Various Eccentric Soul: A Red Black Green Production

Every release in the Numero Group's Eccentric Soul series has been essential and A Red Black Green Production is no exception. The brainchild of DC-based engineer Robert Jose Williams, much of Red, Black and Green Productions' oeuvre went unheralded, not to mention unreleased, during its short mid-'70s existence. Nineteen tracks deep, Red Black Green is some serious chocolate city soul. Skip Mahoney & the Casuals' "Town Called Nowhere" is a pumping ghetto travelogue, along the lines of Isaac Hayes's "Soulsville" or War's "The World is a Ghetto," while Father's Children's tense "Phoney People" conjures the enveloping paranoia of the O'Jays' "Backstabbers." The balmy groove of East Coast Connection's "Summer in the Park," which offers shout outs to Kool & the Gang, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Washington's Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers, will get your ass shaking, yet it's also an example of what makes the Eccentric Soul series so notable, in that it captures the idiosyncrasies of underground regional scenes within the context of then dominant mainstream sounds. As with all Numero Group reissues, deluxe packaging, ephemera and in-depth liner notes are the icing on the cake. (Numero Group)