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Various Artists

Beale Street Beats, Vol. 2 - Soul House (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

I reviewed the first volume of this set in this same issue of Music Street Journal. As good as that one is, this is even better. This vinyl record really does a great job of capturing some exceptionally cool old-school music. Like the other one, this EP includes a great booklet, too.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Side One:

Ed Pauling & The Exciters - Soul House
I dig the guitar sound on this high energy stomper so much. The horns are a nice touch on this instrumental, too.
The '5' Royales - Catch That Teardrop
A classic soul groove is on display here. There are some solid hooks, and the horns bring some style and charm with them.
Jimmy Dotson - Feel Alright
I love the bass work on this. The honking horn is all class, too. The thing is, the vocal performance really brings it all home. This is a powerhouse that's one of the best here. It just rocks like crazy.
Billy Yates - Mojo
The opening on this is nearly acapella with some bits of piano and horn adding some occasional accompaniment. The tune works out from there with some killer rock and roll grooving. This is another standout on a disc full of standout material.        
Dave Dixon - You Satisfy
I dig the horns on this quite a bit. The track is a solid one, but not as strong as the two that preceded it.
Side Two:
Charles James - One Mint Julep
This is such a cool song. The whole groove is full of classic soul sound. That said, the piano really stands out. The key changes on the tune are cool, as well. This is another highlight of the set.
Billy Adams - Had The Blues (Twist)
The wailing saxophone solo on this is so cool. This track has a killer rock and roll groove to it.
Willie Cobbs - You Don't Love Me
There is a real bluesy vibe to this cut. Sure, it's decidedly soul based, but then again the blues is at the core of a lot of soul music. I love the classy guitar solo, but the whole tune just oozes cool. This is another highlight.      
Dave Dixon - Hey Hey Pretty Baby
This is a high energy groove that is a lot of fun. I really love the instrumental section on this thing.
The '5' Royales - Please Please Please
The soulful groove on this is all class. It's a solid tune, but not one of the highlights.          
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