Various: Eccentric Soul: The Deep City Label LP
Toiling in Floridian swelter for just a few years, the Deep City label and its sound would permeate the Miami-metro area and dress the set for disco powerhouse TK’s impressive 1970s run. Before “Rockin’ Chair,” “Rock Me Baby,” or “Clean Up Woman,” a few roguish cats from Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 band were blending their flams and paradiddles with the island sounds drifting into Miami’s airwaves from points unknown. Willie Clarke, Johnny Pearsall, Clarence Reid, and Arnold Albury set up the city’s first black record company, pumping out brassy proto-funk and echo-laden ballads by future hitmakers Betty Wright, Clarence “Blowfly” Reid, and Paul Kelly, plus a dozen can’t-miss/did-miss sides by Helene Smith, as well as a slew of 45s bearing Deep City, Lloyd, and Reid labels. Them Two’s “Am I A Good Man” must’ve simply been too damn good; it melted into Intercoastal waterways, alongside Four Tops-ified Moovers acetate “Darling I’ll Go,” and Clarke and company took separate roads toward Henry Stone’s mighty TK empire. The first of Numero’s twin Florida soul volumes, any Eccentric sojourn through the sunshine state begins with The Deep City Label. Our double-LP edition includes six bonus cuts and a plethora of photographs found nowhere else.