A COMBINATION OF SOUL AND BLUES
Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 08/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One disc 58 minutes approximately. The sound is very good indeed-crisp yet warm,which is just how Wiggins' voice should sound. The vast majority of these tracks were recorded in the mid-sixties or there about. The Goldwax label was a small company in Memphis that recorded a lot of soul singers. Perhaps the most famous of the bunch is James Carr,who is often compared to Otis Redding.
Spencer Wiggins was probably a notch or two below Carr,but his recordings are still very fine. While sticking to an honest soul style,he also injected a lot of blues into his singing. This is what separates him from other singers of the era. His voice was a combination of grit with a pleading tone,so important in soul music,mixed in. The combination is very effective and visceral. A favorite in northern soul circles since the early seventies,Wiggins is now involved in gospel music,and has pretty much left his old style behind.
But what he has left listeners with are a number of singles,and a few unissued tracks,that still sound great today. All the tracks are good,honest soul music,and listeners will have their favorites. There are several tracks of out-and-out blues ("Sweet Sixteen","My Love Is Real",and others) which give a good indication of Wiggins' blues talent. This album is one of those instances where each song is powerful,and taken together,makes for a great,exciting listening experience. The backing on these tracks is very powerful and tack-sharp,with a great horn sound,as only Memphis musicians can lay down.
For those looking for an authentic soul sound,mixed with blues,straight out of Memphis,this is it. The folks at Ace Records have done listeners a favor by collecting and releasing these fine tracks. The accompanying booklet tells a bit of Wiggins' history,both in and out of music. There are also color photographs of several of his 45's labels,which shows the depth that Ace records went to,in researching this artist. Music of this caliber should not be forgotten. Wiggins voice and his talent can now be heard and enjoyed by anyone looking for a tough soul/blues singer who could consistently deliver the goods. Do yourself a favor and listen to some great music that nobody records or releases anymore. You just might be surprised at what you hear."