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IRMA THOMAS/Between the Tears: One of the music businesses headier hard luck and triumph stories, Thomas, (not to be confused with Carla Thomas), the soul queen of Naw-lean had already been chewed up and spit out by Imperial and Chess before hooking up with Swamp Dogg in the early 70s, just as tastes were moving away from the soul classics in waiting she was putting out. While she didn't scale the heights, her Imperial sides are held up as classics, and her Chess sides took over 20 years to see the light of day when they were finally acknowledged as classics. This record was allowed to escape into the marketplace but in such limited quantities, it might as well be considered a lost soul classic. Sensing this might be her last shot, Thomas tore it up with the ferocity of anything coming out of Detroit or Memphis at the time making the kind of set that should have had Aretha looking over her shoulder. Coming from such a hungry place, this sound here was powered up to be timeless, and even if it isn't in fashion for today's R&B, it's a mind blower anytime you hear it. Killer stuff that just couldn't be held back any longer. Check it out.

SWAMP DOGG/Gag a Maggot: Swamp Dogg's debut was a mind blower for any white boy who thought Sly Stone was too commercial. The record label tried to round off some of the edges for the second album by sending him to Muscle Shoals. That wasn't what he needed. Dogg's third album found him on his own again, taking it down to TK where things were funkier in the Florida sunshine. The TK crew kept it funky while smoothing out the rough edges, but there was nothing they could do to smooth out the lyrics, and that's where we find Dogg doing total destruction to your mind once again. Loaded with fat funk that samplers would have to kiss the ground where Dogg walked for a long time to come, this is outsider music done right that just doesn't fit any format. Crazy stuff then and crazy stuff now. Check it out.

Volume 37/Number 167
April 17, 2013
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2013 Midwest Record

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