Enthusiasts love to make lists and categorise. So making a distinction between blues and soul is important here, but to black record buyers in the US in the 60s these were simply different aspects of the same music, and artists like for example Little Milton and Z Z Hill could move from one genre to the other quite freely. Neal (or at first Bobby) Kimble, who was born on 18 March 1934, walked a similar line on the West Coast, making several fine records in the 60s and early 70s. ListenI'm sorry we had to part is a splendid blues ballad very much in the Bobby Bland vein. The beautifully timed brass phrases and stinging lead guitar from cult figure Jiimy Nolen are both straight out of the Joe Scott book. And Kimble himself does a fine job of recreating Bland's gruff, throat-tearing delivery. I'm a sucker for music like this, emotionally charged minor keyed slowies. His 45s for Fat Fish are quite hard to find now but repay the effort. “A good fool is hard to find” is a thumping hard edged R & B stormer, and “You’re flying high now baby” is a strong shuffle, both featuring Kimble’s rasping, gritty vocals to good effect. The cream cut though is I have seniority which is a really first class deep ballad. I can see everybody's baby - CONVOY 522Kimble’s cuts for Venture/Maverick aren’t quite in the same league as his previous recordings but there are a couple of good cuts. “I’ve made a reservation” is a sweeter ballad than usual for the man, and his vocals are appropriately more restrained. The slow “I’m in love with you” has some merit, but the pick of this set is the bluesy deep ListenI consider myself lucky on which he goes full throttle. This is back in the best Bland-a-like style and it really makes the grade.
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