domingo, 15 de marzo de 2009

Helene Smith: Sings Sweet Soul! (1964-1972)

On the Miami soul scene Betty Wright is the first name that springs to everyone’s mind, but Helene Smith was there first and, in the opinion of a few knowledgeable fans, could give her more famous sister a good run for her money. Although Helene’s voice could sound rather insipid on some of the more poppy arrangements that her writers/producers asked her to sing in front of, when given a decent ballad to interpret, she was able to let go with both power and passion. On ‘Willing and Able’ Helene sounds mature, getting a good grip on the slow beat, aided by the way Clarence Reid hammers away at the piano and the drummer really slams his bass drum. The superb deep soul of ‘Wrong or Right He’s My Baby’, and the funky ‘You Got to Be a Man’ with its JB horn line, confirmed her growing confidence. But her one true masterpiece was the much heralded ‘A Woman Will Do Wrong’, with Reid’s idiosyncratic piano lines and one of the most delayed backbeats ever to come out of Miami. As the decade closed Helene found herself less in demand, but she did make a comeback of sorts with a couple of fine singles in 1973. The best of these was the heartfelt plea ‘Help Me to Keep What I’ve Got’ on which Helene sounds even better than on her earlier material. Her voice is pitched in a lower register, overcoming the major criticism she’s faced of sounding too much like a little girl to be a true southern soul queen. We really could have done with more in this vein from her in the ‘70s but sadly it was not to be.
01. You Got to Do Your Share
02. Willing and Able
03. The Pot Can't Talk About the Kettle
04. I Am Controlled by Your Love
05. Thrills and Chills
06. A Woman Will Do Wrong
07. True Love Don't Grow in the Trees
08. Wrong or Right He's My Baby
09. What's in the Lovin'
10. Pain in My Heart
11. You Got to Be A Man
12. Help Me to Keep What I've Got

7 comentarios:

Nosi dijo...

scottdavida dijo...

wonderful music, thanks

scottdavida dijo...

have a look on for the Kimberley Briggs - Passing Clouds.
Excellent blog.

scottdavida dijo...

Have found the Stovall Sisters on

hope that helps.....

Nosi dijo...

Many thanks for the info scottdavida!!

jahcisco dijo...

Thank you.

hooch dijo...

Many Thanks!