SOUTH TEXAS RHYTHM ’N’ SOUL REVUEW 2-FROM THE VAULTS OF CRAZY CAJUN RECORDS.

SOUTH TEXAS RHYTHM ’N’ SOUL REVUEW 2-FROM THE VAULTS OF CRAZY CAJUN RECORDS.

Back in February 2013, Kent Soul released South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue, a compilation of some of the finest soul and R&B to emerge from the Lone Star State. It was recorded at Huey Meaux’s studio, and featured many of the artists the legendary producer discovered.

Huey Meaux was a prestigious talent-spotter. He discovered some of the stars of the South Texan music scene, including Johnny Adams, Johnny Copeland, Barbara Lynn, Jackie Paine and Jean Knight. They all featured on South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue. So did Warren Storm, Margo White, Tee Bee Fisher and Maxine Davis. This was a tantalising taste of the musical delights to be found within Huey Meaux’s vaults. It was a perfect mixture of familiar faces and new names. However, one compilation was never going to be enough to do justice to the music Huey Meaux had  recorded during the sixties, back in the Lone Star State. There was a sense of inevitability that there would be a South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue. 

Recently, South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records was released by Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records. It’s a twenty-four track compilation, featuring some old friends. Among them, are Johnny Adams, Jackie Paine, Jean Knight, Warren Storm and Margo White. They’re joined by Chet McDowell, Eugene Gamble, Ronnie Milsap, Henry Moore and Joe Hughes. These are just a few of the artists that feature on South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records, the much anticipated followup to South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue. Has South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records been worth the two-and-a-half year wait?

There can only be one answer…yes. That’s no surprise though.  The Traits’ soulful stomper Too Good To Be True opens South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records. It was penned by Fred Carroll, and produced by Huey Meaux. However, lead singer Roy Head was absent for the sessions, and Dean Scott took his place. 

Dean Scott relishes his moment in the sun, and plays a huge part in the song’s sound and success. Initially, Too Good To Be True was released on Huey Meaux’s Pacemaker Records in 1966. Later, that year, the single was licensed to Garrison. Great things were forecast for Too Good To Be True. Sadly, commercial success eluded this timeless hidden gem, that even today, will fill a dance-floor.

Warren Storm is without doubt, one of the biggest names on South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records. He’s a legend of the Louisiana music scene, whose constantly reinvented himself. From swamp pop to country and R&B to soul, Warren Storm has tried it. In 1966, Warren Storm had decided to reinvent himself as a soul singer on The Bad Times Make The Good Times. This Robert Stone composition was released on the Pic 1 label, and features Warren Storm delivering a tender, heartfelt vocal on this paean.

When David “King” Thomas’ released You Better Investigate on Jet Stream in 1971, he never realised that the song would become a favourite on the British Northern Soul scene. That’s still the case. It’s tailor made for the Northern Soul scene. However, there’s an element of mystery surrounding David “King” Thomas’.

It’s thought that David “King” Thomas is really Jay D. Martin. He recorded You Better Investigate with Huey Meaux anytime between 1965 and 1967. This version later resurfaced as  David “King” Thomas in 1971. Four years later, the single was reissued by Jet Stream, further muddying the waters. Despite the mystery surrounding You Better Investigate, it’s still a favourite of on the Northern Soul scene.

Eugene Gamble’s contribution to South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records is the beautiful, heart wrenching ballad Strange Love. This version has never been released before. However, Strange Love was released as a single in the late-sixties, on the Houston based Feron Records. Copies of Strange Love are incredibly rare, and if they do come up for sale, will fetch over $100. 

Melancholy. That describes the horns that open Jackie Paine’s At Your Wedding. They usher in a vocal full of hurt and heartache. With cooing harmonies and hypnotic drums for company, a cathartic outpouring of pain unfolds. It was released as the B-Side to No Puppy Love, on Jet Stream, in 1967. Later in 1967, Jackie Paine released Skid Row Blues. Desperation features in Jackie Paine on this bluesy tale of hard luck.

Ronnie Milsap’s has enjoyed a long and successful career. He released his debut single, Total Disaster in 1963. The Huey Meaux penned and produced Wish You Were Here released as a single on Pacemaker, in 1965. Twelve years later, Your Tears Leave Me Cold was released on the Festival label in 1977. Tucked away on the B-Side was Wish You Were Here. It showed why, in 1977 the Country Music Association crowned Ronnie Milsap Entertainer Of The Year and Male Vocalist Of The Year.

Two years after Ronnie Milsap released Total Disaster as his debut single, Lee Maye covered the song in 1965. It was released on the Pic 1 label, and is regarded as Lee Maye’s finest hour. No wonder. He delivers what can only be described as a soul-baring vocal.

Rocky Gil And The Bishops spent nearly twenty years gigging around the Houston area. Their career began in the mid-sixties, and they worked extensively with Huey Meaux. He had Rocky Gil add a vocal to The Pleasures Of My Woman, which became the flip side to Built Like A Brickhouse. It wasn’t until 1975, that the single was released on Jet Stream. Ironically, the Southern Soul of The Pleasures Of My Woman was a much better than song than Built Like A Brickhouse, which sunk without trace. Since then, The Pleasures Of My Woman has been a soulful hidden gem, known only by a few connoisseurs of the music of the Lone Star State.

Luvenia Lewis career began in fifties, but by 1969, couldn’t be described as a prolific artist. Ten years elapsed between Luvenia Lewis’ recording debut single and the followup. Her debut came in 1954, when as Lovey Lewis she recorded with Johnny Otis Orchestra. Ten years later, Luvenia Lewis signed to Charlie Booth’s label. That was when Luvenia Lewis first met Huey Meaux. Six years later, in 1970, Huey Meaux took to the Grits and Gravy studio in Jackson, Mississippi. That’s where she cut Tender Loving Pain. It was licensed to Atlantic imprint, Cotillion. Despite its undoubted quality, and Luvenia Lewis’ impassioned delivery, Tender Loving Pain wasn’t a hit nationwide. Instead, it sold well locally. This obviously wasn’t enough for Luvenia Lewis, who retired not long after the release of Tender Loving Pain.

Joe “Guitar” Hughes recorded The Rains Came around 1967. It wasn’t until 1975, that The Rains Came was released on Jet Stream. Sadly, The Rains came had been relegated to the B-Side. This meant that only the curious heard this outpouring of hurt, betrayal and emotion. Soulful and bluesy, it’s an introduction to one of the most underrated bluesmen of his generation.

Johnny Adams closes South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records with Spunky Onions. It was released as a single on Pacemaker Records in 1965. Funky and soulful, Spunky Onions marked a stylistic change for Johnny Adams, who would enjoy a long and successful career.

Following up South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue wasn’t going to be easy. However, Kent Soul, an imprint of Ace Records had a secret weapon,..compiler Tony Rounce. He’s a veteran of countless compilations, and was the perfect person to cherry pick Hugh Meaux’s vaults for the followup to South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue. 

Tony Rounce dug deep, and came up with the twenty-four tracks that made their way onto South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records. Everyone from Johnny Adams and Jackie Paine rub shoulders with Jean Knight, Warren Storm and Margo White. They’re joined by Chet McDowell, Eugene Gamble, Ronnie Milsap, Henry Moore and Joe Hughes. The result is not just a fitting follow to South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue, but a compilation that surpasses the quality of its predecessor. That’s South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records, the much anticipated followup to South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue.

It’s no exaggeration to describe South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records as all killer, no filler. There’s everything from blues and Northern Soul, through to R&B and Southern Soul. Similarly, dancers and ballads feature on South Texas Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Revue 2-From The Vaults Of Crazy Cajun Records, which anyone who likes their music soulful, will enjoy and cherish.

SOUTH TEXAS RHYTHM ’N’ SOUL REVUEW 2-FROM THE VAULTS OF CRAZY CAJUN RECORDS.

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