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Pied Piper: Follow Your Soul Yousif Nur , May 26th, 2015 11:58

No one likes a waiting game. It's especially the case for albums, let alone long-lost singles that have taken a bloody age to resurface. Fortunately, the wait is worth it for the newest Pied Piper compilation; the second volume of the talent created via the Detroit production team from 1965-67, following 2013's Pied Piper Presents A New Concept In Detroit Soul, issued by Kent Records.

But the reason we bring up the subject of twiddling our thumbs is namely for two reasons: 1) some of these songs have been until recently undiscovered, and 2) some are getting a proper release some 50 years after they were recorded.

Before we get into the album itself, it's worth taking in a little history lesson. The Pied Piper collective emerged by testing the waters with releases on its own Giant label. The main musicians – Jack Ashford, Mike Terry, Joe Hunter and Herbie Williams – were original members of Motown studio crew the Funk Brothers. Ashford, whilst also being the co-owner to add to his musician and songwriting credentials, teamed up with his partner and record exec Shelley Haims to form the company. From there, and via Haims connections in the music business with labels such as RCA, Kap and Karate, they set out to team up with Detroit's finest on the soul scene with names such as Willie Kendrick, September Jones, Nancy Wilcox and Lorraine Chandler.

Of course, the Northern Soul story is very well documented in terms of singers from the 60s and 70s that didn't make it to form the basis of a sub-genre across the pond. Though these singers never quite the hit the heights of huge commercial success, their legacy shines on regardless.

Follow Your Soul opens with September Jones's 1966 number, 'Voodoo Mademoiselle' – which was given a 7" release last year on the re-issued Pied Piper subsidiary on Kent. It's a nice little dance number and sets an appropriate tone for the rest of the tracks to follow. Next up is an (up until now) unreleased track – but had been given regular airings over the last few years - by Nancy Wilcox's uptempo, 'He'll Be Leaving You', which is seen as the female response/cover to Willie Kendricks, 'She'll Be Leaving You', which had been given a single release in 2013.

Lorraine Chandler's taken on a James Bond theme of 'You Only Leave Twice' is an alternate version of her track, which is perhaps an urgent and frenetic take on her own original song. There are also well known Northern classics amongst the rarities such as Sharon Scott's 'Could It Be You' and Harry Gates' haunting 'Love Will Find A Way'.

Up until now, the only time you could hear much of these tracks anywhere in the world was once a month at the 100 Club through a rare as hen's teeth vinyl or acetate. But now, following on from 2013's first Pied Piper release, one could say this is more of the same, but with the quality control still very much intact.

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