It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to bring you a guest contributor and I’m delighted to put that right with this week’s update thanks to a storming bit of gospel soul courtesy of Mr Shane Walsh.
Shane Walsh is an original vinyl collector and DJ from Dublin, specialising in Soul, Funk, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Reggae and Ska. He can be heard doing his thing at clubs like Pow City, For Dancers Only, Reggae Got Soul, B Sides and Afterglow amongst others. He also hosts a regular radio show and podcast called Twine Time. Check out the best of the Twine Time radio show here…. https://www.mixcloud.com/shane-walsh2/ As if that’s not enough he plays drums with Dublin beat combo Beatfink who gig regularly. Busy man indeed! But that’s enough from me – over to you Shane….
I’d like to thank Gazfunk for asking me to review a record for his blog, and my choice is Bobby Lee Fears- Exodus, on the Forward label. I picked it because it’s a recent purchase of mine and it’s on heavy rotation at the moment. I was lucky enough to find it with its original company sleeve too. I do trawl the internet looking for new (to me) Soul, Funk and Reggae tunes, but I first heard this one in a club spun by SteveBohs and I was straight up to the decks asking about it. I fall in love with tunes the most when I hear them played on the big speakers. It sounds like a live recording, but it may not be, there’s crowd noise at the start which adds to the “preacher man” effect. It sounds like a 1971 record; it’s a very big sounding record quite typical of its time. There’s a nice flowing funky beat, with a bell ringing in the background (which being a drummer myself instantly drew me in), there are congas, brass stabs, guitar solo and a beautiful choir which make the record sound Gospel right from the start.
At the moment I am listening to a lot of the early 7t’s hard edged Gospel tinged music, probably as a direct result of the type of clubs I’m attending lately. I buy a lot of records because I like the music, but I rarely know anything about the artist or industry facts about releases etc, so this has prompted me to do a bit of homework.
Ok, Bobby Lee Fears. Who is he? I have to do a search to find out. According to Discogs he only released two solo singles, one of which was Exodus on Forward records and the other one is Let’s Get Together on Bell, and that he died in January 2007. They also suggest that he recorded under the names Bobby Brown and Bobby Dixon, but not a huge outfut there either. I had never realised that he sang with Ohio Players in the 6t’s, while they were on the Compass label, and Ohio Players were in fact part of the Compass label house band. I assume he sang on the Soul Club classic “You Don’t Mean It”, and that the deep lead vocal belongs to him.
In a nutshell; I can’t provide a huge amount of information on Bobby, and that is kinda typical of me anyway. I rarely know too much about the singers of my favourite records, and then when I’m asked to look for some information, I can’t find any!
However, this marvellous slab of Gospel Funky Soul is a great tribute to the man. Enjoy!