When it comes to Privately Pressed US Funk and Soul LP’s, there’s always a few things that we as connoisseurs must mark off of our tiny, “never too picky” little checklists. This, more or less is a checklist that we as consumers tend to personally have, regardless of one or anothers opinion. Here are a few questions that I ask myself.
Was the record pressed on a small label that has deep grooves and plays VERY loud regardless of surface scratches? Does it have a 3-piece horn section and include the Wurlitzer or Fender Rhodes? Does the cover have a very minimal back sleeve due to the partial budget spent on the front cover and recording costs? Is the color of the cover simply black and white due to ink being so expensive that it simply “didn’t fit the budget”? Does the album have all of the info about the band, including the home address of the recording studio and (if you’re lucky) a business card inside of the sleeve? Well, unfortunately, this description fits a LOT of records, rare or not. If you’re a record hunter then you may have ran into a thousand Gospel, High school Marching Band and low budget shitty home recordings that fit the physical description of what I’m talking about. With that said, once in a blue moon, you come across that one artist that simply, ‘had the juice” and not only fits the physical description, but also the musical description.
Carl Holmes’s “Investigation No.1” without a doubt fits both descriptions I am speaking of. Hard driven Funk, sweet and convincing soul ballads, tough private pressings and a minimal cover to sweeten the deal. Pressed (very loudly) on CRS Records, and produced by Curtis Staten, this record is one of the best Funk and Soul LP’s to come out of Philadelphia, PA. In fact, “The Magnificent” Jazzy Jeff’s Brother “Jimmy Townes” also played Bass and was also a background vocalist (source: Phill The Soulman) on this album. I seriously can’t speak highly enough about this LP. It’s one of the BEST.
Thank you to Peter at Brewery Town Beats and my brother Skeme Richards for picking up your phone! Without the both of you, I’d still be Holmesless over here on the West Coast of San Diego California. Haven’t heard it? Peep the clips!