Question from Nick: “I was wondering if you know what the beat is that the UMC’s freestyle over on Stretch and Bobbito’s radio show. I am pretty sure that Stretch put together beats, so it may be something he created. Regardless its classic case of how good stripped down drums and bass can sound.”

Answer: I don’t recognize it as an instrumental from an existing song from that era though it could certainly have been from a more independent release that would have flown under my radar then. I do think it’s more realistic that it was a Stretch exclusive though.

And yes, I absolutely agree about the how good stripped down drums and bass can sound. To wit, one of my favorites.

Question from Casey: “Just heard Oliver on NPR, but didn’t hear the first names of singers named Hunter & Bradley, I think both from London. Would love to learn more about them. Thanks!”

Answer: Casey is referring to this review of both Charles Bradley and the James Hunter Six. Hunter is from London but Bradley is from the States. Click either name above to go to their respective websites.

Bradley just played the Apollo and *whistle*, sick poster (click on thumbnail for bigger image):

Question from Matt: “”Hi, long time reader, first time emailer. I have a 45 that I cannot seem to find lot of information on and was hoping you might know. It is from the Rocky Mountain Recording label out of Cheyenne, WY. and the name of the group is The Soul Reflections. Track one is “”I Love You Baby”” and the other is “”Reflections’ Walk Groovin’ In The Basement.”” Both tracks feature Carroll Jones. It is also on red vinyl. It’s in pretty rough shape, but was just curious to know more about it and the label. The only other record I have seen from this label is a country and western tune, but I cannot remember the name of the group.”

Answer: Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with this 7″ at all. A quick scan of Popsike shows that there were at least a few releases on RMR (Rocky Mountain Records) attributed to Carroll Jones and the Soul Reflections; this looks like the single you have. I can’t tell if that single is less common or less in demand but the single by the group that sells more often is “Hey Girl” which has this stripped down, almost garage-y ballad on the b-side, “I Need You So Bad.” Good luck. If you turn up more, let us know.

Question from anonymous: “Who else used the melody from El Michels Affair’s “Detroit twice”?”

Answer: I’m not sure which melody you’re asking about specifically. If it’s the one carried on the horns, I have no idea; doesn’t sound familiar. However, the beginning of the song is clearly a riff on this Soul Sides favorite:

The El Michels Affair isn’t carrying the rhythm line in the exact same way, more like a vague interpolation of it. But the four note vocal cry at the beginning clearly nods to Young.

Quesiton from Richard: “Been a minute since I’ve stopped by (sorry, long time Soul Sider) but someone randomly sent me this video on youtube messages. Wanted to know if you were privy to this yet.

Answer: Nope, hadn’t heard this. Not that won over by it. As I try to suggest in that aforementioned review of Bradley and Hunter, there’s a fine line in being able to pull off a good retro-soul sound vs. sounding like you’re pandering. This track seems a little too far on the wrong side of that line. My .02.

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