Saturday, March 17, 2007

Eccentric Soul 011 Numero Group Strikes Again

Eccentric Soul #011 focuses on Mighty Mike Lenaburg and the Phoenix AZ soul scene. Mainly late 60s and some early 70s. Mike Lenaburg came from England and grew up in Cali and by the time he graduated high school had done more in the record business than most do in their whole lives. Known mainly for Dyke and the Blazers, this comp lets you know there was a lot more soul and funk that never made it out of the Arizona desert.
Michael Liggins is an artist featured on several tracks on here. "Back Loaded" and "Loaded to the Gills" are 2 flute groove funk classics. "Loaded Back" is a monster instrumental from 1969. Ronnie Whitehead has a couple so stomping tracks "out of breath" is some a JB type workout and so is "Cold Feet" which has a killer drum break. But "Beggin You" takes the cake a total on your knees plea from a teenage crooner. Untouchable. Soulstations give you "broadway shing a ling" trying to grab the coat tails for Dyke's big hit. They also drop "Funky Nightclub" and like most "funky anything" songs it is a up beat dancer. The repeated refrain of "nightclub" is oddly reminiscent of the Specials song, but this is not ska track. Both sides of the We the People 45 are included. "Function Underground" is a heavy Funkadelic instrumental with the Sax upfront. "People, Open Your Eyes" is a slower more political song, but with more of a southern soul feel than Funkadelic. The Soul Blenders drop the super catchy "Blending Soul" and "My Girl is a Soul Girl" with the vocal assistance of Lon Rogers. It opens with a nice drum break as well. Small Paul knows "there's gonna be some crying" on this organ driven tale of woe. The novelty track "quarrel" by the Newlyweds was a local hit with it's tale of domestic unrest.
As always the liner notes are top notch and tell the tale of a man that couldn't seem to escape the desert, but managed to create a treasure trove of rare soul. This is a super solid sampling of soul, funk and R&B. Best in the series so far? Perhaps. Definitely shoulder to shoulder with my previous favorite Big Mack comp from this label. Numero Group keeps killing it with these crucial compilations. Couple this disc up with the Bacchus "Soulside of the Street" comp and the Dyke and the Blazer's reissue and you have a pretty good snapshot of AZ funk and soul.

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