A rare gem from Frankie Beverly and Raw Soul, courtesy of Brewerytown Beats and a new release from the modern R&B sensation, Pink Sweat$.
In a month where the big mammoo of all R&B mammoos – Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s creamy, dreamy, silken soul label Philadelphia International Records, and their association with Thom Bell on the publishing tip – celebrates 50 years, officially, in November, it is nice, too, to discuss several records, old and new, outside of the PIR bubble.
The first two new, old items, released this autumn, come out of Philly’s Brewerytown Beats, and are artifacts as rare and golden as the treasures of ancient Egypt.
Long before Philly native Frankie Beverly got swept up into his Maze, he was the front person of his aptly-named Raw Soul ensemble with fellow locals McKinley “Bug” Williams, Roame Lowry, Robin Duhe and Kenny Young. Raw Soul cut a handful of sides outside of town (namely Gregar Records). But the archivists at Brewerytown Beats tracked down the one single that Beverly’s Raw Soul tracked for the Legendary Burner, Philly jazz organist Charles Earland’s Eldorado Records, “What Color? (Color Blind)”. Not only did BB just release that track as a white vinyl 7’inch. They beefed it up with a drum-heavy B-side Instrumental. Essential stuff.
With Kenny Gamble in mind, Brewerytown is also releasing a favorite of Mr. Gamble’s, a 1972 rarity from West Philly’s The Ultimates, with “Why I Love You”/”Gotta Get Out”. Brewerytown’s archivists tell a funny story about how The Ultimates and local songwriter-musician Kenneth Fuller had accidentally only booked a two-hour recording session at 12 Street’s Sigma Sound Studios, and had to work fast. “Why I Love You,” is nice, slow, slinky and unrushed. So, dig that. Buy them both, HERE…
Newer than newer, and fresher than fresh, is a track from the spiritual cousin to Frankie Beverly and The Ultimates with Philly’s self-proclaimed modern R&B sensation Pink Sweat$, who just dropped a single, “Nothing Feels Better”, a track additionally scheduled for his PINK MOON EP in early 2022. Like everything else Pink Sweat$ does, this track is a honey – find it HERE.