Diamond Street Players - How Many Lies, How Many Times / Organ Workout

Diamond Street Players - How Many Lies, How Many Times / Organ Workout

Recently Retro Reviews: Diamond Street Players - How Many Lies, How Many Times / Organ Workout

Gemco – GEM-5009 

Release Year: 2019

Hello, and welcome to the first review of the OSA Recently Retro Reviews. This series looks at jazz, instrumental hip hop, and soul revival releases from the past 20 years or so that barely made a splash when they came out, or were overshadowed by a bigger, more successful project that got all of the promo focus at the time… it happens. That’s capitalism. But no matter what the circumstances were, I found the records I’m reviewing here in a cutout bin instead of an RSD release schedule. 

My intention here is not to review the record, per se. I’ve done your standard music reviews as an item presented to me by an editor with a deadline, required word count, contextual links… blah, blah, blah. It’s not much fun for either the reviewer or the reviewed. The one time I wrote a rather scathing review, I regretted it. Just because I didn’t get it when I listened to it under those conditions shouldn’t have reflected what I wrote about the artist or their art. Hastily passing judgment over something someone put their time, money, energy, and love into made me feel like shit, especially when I revisited the music at a later time when I had the time to really listen. In that instance, I heard the artist and appreciated what I had missed the first go-round. That was a hard lesson learned, and I will never write reviews under those precarious, draconian conditions again.

So, what makes these reviews different, you ask? With the internet providing opportunities to preview damn-near everything before buying it, it makes my experience digging through sale racks completely rewarding with no missteps. It also gives me opportunities to show my appreciation for the music and to its creators by telling you what it was about the music that made me want to buy the record and say something to you about it in the first place. If you’re into the whole brevity thing… all killer, no filler.

Let’s begin.

Gemco is a soul revival label much in the same vein as Daptone and Colemine, and I’m familiar with their sound… having picked up the full-length Charles Walker & the Dynamites Love Is Only Everything last year. I dug that release so much, the label name and logo is something I keep an eye out for when I’m perusing the physical sale racks and virtual cutout bins online. I frequent a local record chain in Washington state called Silver Platters, and as luck would have it, that label reared its head there again. They were the store where I found that Charles Walker record aforementioned almost a year ago, so my hopes were high that the Diamond Street Players would be equally as soulful and engaging. 

It’s no secret I love older music, and the soul / funk revival releases from the past 30 years are something I appreciate as much if not more so. I’m happy to say the Diamond Street Players record did not disappoint, and I’m already eyeing a copy of their full-length LP to purchase. If you’re into that new-old sound, it’s close to a no-brainer. What should be known up front about this track before you go putting in your Discogs wantlist is it’s a thinly veiled protest song reflecting the political unrest of 2019. It’s not as direct as, say, CSN&Y’s “Ohio”... which is good. Since it’s not overly overt, people who disagree with the context probably won’t think twice about it if it’s not brought to their attention. The song’s construction and production are period-correct and groovy. The b-side is a funky organ combo instro that’s not bad. Overall, this overlooked soul-revival record deserves to sit next to your Soul Fire & Daptone 45s. The Diamond Street Players, as well as the Gemco label as a whole, have earned it. 





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