR

Double vinyl (gatefold) [with a bonus CD of the same tracks].

Disc 1 side A
Breakaway – There’s A New Group In Town
E.J. Stamp – I Know All About It
Joseph Nicoletti – Night Time Stars
TR’s Hot Ice – Hot Ice

Disc 1 side B
Spats (Your Lovin’ Is) – Everywhere
The Ray Camacho Band – Hollywood
Archie James Cavanaugh – Make Me Believe
Luc Cousineau – Vaya Mulata

Disc 2 side A
Macky Feary Band – A Million Stars
RCR (Rhodes, Charmers, Rhodes) – Give It To You
Freudian Funk Band – I’m Ambivalent About You, Baby (Yes, Yes, Yes… No, No, No)
Steve Eaton – Without You

Disc 2 side B
Hal Bradbury – You Win, I Lose
Lucy Stone – Giving Love Instead Of Gold
Dan Mastroianni – Just One Touch
Jaye P. Morgan – Here Is Where Your Love Belongs