Various Eccentric Soul: The Outskirts Of Deep City

The standard introduction to yet another Numero Group is "they’ve really outdone themselves this time.” This is no exception. Digging beyond crates and headlong into mildewy boxes of decaying master tapes, America’s hardest working reissue label digs up yet more gems from Miami’s Deep City label. Deep City lasted about four years during the ’60s and many of the musicians and vocalists involved ended up in the higher-profile TK label, which went on to phenomenal success during the early days of disco. But this is strictly low-budget soul with talent shining through and through. Future Miami soul queen Betty Wright appears at the tender age of 13. Helene Smith is a sublime singer who was first showcased on the first Deep City compilation; she’s back with four more gems. The personnel frequenting Criteria Studios (the home base of Miami soul) show up again and again. It’s not the mid-tempo perfection of Wright’s "Clean Up Woman” a few years down the road but is poised between the bare-knuckled soul of the mid-’60s and more refined approaches of the future. (Numero Group)