Various Artists – Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production

January 01, 1970

(The Numero Group)


The wonders never cease from
The Numero Group’s Eccentric Soul series, meticulously archived reissue
compilations of soul, funk and gospel rarities and obscurities. The latest, A Red Green Black Production, focuses not on a label per se, but on a
single enterprising producer/engineer – one Robert Jose Williams – and a selected
handful of fabulous tracks he produced in the 1970s.


These nineteen tracks, by seven
different acts, all feature artists from the Washington, DC
area. Some were released as singles, some on albums, some not at all. Few, if
any of them, ever made it far out of the DC area. Working under the moniker
Red, Black and Green Productions, Williams produced them all in a home studio
in the basement of his parents’ house in Silver
Springs, MD. 


There’s an incredible
consistency to all of these tracks, in sound, professionalism and quality of
performances and material both. Williams, who worked as an engineer at the
big-time Edgewood Studios for his day job, really knows his way around a studio
and all of these acts and tracks benefit hugely from his expertise. The
material may be obscure, but the sound quality, song-writing and musicianship
is exemplary. 


Lots of the best material here
works the ballad, slow tempo side of the soul street with breathtaking results.
“I Really Really Love You” by Father’s Children, “Sleepwalking” and “It Takes
Two” by The Summits, “We’re In Love” and “It Must Be Love” by The Exceptions and “Generation” by East Coast Connection are
all top shelf examples of torchy, deep soul. At the same time, the wah wah and
echo-plexed guitar and organ on numbers like “I Really Really Love You” and
“Generation” give them a modern, psychedelic edge benefiting the times. Other
upbeat numbers like “Town Called Nowhere” by Skip Mahoney & The Casuals,
the catchy psych pop soul of “I’m Not Ready For Love” by Promise and the
equally catchy pop funk of “Phoney People” by Father’s Children are every bit
as great as the slower numbers. “Summer In The Park” by East Coast Connection,
with shout outs to various bands from other cities, really pushes the pedal to
the metal; the lovely, moody psychedelic instrumental “Linda Movement” by
Father’s Children ends the record on a graceful high note. 


In typical Numero Group
fashion, the record comes with incredibly detailed liner notes, photos and show
flyers to help put it all in perspective. Easily one of the most consistent and
satisfying collections in the Eccentric Soul series, A Red Black Green
will be a gift from the R&B gods for anyone looking for a
soulful summertime soundtrack. 


Really Love You,” “Phoney People,” “Town Called Nowhere,” “We’re In Love”
“Linda Movement,” “Sleepwalking,” “Generation”  CARL HANNI

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