It’s been a long time coming following volume 1 (10 years, according to the accompanying notes), but Kent’s ‘King New Breed R&B Vol. 2’ has certainly been worth the wait. Opening with the excellent ‘Love Man’ by Hal Hardy and the Billy Cox Band, this collection from the King, Federal, Hollywood and Deluxe imprints immediately takes you to Manchester’s legendary Hideaway Club that has championed original R&B dance music of the late fifties and early sixties and has taken the modern Mod scene forward as a result. The tracks on this particular collection spread across the period from 1955 to 1967.
Second up is ‘I’m Tore Down’ which is classic Freddie King - you can hear so much of his influence and playing style in Eric Clapton’s latter day phrasings. The blistering start to the album continues with Lee “Shot” Williams’ ‘When you Move, You Lose’ and the catchy, whistled melody, of ‘Send Me A Picture’ by Mel Williams.
All 24 tracks on this collections, compiled by Ady Croasdell, are winners, with my personal favourites including ‘You’re Gonna Drive Me Crazy’ by Dolph Prince, ‘Geneva’ by Eugene Church, ‘Why Did We Have To Part’ by Herb Hardesty and ‘Say Hey Pretty Baby’ from the incredible voice of Lulu Reed. If you’re into this genre, which I most certainly am, then there’s plenty here for everyone.
As always with Ace’s releases on the Kent label, there is a 12-page comprehensive booklet with the CD that details each and every song included and is illustrated with many fine photos of the artists and the original record labels. It’s fantastic that, some 45 to 57 years later, some of these great recordings and performers are getting the attention denied to them the first time round. A big thank you to Ace/Kent for releasing this wonderful album – but please don’t make us wait another 10 years before Volume 3 is released.