Little did the team at Ace realise when they first got access to Dave Hamilton’s library of studio tapes back in the mid ’90s that it would result in a 15 year journey.
A journey of discovery that to date has yielded an impressive seven complete CD of Hamilton inspired musical dimensions that span several decades. Add to that, the equivalent of eleven 45’s and a plethora of other tracks that feature not just on Ace’s family of labels, but also on the output of the US Daptone and the Finnish Timmion companies, it is truly staggering.
Following interest from those two aforementioned companies, Ace’s staff took the decision to revisit several of the master tapes and it’s their further discoveries that make up the bulk of this latest volume.
Once again there is a wide selection of styles and eras, such was Hamilton’s prolific and lengthy career. An eclectic mix sees three of the four early ’60s Temple 45s rubbing shoulders with mid ’60s Topper and later decade recordings plus a multitude of later recordings (11 in total) that see the light of day for the first time.
Interestingly, it’s a Dave Hamilton track. ‘Take Care Of Your Own Business’, that instantly catches the ear. A heavy slab of funk, complete laden with a killer harmonica underscore that sounds uncannily like Little Sonny’s take on Wade In the Water to me. Previously featured on a BGP compilation a decade ago it’s a timely reminder of the sheer vitality of Hamilton and would grace any discerning club play list, decades after it was committed to tape.
R&B buffs will no doubt be impressed by the inclusion of Harry Reid’s Temple single, ‘Won’t You Come On Home’ from 1964, another long-time want for me, and as yet a desire unquenched!
The Saturday night Northern Soul crowd are well catered for with the addition of Bobby Dee’s desirable Demoristic 45, ‘Sweet Thing’ and JT Rhythm’s infectious shuffler ‘My Sweet Baby’ amongst others.
Hamilton was always one with his ear tuned to the latest sound of the day and was quick to exploit to maximum effect the emerging funk sound via the TCB and Tayster labels. No better examples than in The Webb People’s 1975 offering – ‘I’m Sending Vibrations’ and Chico & Buddy’s ‘A Thing Called Love’ another desirable Tayster 45 that’ll have the collectors licking their lips and scouring those dusty warehouses and sweaty record fairs.
Dave Hamilton’s Detroit tape cache has once again defied expectations and has come up with something for everyone. Ace and its issuing label Kent have once again done the Hamilton legacy proud.