wed 02/12/2020

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5 | reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5

Reissue CDs Weekly: Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5

After 15 years, the classic compilation series returns

Helena Ferguson: the voice of 'Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5's' tremendous 'Where is the Party'Ace Records

“I was just released from the hospital…the doctor told me that the medicine can’t do me no good. They told me what I have is beyond medical science…he told me that what I have is more serious than cancer. He told me what I have is a very, very bad case of the blues. I found out the best remedy for the blues is to be with the one you love.”

“I was just released from the hospital…the doctor told me that the medicine can’t do me no good. They told me what I have is beyond medical science…he told me that what I have is more serious than cancer. He told me what I have is a very, very bad case of the blues. I found out the best remedy for the blues is to be with the one you love.”

This astonishing spoken declaration comes during the first half of Jerry Washington’s “Right Here is Where You Belong”, a 1972 single which its performer, producer and writer self-released on his own Top Pop label. Washington’s day job was as a New York barber. After its release, the single was picked up by Excello Records in which form it reached 48 on the US R&B charts. His new label gave Washington a long-term contract as artist and producer.

Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5Washington’s record is extraordinary: gospel-leaning intense soul as much about its total impact as the pleading, powerful voice and the upfront melody. By its end, the beseeching Washington is close to screaming. Now, “Right Here is Where You Belong” has become the 20th entry on the 25-track compilation Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5.

Dave Godin (1936–2004) is important to soul in many ways – tons of bio information on him is out there in the world, so there's no need to go into it here – but he had taken a step back from music in the 1980s and returned to writing about soul in 1995 while running a cinema in Sheffield.

Following this, in 1997, he compiled Deep Soul Treasures Volume 1. Volume 4 was issued in 2004, just before he died. He had, though, left lists of tracks for inclusion in the on-going series. Fifteen years after his death, the next entry in the series has arrived.

ave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5_Jerry Washington Right Here Is Where You BelongDeep Soul was a term coined by Godin around the time he also put the words northern and soul together as a way of describing the upbeat style of the music he had discovered was popular in the clubs of Northern England. Deep Soul was less likely to be embraced by dance floors than Northern Soul.

According to Godin in a fascinating, previously unpublished interview Jon Savage undertook with him which is included in Volume 5’s booklet, Deep Soul is “very stylised and mannered, very gospel rooted but totally secular; the words are very important. In a sense, it isn’t just a musical experience, it’s also a poem.”

What’s become thought of as Deep Soul isn’t a geographic designation: it is not, for example, Southern Soul, within which much of the output of, say, the Fame studio can be bracketed. It is defined by the nature of the performance. Back in the liner notes of 1997’s Volume 1, Godin explained “Deep Soul is the logical, natural and unfeigned successor to, and development of, the blues.” Elsewhere in the notes to Volume 5, Godin is quoted saying that “the ‘acting’ ability’ [is] a so essential ingredient in Deep Soul.” Which brings it back to Washington’s “Right Here is Where You Belong”.

Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5_Carolyn Sullivan Dead!Volume 5’s best-known names are Big Maybelle, James Carr, The Chantels, Z.Z. Hill, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Barbara Lynn, Esther Phillips and Dee Dee Warwick. The only really familiar cut is Dee Dee Warwick’s “Foolish Fool”. Overall – the compilation’s overseer Ady Croasdell has to be congratulated for this – it’s about being in line with the previous collections by setting a mood with high-quality music and creating an ebb and flow through selecting and sequencing tracks as good as anything else in the soul canon.

Some tracks immediately stand out. Despite its UK release selling 250 copies, Helena Ferguson’s “Where is the Party” (1967) is tremendous: a building arrangement frames Ferguson’s agonised voice. It’s followed by Carolyn Sullivan’s “Dead!” (1966), which has to be heard to be believed. Sullivan sings that she wishes she were dead – failed love is the reason – over a sparse backing of shuffling tambourine, organ and muffled drums. A mournful sax solo heightens the melancholy. In a 1969 review, Godin said “it could be a funeral lament for a real person. A real weirdo this one…”

Nothing else on Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures Volume 5 is as unusual but everything is as distinguished. Needless to say, any listener will be thrilled by this selection of, yes, treasures.

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