March 2014 saw the release of an ‘Oh So Soulful’ various artists compilation you definitely need in your collection. “Extra Rich in Soul” compiled by Dave Welding, co-founder of Soul Junction Records, features some of the most sought after vinyl releases from the last seven years, many of which have long since been deleted, alongside a sprinkling of previously unissued/unreleased tracks and some current soulful hot platters. From the in demand inclusion of the late Oliver Cheatham’s classic undiscovered (until 2012) mid-70s rare groove “Don’t Pop the Question (If You Can’t Take the Answer)” through to Darold Ghoulston’s languid, even paced and supremely sumptuous, “Love That’s Real”, the 15 tracks on display here are a perfect advert for the quality “Real Soul” music Soul Junction Records which has been pumping out since their inception in 2008.
Another recently discovered gem is showcased here in the form of “I Can Feel Your Love Changing” (2010) by the indefatigable James McClelland better known as Jesse James. JJ makes his own a tune previously recorded by such luminaries as Esther Phillips and Sharon Ridley.
Louisiana natives August Heat (Eltonez Salton, vocals & Kent August, guitar) received well-deserved kudos for their 2013 album release “Closer”. Soul Junction was quick to license and release two of their tracks as 45’s “You and Me” And “Hooked on You”. Both singles received heavy rotation on various specialist Internet Soul Radio shows. It is the free flowing floater, “Fly Away” which Dave Welding has chosen to include on this compilation. One of the most welcome inclusions comes from ex-Wall Street banker, Eric Oliver Harris. Recording simply as E.R.I.C (Extra Rich In Class) since 2008, it was his outstanding 2012 release “Backstage” which caused heavy vibrations across radio-land – I believe the term is, “Grown Folks Music”. Essential lyrics, essential listening! The muti-faceted talents of Vince Broomfield are highlighted to maximum effect via ‘Audio’s’ “Won’t Somebody” and “Remember September”, the former showing off Vince’s vocal prowess, while the latter is a beautiful saxophone laden instrumental, the instrument he made his living from prior to stepping up to the microphone. Ex ‘Citation’ multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Clayton Hooker’s distinctive falsetto can be heard gracing two tracks on the album “Have You Had Enough” and the tightly produced “Say It Again”, both given first outings on this CD. Other artists afforded two tracks on this compilation are seasoned interracial group, ‘Natural Impulse’, who bring their raw live sound to bear, initially on the very catchy, but unlicensed (until now) “Thank You Baby” and the funky optimism of “We’re Gonna Make It Through”.
One of the founder members of chapter 8, David Washington comes up trumps with a stomping two-step reworking of a track he previously wrote for session recording artist Jimmy Scott. A quality slice of modern soul offered up by the man who along with former chapter 8 band-member Michael Powell discovered Anita Baker. ‘Pix’y’ a.k.a. Janet Wright gives a fresh interpretation of ‘Rose Royce’s’ “Love Don’t Live Here Any More”, utilising some very contemporary production. Another sadly departed artist ‘Bill Spoon’ born William Bell Witherspoon has left us a tune by which to remember his warm, rounded, grandfather- esque comforting vocals by. “I Can’t Wait (Until the Weekend)” is a mantra propagated by millions of people at least once in their lifetime; making this long ignored bumper an apt addition to this compilation and a fitting homage to this long established and dearly missed crooner. Seasoned musicians ‘One Nation’ are a quartet out of Detroit represented on this wholesome collection by the previously unissued ear and foot friendly “I like Your Style”. The aforementioned Darold Ghoulston rounds out what no doubt is the first of many compilations in the “Extra Rich In Soul” series put out by this ‘Voice of Real Soul Lovers Label’, Soul Junction Records. A job well done indeed Mr Welding.
Michael J Edwards