Founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1968, the True Soul label sought to stand alongside Stax and Motown and make national stars of its local musicians. Its failure to do so had nothing to do with a lack of dedication on the part of its proprietor, Lee Anthony, who wholeheartedly sacrificed his money, time and personal life to the project, but with the lack of a singer on a par with Otis Redding or Smokey Robinson. That absence glares from this lovingly assembled compilation, but these dusted-down obscurities are worthy of attention for other reasons. At the very least, they're a samplist's delight, most songs offering a playful riff, a propulsive bassline or a bumptious blast of horns worth stealing. Where the three merge, in Classic Funk's The Funk's Gonna Fly or Thomas East's Sister Funk, the results are irresistible. Even better are the oddities: the Leaders' (It's a) Rat Race is shrill but hypnotic, while York Wilborn's Psychedelic Six's experimental funk is exuberantly bonkers.
Various: True Soul Volume 2 – review