When Ray Charles recorded his groundbreaking “Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music” album in 1962 he was paying tribute to the music he had grown up hearing as often as blues and R&B. The 23 tracks in Kent’s new compilation take their cue from what Brother Ray accomplished and provide a superb illustration of what can happen “Behind Closed Doors…When Country Meets Soul”.
Most of the artists featured here would have heard country music in their youth as often as Ray Charles, thanks to the big 50,000 watt radio stations that could be heard from state to state across the lower half of the US. Most of them recorded in the southern studios, and often used pickers from the pool of musicians who worked on country sessions in Memphis, Nashville and Muscle Shoals. It’s no surprise that they all sounded as at home with a country song as they did with a straight-ahead slice of soul.
Here you’ll hear some of the biggest soul artists of their time on some of the biggest country hits of the 60s and 70s. Candi Staton does Patsy Cline, James Carr covers Mel Tillis, Millie Jackson sings Merle Haggard, Brook Benton tips his musical hat to Jerry Lee Lewis, Al Green pays homage to Hank Williams, and so much more besides.
Unlike similarly-themed compilations, this CD features only 100percent authentic country songs and 100percent authentic soul singers. It may not be the first of its kind but it is undoubtedly the best of its kind to date.
THE GRAND TOUR - Aaron Neville
HE'LL HAVE TO GO - Solomon Burke
TAKE TIME TO KNOW HER - Percy Sledge
I SAW ME - Esther Phillips
MY ELUSIVE DREAMS - Moses & Joshua Dillard
HANGIN' ON - Ann Peebles
MY SHOES KEEP WALKING BACK TO YOU - Bobby Sheen
WINGS UPON YOUR HORNS - Tami Lynn
BEFORE THE NEXT TEARDROP FALLS - The Limelites
I'M SO LONESOME I COULD CRY - Al Green
LIFE TURNED HER THAT WAY - James Carr
HE CALLED ME BABY - Candi Staton
THE CHOKIN' KIND - Z Z Hill
YOURS LOVE - Joe Simon
YOUR GOOD GIRL'S GONNA GO BAD - Cookie Jackson
DETROIT CITY - Arthur Alexander
GENTLE ON MY MIND - Tony Borders
DON'T TOUCH ME - Bettye Swann
SET ME FREE - Clarence Carter
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS - Little Milton
IF YOU'RE NOT BACK IN LOVE BY MONDAY (ALTERNATE VOCAL MIX) - Millie Jackson
SKIP A ROPE - Joe Tex
SHE EVEN WOKE ME UP TO SAY GOODBYE - Brook Benton