Much like Bob James and David Axelrod, soul and more specifically soul vocals are a right of passage for most sample based producers. Soul samples offer a great mix of break and melody. They are also fairly easy to chop up, loop and layer over drums. Everything is there in a good soul track. The break, the stab and perhaps most importantly a beautiful melodic voice over it all. When I started my progression from sample packs to sourcing and chopping my own samples it was as most things have been for me, a process of trial and error. As I am sure most new sample based producers found out in those early stages I found that soul and again more specifically female soul vocalists really lend themselves to the beginner. They are easy on the ear and are relatively simple to find breaks and sections that work well as loops.

A strange thing happens though. As you progress and really carve out your own style and sample sources you find yourself signing and humming lines from those early tracks. More and more you go back and listen, re-listen and seek out more. Shit, my most recent purchase on vinyl was the Stax & Volt – Sirens & Vamps album. Not to lift any samples from (note: I am far from being above that) but just to see if there was that one new track that I would add to my library and keep in the ever growing rotation. For me there are few things musically better than a female vocalist hitting all the right notes accompanied by great soul or funk based backing band. That said, can you guess what kind of music this edition of Nocturne Records Podcast features?

That’s right, some of my favorite female soul gems from over the years. I had to fight the urge to make this podcast the Bettye Swann hour. I would highly recommend listening to the aptly titled album Bettye Swann released on Honest Jon’s Records, every track is a killer. This podcast however, features a mix of slower soul tracks that are for the most part closer to blues than funk. There is a crazy amount of music that could qualify for the title female soul so it was quite a task just to narrow down the selections on this mix. Hope you enjoy.
Play it on mixcloud below, get it in iTunes or download it directly here.

Track Listing:
01 Big Maybelle Smith – If I Had You
02 Ann Peebles – Steal Away
03 Theola Kilgore – I Can’t Stand It
04 Betty Harris – Nearer to You
05 Jean Plum – I Love Him
06 Candi Stanton – I’m Just a Prisoner Of Your Good Loving
07 Mable John – Shouldn’t I Love Him
08 Barbara Mason – Oh How It Hurts
09 Bettye Swann – (My heart is) Closed for the Season
10 Irma Thomas – Ruler of my Heart
11 Ann Peebles – Until You Came Into my Life
12 Fontella Bass – To Be Free
13 Quiet Elegance – Do You Love Me
14 Ann Peebles – Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness
15 Betty Wright – Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do
16 Bettye Swann – Then You Can Tell Me

Nocturne Records Podcast – Soul Sisters by Josh Furey on Mixcloud

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