Is it too hard to ask for music like they used to make? You know, music recorded in your parent’s basement where the bass player had to sit on the toilet or the vocal booth was makeshift from a broom closet, and then someone had to life that damn Hammond organ up and down the back yard cellar entrance (and for God’s sake, don’t forget the Leslie!)? Well, Freestyle Records own Deep Street Soul is at it again. It’s not too much to ask for, and their new record Look Out, Watch Out has the fix of funky Soul you’re looking for Sugar.
Follwing up their 2009 self titled debut long player, DSS includes guest spots from Randa Khamis (of Randa and the Soul Kingdom fame) and Roxie Ray, plus knockout vocals from new female vocalist May Johnston. The title track “Look Out, Watch Out”, comes out with a hot groove and Johnston’s wail channels Marva Whiteny, Vicki Anderson, and Spanky Wilson while the dance floor is smashed to bits the entire 3 minutes and 50 seconds. The DSS Sound: funky, funky, upbeat Soul, a hard hitting Hammond (courtesy of Monique Boggia) combined with super tight production is no sophomore slump. Burners like “Soul Loco Suite” and “Stay Down” complement “Sweetback”, (who get help from Khamis on this track) the only cover song, and in turn make Viola Willis very proud while doing it.
The stand out track on the whole record is “What She Said”. Here Johnston gives the listener her best performance. Equal parts Betty Davis: fuzzed out, dank and dirty, and rare groove wailers like Lynn Christopher, this track is the epitome of a sound. Deep Street Soul nail it right on the head. With help from Roxie Rays on “Fallin”, DSS showcase mellower Soul, and in turn, complete the circle and journey from hard hitting Funk, Soul, and dance floor fillers, back to a sweet Soul sound that kisses you good night on the cheek and promises to call you next week.
This impressive second effort from Melbourne, Australia is a lesson in what music should sound like, how it should be recorded, and what excatly can happen when a band pays respect to the music. They give a nod to the elders (no matter how obscure they may be to the mainstream audience) while adding their own flavor into the mix, a great recipe for success. Look out and watch out for this release coming on Freestyle Records (UK) to a better record store near you on October 24th, 2011.
Deep Street Soul Documentary
Check out more on Deep Street Soul and all of Freestyle Releases here.