Friday, November 18, 2005

The Strange World of Southern Soul

Roshell Anderson - Know What You're Doing When You Leave

I first heard of Roshell Anderson on the first volume of "The Heart of Southern Soul" (Ace/AVI), which included both parts of his Excello single "Snake Out of Green Grass." Anderson's highly-idiosyncratic vocals made for a very interesting recording: he at turns sounded like Garland Green or Labi Siffre, going high and then low, with phrasings often against the beat. This style carried over into a pair of minor hits in 1973 on the Sunburst label, "Grapevine Will Lie Sometimes" and today's selection.

I think that most listeners will either really like this tune or dislike it. Anderson's got soul to spare, to be sure, and the lyrics are rock-solid. But his ranging (and occasionally rangy) voice is a shock to the system if you're unfamiliar with it. I don't remember much about him beyond the fact that his name is Mike Anderson, and that under that name he has been a Southern newsman. According to AMG Music guide, he has recorded more recently for Ichiban. Any information is welcomed.

1 comment:

Agent45 said...

Roshell Anderson is originally from Florida, and worked as a radio DJ for a while - in which city I don't remember right now. Anyway, he also recorded an album for Sunburst as well as a couple singles for the Albany GA Soul-Po-Tion label. Those are the sides that were released as singles on Sunburst. I'm not a converted fan yet, but I keep giving him the opportunity to win me over. He's undeniably interesting, that's for sure.