Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Miami Soul Showcase

Helene Smith - Pain In My Heart

Today's selection returns to the excellent Numero Eccentric Soul series to feature the Deep City label and the great vocals of Helene Smith, who, were it not for the ascendancy of Betty Wright in the late '60s and early '70s, would be known as the Queen of Miami Soul with her great recordings of that era. To be sure, Smith's vocal chops weren't as versatile as Wright's, but she put a lot into her songs, which ran the gamut from beat ballads ("I Am Controlled By Your Love," featured on this blog a few months ago) to funk ("You Got To Be A Man") to, as shown here, deep soul. Her cover of this Otis Redding classic (itself a reworking of the Irma Thomas record "Ruler of My Heart") is more polished than the original, but Smith's strong delivery keeps the soul quotient high.

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