Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Barrio Ping Pong

Ironically whilst digging through a draw looking for an i-pod lead, I came across some rather dusty tapes.  One of them was a recording from a 1999 show on the now defunct GLR.  It was called 'Barrio' and was a 'Destination In' special featuring Ross Allen, Charlie Gillett and Ashley Beedle.  The trio of music enthusiasts took it in turns to play records that somehow linked to the previous one, with the loose theme being 'Barrio'.  During the show Luther Ingram's 'If Loving You is Wrong, I don't want to be right', was played and got the three speaking about the link between Country and Soul music.

During the conversation they mentioned Barney Hoskyns' book 'Say it One Time For the Broken hearted'.  I tracked down the book shortly after and must say it's a good read.  Concentrating mainly on the influences of country within black soul music, it also touches on the few black country singers.  It's good at explaining how these two cultural extremes came to be intertwined, which was mainly through working the land side by side and the church.

Allen went on to compile the much acclaimed 'Country Got Soul' compilations, which also lead to an original recording by some of the musicians featured on the compilations.  Produced by southern soul legend Dan Penn, the album 'Testifying - The Country Soul Revue', was a fine slice of southern soul, with heartfelt songs by artists that have experienced life rather than most of today's blinged out soul upstarts.  

Maybe it was bubbling in Ross' brain for a while or maybe the 'Barrio' conversation sparked it all off.  But it's nice to unearth a captured moment in time that's nearly ten years old.

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