Vernon Garrett I Made My Own World: The Kent Modern Recordings
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- by Various Artists ~ The Fame Studios Story: 1961-1973 (3-CD) ~ $35.99
- Released: September 1, 2003
- Label: Kent Records Uk
Living Blues - p.74"The set was recorded in an Oakland nightclub in 1964, and the sound is spectacular, while the atmospherics add a lot to the proceedings..."
- 1.If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time
- 2.I'm Guilty
Contains 24 tracks, including unreleased tracks.
Personnel includes: Vernon Garrett, Jewel Garrett (vocals); LTD.
Personnel: David T. Walker, Al McKay, Arthur Wright (guitar); Carle Vickers (trumpet); James "Boo Boo" Davis (keyboards); Jeffrey Osborne (drums); Soul Messengers, The Blossoms (background vocals).
Photographer: John Ridley.
Arrangers: L.T.D.; Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis ; Arthur Wright.
Vernon Garrett is a gravel-voiced soul journeyman, recording from the '60s until the present, never striking gold but always cutting soulful and often great sides. I Made My Own World is a collection of his work from the 1960s (with a track or three from the '70s, too), both on his own and as a duo with his wife, Jewel. His best-known track is the lush, aching "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time" from 1966. The version Kent uses here is an alternate take featuring a slightly different vocal. Why not the original version, one might ask. Perhaps it is to attract collectors to the disc, but it is annoying that the original version is not included. The other solo tracks are a mix of Motown-flavored pop-soul ("Slow and Easy," "You and Me Together"), nasty funk ("I've Learned My Lesson," "One Man's Loss"), bluesy ballads ("I Made My Own World"), and a great '70s track, "To Be a Part of You," which has a pounding tribal beat and a sweet vocal hook. It could have been a big hit if someone like the Spinners released it. The tracks with Jewel date from the mid-'60s and are slightly less successful than Garrett's solo tracks, but still fun. Most of the songs are lightweight R&B fodder and Garrett's voice is sometimes too heavy for fun songs like "Just to Hold My Hand" or "Let the Good Times Roll." The tracks like "You're So Fine" and the manic "In My Heart" that rock harder and let Garrett and the equally tough Jewel cut loose are much better. A handful of tracks come from a live club date from 1964. It is cool to hear much fun Vernon and Jewel seem to be having and how wild they drive the crowd. As a bonus the disc includes an instrumental version of "If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time." I Made My Own World is an entertaining collection of tracks by an unjustly overlooked soul singer (and his wife) deserving of some recognition. ~ Tim Sendra
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