Master compiler and BBE label honcho Keb Darge’s ongoing quest to keep the UK’s underground club scene a-movin’ and a-shakin’ continues. Joined by Little Edith, Darge, best known as the Northern soul DJ who spun the deepest of “deep funk” grooves during his regular club nights at London’s Madam JoJo’s, has turned his attention toward the all-but-forgotten pioneering R&B artists who bridged the gap between late-40’s jump blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and ‘60s soul.
Focusing on the raw ‘n’ swinging sounds cut in the mid-‘50s and early ‘60s, Legendary Rockin’ R&B‘s 20 tracks make an excellent introduction to all the ear candy waiting to be rediscovered, with numbers from well-known artists like Big Maybelle, Johnny Guitar Watson, Marie Knight and Junior Wells nestling up against lesser known nuggets by Brooklyn’s the Rays (“Zimba Lulu”), Harold Jackson (“The Freedom Riders”), K.C. Mojo Watson (“Love Blood Hound”), the Electras (“Little Girl Of Mine”) and the diamond-in-the-rough harmony vocals of the Kinglets (“Pretty Please”). This is a superb start to an eagerly awaited series.