Rare Soul: Shrine Records

Posted July 20, 2010 by johnomam
Categories: New Find, Northern Soul

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A few months ago I came across The Northern Soul Of Shrine on iTunes and bought it after listening to a couple of samples. It was a real bargain at $9.99 for 44 songs. I always knew there must be many great 60’s soul catalogues out there (Motown’s Detroit area talent base couldn’t be that rare and isolated).  Through the steady release of various soul collections over the years and recently through youtube and iTunes I’m discovering lot’s of great stuff.  Kids! don’t make the same mistake I did – find this stuff while you’re still young.  Here are some highlights for me from The Northern Soul Of Shrine:  I Know About Her and Hey Boy by The DC Blossoms; If I Had (One Gold Piece) and Huh Baby by The Prophets; Do What I Want by The Cavaliers; and Take It From Me by Traci.

Here’s a youtube clip of my favourite find from the collection, Shirley Ewards’ Dream My Heart:


Rare Soul: New Old Finds

Posted July 1, 2010 by johnomam
Categories: New Find, Northern Soul

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My brother has bought several of the Eccentric Soul releases on cd over the past few years and they’ve been real treasure troves. I like that they don’t exclude recordings because of poor sound quality as they will even use found cassette tape versions. They realize that the song and the performance are most important and must be kept alive. I just went through the Eccentric Soul collections on iTunes and purchased a big load of songs. Here’s a list of some of my favourites:  Let Me Be Free – Sonia Ross; Standing By Love – Eula Cooper; Darling I’ll Go – Moovers; Glad About That – Linda Ballentine; If I Had A Little Love (Rehearsal) – The Majestic Arrows.

And here is a youtube link for Try by Eula Cooper:

Northern Soul: New Finds

Posted February 12, 2010 by johnomam
Categories: New Find, Northern Soul

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I often email the YouTube music and tv links I discover to my brother but I thought I’d post a bunch for him here instead for others to check out as well.

I like the simple and stiff choreography in this clip:

What a great sound on this slinky song:

Terrific arrangement with the sharp backing vocals, the rumbling drums, the staccato guitar, and the catchy flute and horn bits:

And my favourite new find:

Under The Influence: Fandango

Posted February 12, 2010 by johnomam
Categories: Under The Influence

Tags: ,

I use lines from this (my favourite) movie in my day-to-day conversation all the time and have picked it clean for lyrical ideas (ex. “Going Nowhere” from the Bail & Parole album which you can hear on our MySpace page). The music in the film is also fantastic and appropriate for every scene it‘s used in. The trailer is below. *Note to my brother: if you follow the related YouTube links you can watch deleted scenes and a couple from the original version that director Kevin Reynolds made at film school.

Winter Escape IV: Old New Finds

Posted January 8, 2010 by johnomam
Categories: New Find, Winter Escape

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Most of my new finds this past year have been old finds. Earlier in the year I borrowed The Red Bird Story box set from my brother and one of the finds was “New York’s A Lonely Town” by The Tradewinds. Recently while seeking out northern soul stuff on you tube, I came across a great Ronettes song that I had never heard before. It turns out it was written by Peter Andreoli and Vincent Poncia Jr. who were the Tradewinds guys. Then while searching The Tradewinds on youtube I found The Sunrays. Brian Wilson’s name is being tossed about a lot these days in describing some of the new bands – but I don’t hear it. If you’re going to claim The Beach Boys as an influence then go all the way like The Sunrays.

I just got in, it’s minus 13, it’s snowing, it’s time to listen to them.

A Brief History: Off The Grid

Posted January 8, 2010 by johnomam
Categories: A Brief History, Under The Influence

Tags: ,

I try to write lyrics in a kind of country song style with clear meanings that everyone can understand and maybe relate to. I did however throw an obscure pop culture reference into “Off The Grid” that nobody but me would get. The first time I heard the term “off the grid” was when I saw Box Of Moonlight (a favourite movie of mine) at the Toronto Film Festival. The kid mentioned in the song was a character in the film who was living off the grid.  You can watch the trailer through the link below and you can listen to “Off The Grid” on the OMAM jukebox at our website (see sidebar).

Box Of Moonlight

Musical Touchstones: Pony Club

Posted December 31, 2009 by johnomam
Categories: Musical Touchstones


Mark Cullen is one of the current under-appreciated talents. Similar story as The Pale Fountains for me as I loved the album he made in the 90’s with his brothers, under the name Bawl, but never heard anything again for years. He finally re-emerged as Pony Club in 2002 with the album Home Truths which he recorded in his bedroom (a recording method I can relate to). He’s since released two more albums:  Family Business and Post Romantic. I’ve been reading much lately about people’s picks for the best artist or album or song of this past decade and I would like to nominate Pony Club, Family Business, and Knees.