Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wendell Stuart & The Downbeaters (197x, Elite ER-1006)

A top-shelf serving of mellow early-70s Bahamaian soul. Wendell Stuart's tenor tremelos are heartworn and intoxicating. I'd say he's reminiscent of an early Johnny Nash. The backbeats are smoothly understated and Solomon Frazer's sonorous lead guitar bounces and strums in a pleasingly Ranglin-esque mode. Plenty of winners here, with a charming bossa-like rendition of Sandie Shaw's Always Something There to Remind Me (later a hit for Naked Eyes in 1982)...

...Stuart's version of Tom Paxton's The Last Thing on My Mind is also something else, but my real favorite might be this slowburning rendition of the Supreme's "My World Is Empty Without You", which was recently included on Trans Air's excellent West Indies Funk compilation:

Highly recommended. 320 vinyl rip by yours truly.

Download Link: Wendell Stuart & The Downbeaters (197x, Elite ER-1006)

A1 Jude
A2 My World Is Empty Without You
A3 The Last Thing On My Mind
A4 Island Woman
A5 Yellow Bird
B1 Always Something There To Remind Me
B2 Island In The Sun
B3 Shame And Scandle In The Family
B4 Delilah
B5 From The Moment To Moment
B6 Mary Ann


JR said...

AWESOME. I was just looking for this album online a few days ago and nothing. I've got the vinyl headed my way from e-bay, and this will save me the trouble of ripping it myself. Thanks for a great album!

Yair Yona said...

Sweet! was looking for that. thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for that hidden jewel.

The Uber Sonic Sonar Radar said...

cheers man there some chillin songs on here

Flash Strap said...

This is awesome. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

Just heard this playing at a restaurant in Brooklyn and had to have it but the vinyl isn't for sale anywhere online! thanks so much! Wendell Stuart could use a resurgence so thanks for helping along with that.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE re-up :(

Anonymous said...

In the late Seventies and early Eighties we used to go hear Wendell Stuart play each week, usually at "The Front" in the Village in NYC, sometimes at Sweetwater and once at the Cotton Club. At that time it was "Wendell Stuart & Company", which included Wendell, another great singer Godfrey Curtis and someone on keyboard and a drummer. He was an amazing talent and said by some to be the best his country ever produced.

Anonymous said...

beautiful. that is the only version of 'hey jude' I ever want to hear. a thousand thanks.