Various Action Speaks Louder Than Words

Shelby Singleton’s SSS label was not your typical local soul label. Singleton was based in Nashville and cut many original sides, but also licensed far more one offs than most of his contemporary indie label magnates around the country. SSS had a short but prolific lifespan issuing out many different local strains of soul music, although the tunes cut in Tennessee speak to Memphis-flavoured soul mixed with the wordy compositions of Nashville tunesmiths. Action Speaks Louder Than Words contains 24 doses of floor-filling stompers, with nary a ballad in sight. Sam Dees is best known as a songwriter but turns out "Lonely for You Baby” with plenty of conviction. One of Bettye LaVette’s definitive performances, "Do Your Duty,” is also included. New Orleans placed many songs in the SSS catalogue; Betty Harris’s career peak "There’s A Break in the Road” is an outstanding stomper featuring a feedback drenched track by the Meters. Besides Harris, Johnny Adams and Robert Parker also represent the Big Easy. After a disc full of hard soul with the occasional nod to country, the disc ends with a speedy and extended take on the Temptations’ "Cloud Nine.” This is a fine survey of a very diverse label. (Vampisoul)