The Birmingham Sound : The Soul of Neal Hemphill, Vol. 1

I got an email last week from John Ciba, who just released a compilation of rare soul recordings from Birmingham – it’s called “The Birmingham Sound: The Soul of Neal Hemphill, Vol. 1.” and he mentioned that he thanked me (thanked me!!!) in the liner notes of the cd for Deep Fried Kudzu. He said that DFK helped him with his travels here in the South, and that he hoped I would be okay with that.

Um, of course that’s okay!!

I got my copy at a local independent record store (it really is a record store – it’s been there forever and they have tons of vinyl!), and when I looked for it just now online, I could only find one copy at Amazon. I’m not sure about the distribution at the big stores, but any independent shop can get it if they don’t have it stocked – the label is: The Rabbit Factory, Inc. and the ASIN is: B000HQ2NRA.

The cover story in Birmingham Weekly this past week was “Soul Revival: With a Little Help from Chicago, Birmingham’s Soul is Back” and it’s about the first show in Chicago:

In Chicago, Otis Clay climbed on stage to thrill the crowd with a hilarious rendition of “Baby, I Love You,” that he and Robinson sang back and forth to each other, softer and softer, until, finally, Robinson deadpanned “pucker up your lips.”

The crowd fell apart.

This past weekend, they brought the show home to Birmingham, where they played at Bottletree Cafe. I would have done anything to be there! There are pics on Flickr from the B’ham show here.

I got the cd and it’s great – my favorite is the first track, ‘Specify’:

You take the high road. I’ll take the low.
Giving you all of my love, giving you all of my soul.
Day in, day out, I’m trying desperately to do what I can, to be the one you want me to be.
All you got to do…oh baby…

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