Curtis Knight - Down in the Village. 1970 USA

Who is Curtis Knight you ask? Well he was a cohort of a one Jimi Hendrix before he became "Hendrix" if you know what I mean. So Jimi plays guitar and Curtis Knight sings is the way the late 60s soul albums were portrayed. And now 50 years later, few know who Knight was. Perhaps you've heard of the other guy?

And that's really too bad, as Down in the Village is quite an aural document. It's also one of those one song albums that will live on long past any of our lifetimes. In this case - as with most of the others I will mention - it has yet to be truly discovered. But even taking out said song, what we have here is a fine psych-blues-soul rock album from 1970. The title track is a good opening, but it's the potent 'Lena' that you will hear the mean psych streak that is an indicator of what to come. 'See No Evil' is another winning track. 'Goin Up the Road' is a decent blues rock song. The other 2 songs are throwaway soul numbers. Side 2 is much more consistent, with the final two tracks 'Hi Low' and 'Goodbye Cruel World' competing vigorously with 'Lena'. As a whole, this would be a 3.5 star album if it were not for...

...'Give You Plenty Lovin'' Oh my, what do we have here? The ultimate combination of freaked out psychedelic jamming with screams of madness, that's what. We are talking what Isaac Hayes and The Bar-Kays did with the face melting 'Do Your Thing'. Or when Del Jones goes deep into the abyss with 'Cold Turkey'. Or John L's pleas for help on 'Flowers Must Die'. We are talking goosebump inducing insanity of the highest order. It's hyper, intense, chaotic, and scary. I almost want to give this 4.5 because of it. I probably will one day. Maybe a proper reissue will unearth similar recordings... Oh we can dream can't we?

Personal collection
LP: 1970 Paramount

Never reissued legally, though the original LP can still be had for a reasonable sum. A gem in the rough if there ever was one.

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