Sunday, August 24, 2008
Legendary Soul two-sider from Lynchburg, VA. This record is pure class. The elegant vocals of Robert Tanner show the confidence of someone who doesn't need to resort to histrionics to express deep emotion or get someone's attention. His voice is a unique blend of strength and vulnerability that conveys an honesty, a truth that is at the core of the best Soul Music. The tasteful backing of his band, The Jivers, (in particular the guitarist) makes this subtly powerful 45 irresistible. This is one of those records that just works its magic the more you listen to it.
Robert Tanner's follow up release on Megatone, "Sweet Memories", is arguably even better and equally as rare. Both 45's have achieved true grail status amongst discerning soul collectors and have gotten spins for decades to appreciative dance floors at Northern Soul nights in the UK and beyond. Later in the 70's, Tanner went on to form The New Sounds, releasing a superb album for Sylvia Robinson's Turbo label out of New Jersey. One of the label's rarest and most sought after releases, the self-titled New Sounds album contains stellar updated versions of "Tell Me Your Name", "How I Feel" and "Sweet Memories".
Mr. Tanner still resides in Lynchburg as does fellow New Sounds member and writer and producer of the Megatone sides, Dawson Smith. Smith had a great release of his own on the nationally distributed Scepter label, the funky "I Don't Know If I Can Make It", that even managed to scratch it's way onto the Billboard charts in 1975.
Special thanks to our good friend Jason Hamlin for loaning us this elusive masterpiece. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Robert Tanner "Tell Me Your Name"
Robert Tanner "How I Feel"