Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label
For The Numero Group, various-artists compilations are much more than haphazard selections of songs thrown together for the sake of obscurity -- these compilations are anthropological studies of various musical landscapes over the course of modern music, and comprise a library that painstakingly documents long-forgotten or sorely underappreciated movements and brings them back under the microscope for thorough reexamination. This time around, the subject of study is Miami's Deep City soul imprint. Ground zero for many of the explorations of Miami's music scene to come, this 17-song session contains wonderful contributions from label staples Helene Smith and Betty Wright, ably backed by a house band that could rival anything coming from Memphis or Nashville during this time. And with exhaustive liner notes and beautiful photos thoroughly detailing the label's history, this is a delight regardless of whether you are the deepest of crate-digging soul collectors or a novice fan who just likes thick grooves layered over with passionate performances.