Detroit was the epicenter for the soulful revolution the world knows as Motown. However, the city and the surrounding cities making up Michigan were also home to an unparalleled underground music scene that supported, propelled and fed off the Motown machine. While some artists brushed shoulders with the greats and others longed for a big break, most of the artists featured here were operating on a D.I.Y. basis. They made their own careers, their own successes and mistakes instead of trying to fit the Motown mold. Amidst these grooves lies their honesty, passion, accidents and triumphs.
“Searching For Soul” is volume one in a series that will be as comprehensive and musically inclusive as is humanly possible, bearing in mind that the truly definitive guide to two decades of locally bred Michigan soul and funk would require the mining of a bottomless pit. Included are absolute rarities from The Black Aces of Soul and the Eyes of Ebony next to now funk classics by The Detroit Sex Machines. Most of these records have never been on CD, and you’d have to mortgage your house to buy all the originals.
The focus is funk and soul, but don’t be surprised to hear jazz and disco in the mix as the Michigan music scene saw no boundaries. On this first volume raw breaks and beats from Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers sit next to the melancholic charm of Dee Edwards, inter galactic big band funk from Wendell Harrison drops down next to freaky synth-driven soul of Aged In Harmony.
The empty factories, abandoned houses, and burnt-out buildings that dominate Detroit and surrounding inner cities today do nothing to reflect the regions rich musical history. With little left of what was once the famed motor city, preservation of its music is paramount. It is the regions musical legacy against the backdrop of broken infrastructure that continues to influence a generation of artists producing some of the best sounds around.
The compilation track list was provided by Scott Craig, Michigan music aficionado, and proprietor of recently opened Detroit Soul record store, Hawaii. This is his compilation statement "When it comes to 60s and 70s soul music Michigan cannot be overlooked. With a music industry that was churning out hit after hit it was difficult to notice the thousands of singers and bands trying to make it on their own. This compilation will take a look at the brilliance and sincerity of some of the music that has gone overlooked by the masses. This is soul music from the streets, music from the heart, and the music of the people. Most of these tunes were recorded in basements and back rooms. Many of the artists hurried to the recording sessions from their day jobs playing on borrowed instruments. Listen closely and you will hear the drive and passion. Originally pressed on vinyl in very small quantities these songs have almost been lost to obscurity, we regard them as national treasures. Enjoy this taste of Michigan in your search for soul.”