Southern Soul Brother (1967)
Losin' Boy/I Got The Blues/Don't Let Me Suffer/While I'm Away (Baby Keep The Faith)/Eddy's Go-Go Train/Happy Man/Music/Baby Be Mine/Love With A Feeling/Soul Feeling, Part 1/Soul Feeling, Part 2/Ain't Gonna Worry No More/Tingling/That's How Strong My Love Is/So Deep In Love/Pins And Needles/It Takes More/Ain't Gonna Worry No More (Extended Version)
Eddy Giles was from Shreveport, Louisiana and had roots in gospel music. He briefly recorded some secular soul music in 1967. His material was released on Murco Records and on this, the only available collection of his recordings, he appears on the cover looking strangely like Little Richard - more rock 'n' roll than soul. The music was soul all the way, however, Memphis Stax-style soul at that. No Louisiana swamp sounds here. There is some seriously good stuff on this compilation. After the brief success he found, particularly with the minor hit Losin' Boy, he returned to the gospel genre, before eventually entering the church, becoming a pastor in his home town.
The CD is re-released now on the Kent Soul label. Unfortunately, it is not available to download, but can be obtained easily enough on CD, from the label's own site or via the other usual sources.
The sound quality is absolutely superb - nice and bassy and featuring those trademark Southern punchy soul horns. The music is often quite funky and tracks like Losin' Boy and the irresistibly catchy Pins And Needles went on to achieve popularity on the seventies Northern Soul circuit.
There are touches of James Brown, Al Green, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett in Giles's strong soul vocal, but it is powerful enough to be given credited in its own right.
Losin' Boy has a simply sumptuous bass line, delicious saxophone and one heck of a vocal from Eddy. How wasn't this song just huge? It's bloomin' marvellous.
I Got The Blues is a wonderful slice of slow burning Southern blues. Once more, the bass line is so deep it hurts.
Don't Let Me Suffer is a huge, horn-powered stonker of a soul potboiler. Just great stuff. And virtually undiscovered too. The quality continues on all the tracks to be honest, from the lively jazzy tones of Eddy's Go-Go Train to the uplifting, slow gospelly Memphis soul of Happy Man.
To think that this is the only secular music that Eddy Giles recorded is actually quite astonishing. It is certainly an impressive legacy. I can't recommend this enough. If you like kick-ass, punchy Memphis-style Southern soul, this is manna from heaven. Just listen to the primal thump of Music pounding out of your speakers or the groovy drum rhythm on Soul Feeling, Part 2.