Thursday, August 24, 2023

Brothers Unlimited - Who's For The Young (1970 us, remarkable soul funk psych, 2008 edition)

This group of musicians and vocalist came to together in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968, with a unique live sound blending funk, soul, rock, funkadelic, and smooth vocals. The group was organized by John "Kousi" Harris from Pensacola, Fl., formerly of the group J Robinson and The Dynamics who recorded on the MALA label, and Jerry Jones a local Memphis Vocalist. Curtis Johnson, and brother Harold "Quake" Johnson had formerly been members of The Chips/Astors, that recorded with Stax Records.

The musicians had been playing locally with several groups, when John and Jerry had and idea to join these different talents to create a new sound. The group was self managed, with Curtis doing the booking and creating tours throughout Memphis night clubs, and on the Florida, and Alabama Gulf Coast. The group also traveled north to the Michigan area, but spent most of their time in the lower south east. In 1970, the group produced (with Fame Records) and recorded an album that was released on the Capitol Records label, "Who's For the Young".

The Memphis Sound on acid" is how Brothers Unlimited's lone release has been billed by feverish vinyl collectors. The album was notoriously talked about back in the day due to its rarity, especially for being on a major label like Capitol records. As for the music, Brothers Unlimited consisted of veterans from the Muscle Shoals camp who blended funk, soul, and psych rock to a tee. Stand out cuts include tracks like the soulful title cut, the funkadelic-esque "Hey Little Rich Boy", and their cover of "Spoonful".
1. Who's For The Young? (Robert Owens) - 3:03
2. A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke) - 3:44
3. Got To Get Over (Robert Owens) - 2:53
4. Hey Little Rich Boy (Earl CAge Jr., Lieutenant Wilks, Robert Owens) - 3:33
5. Get Away (Robert Owens) - 2:49
6. Life Dreams Death (Robert Owens) - 5:40
7. Spoonful (Willie Dixon) - 3:33
8. Take Me Back (George Jackson, Larry Chambers, Melvin Leakes) - 2:09
9. What We Need Is Harmony (Robert Owens) - 2:48

Brothers Unlimited
*Curtis Johnson - Vocals, Percussion, Washboard 
*Harold Johnson - Vocals, Percussion 
*Harold "Quake" Johnson - Vocals, Percussion 
*Jerry Jones - Lead Vocals 
*Alvin Potts - Keyboards, Vocals 
*Lee Cox - Tenor Saxophone, Vocals 
*Ronald Echols - Baritone Saxophone, Vocals 
*Oscar Smith - Guitar, Vocals 
*Charles Alridge - Drums, Percussion, Vocals 
*Charles Allen - Trumpet, Vocals 
*Leon Alridge - Bass, Vocals 
*Larry Lee - Guitar, Vocals