A well travelled and knowledgeable black music fan, and club regular once came up to me and thanked me and the Hideaway Club’s playlist for putting him onto a wealth of hitherto unknown 45s from the King/ Federal labels.
Now I’m the last one to claim any sort of credit, after all they’ve been prime for playing since the day they were recorded. But my point is that the likes of Freddy King, Eugene Church, Johnny Watson and to some extent, the King/ Federal stable as a whole had been largely overlooked by the mainstream soul audience. And it’s only in the last few years with collections such as this, and like minded clubs and individuals giving those records a chance of attention that has made people re-evaluate just how good the label is.
Ace Records have long since known the score and once more release a long overdue (yes, it’s been a decade) volume two in the New Breed R&B series. A lot more of those lesser known and hard to find gems are on offer here, including a few that have given collectors and DJs sleepless nights in the last few years.
Dolph Prince’s ‘You’re Gonna Drive Me Crazy’ is a case in point- a long time want and seriously underplayed and sounding just right for today’s scene.
Hal Hardy, famous for his Hollywood outing, ‘House of Broken Hearts’ opens this collection in fine style with ‘Love Man’ setting the scene perfectly, while ‘It Hurts Inside’ proves that there is more to the acclaimed group than just their monster 45 -‘Catch that Teardrop.’
This collection draws from that halcyon era of late 50s-early 60s where those pre-soul black acts owed a lot to the blues, but had largely been neglected by long-term blues fans.
With a thriving underground club scene and switched on DJs continuing to plunder King and its roster of labels, it’s indeed pleasing that some of these artist are finally getting some of the recognition they deserve. This collection is a winner!