Feeling Nice Vol.3 - Monolith Cocktail

Various   ‘Feeling Nice Vol. 3’    (Tramp Records)
LP released 2nd October 2015

Pulling up at the jukebox pit stop with another salivating treasure trove from the funk trunk, Tramp keep the Feeling Nice vibe going with another volume of deep soul cuts. Procured from both near and far and from choice rare collections, Tramp selects 16 tracks of hot-footing, shoe-shuffling exuberance and at times highly enthusiastic break-neck R&B and funky soul for your aural pleasure.

Either too raw, unsophisticated and rowdy, or just lacking that essential spark of quality – a riff, melody or perhaps that defining break – that keeps if from the Billboard charts and instead resigns it to relative obscurity, the common cause of these chosen records is that they all remained undersold and on the peripheral. Certainly some are feverish and arguably more bedded in soul than their commercial counterparts: the edges are rougher; something you can’t always quite put your finger on but can hear why it failed to leap out and grab the public. Many were themselves influenced by titans of the scene – the J.B.’s being one obvious looming inspiration. Others though were merely trials; end of the session run outs, an excuse to let off steam. Some of these artists lacked the funds, contacts or nerve to get any further.

A Nuggets of deep soul then, though enthusiasts and collectors will already know of or even own many of the 45s on offer, it is still a handy compilation to have. Rare curiosities and rave-ups include the driving 1977 (horns over the San Francisco harbor) “funk masterpiece” from Nadine Brown ‘Leave Me Alone’, and the, picked up in Jamaica, supernatural saxophone nuzzling, reverb heavy Oladepo Ogomodede cover of The Isley’s ‘It’s Your Thing’. Produced, dashed off, in the dyeing minutes of their 30 minute recording session, Leroy & The Drivers slick Bar-Keys flavored funk-frizzled funeral organ work out boosts a detuned breakdown, and the no-hit wonders (with scarcely enough material it seems to fill an EP) Jack & The Mods’ (ages ranging from 6 to 18) self-titled James Brown party boogaloo riot was found by accident in a rundown shack in rural Virginia. For the Northern soul crowd there’s a furnace blast of “ahhhhh, good God!’” strutting funk from Clarence Reid, his ‘I Get My Kicks’ a renowned rarity on the Alston label, and the super soul opener ‘Your Soul Searching Heart’ from William Cummings. But a real highlight for your humble reviewer, is the thumping breakbeat shortnin’ Bread ‘Ghetto Boogie’ from Ellen Jackson. What a track! You’re very lucky indeed if you have one of these in your collection.

With the usual diligent linear notes, photos, and the first 400 of the 1000 vinyl editions being pressed featuring a bonus 7” from William Cummings – his now very expensive 45 ‘Make My Love A Hurting Thing’, pushed up to eye-watering sums by the Northern soul community – Feeling Nice Volume 3 sits in a congruous position alongside previous editions. A groove-heavy selection, raucous and often raw, Tramp’s jukebox prompts infectious breakouts of unadulterated dancing.

Words:  Dominic Valvona

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