This blog section is usually reserved for referencing things of a literary nature rather than music media. However, keen to make an exception here for some news that may interest readers who are fans of blues and soul from the south eastern states of the US.
"Little Al" and the Maxidynes may be a familiar name to rare soul fans for a particular Shell 45 label release from the 1960s. Well... "Allen" McLaurin has recently brought out a new CD "Long Time Coming". I heard about this project via Van Coble, bass player for the Tempests, and Nat Speir, co-founder of the Rivieras. Nat and Van have worked on numerous recording projects over the years. Indeed, I'll be referring to much of this in the upcoming Tempests book - but that's another story. Here, their collaboration with Allen in 2017 has led to the release of a CD on Van's own label, Jovan Records. Will let the liner notes do the talking:
"....Allen McLaurin is a soul and blues singer, songwriter - and former professional bowler. As a teenager while working at Fairlanes in Charlotte, North Carolina, Allen wrote a song called "300 Game" which impressed his manager there so much he introduced him to a Mercury A&R man. Seventeen year old Allen was flown to Nashville to record the song in 1959, but it was never released. The next few years produced more original records by "Lil Al" and his group the Maxidynes. UK northern soul and beach music fans are familiar with "Lonely Days of My Life", "Laugh Now Boy" and "Do Your Own Thing". Lil Al and the Maxidynes began in 1960 when Allen was invited to join the Flares of Gastonia. They needed a Hazel Martin soundalike for some gigs in the Charlotte area. Within a few months a new group was born. Allen performed with his group for 16 years. Now with his new CD "Long Time Coming" produced by Van Coble and Nat Speir, Allen is stretching out showing his mature soul, blues and ballad chops on a collection assembled for his versatile voice. Of special note are "Catfish Jumpin' ", "Bring it on Home", "Devil With the Red Dress" and Willie Dixon's "My Babe", plus New Orleans fare "Oo-poo-pa-doo", "Holy Cow" and "Something You Got". Now here is the rich and soulful voice of Allen McLaurin....."
"Long Time Coming" is available in CD format from Clyde Waller's store direct at $15 or mail order ($4 post within US, enquire for overseas):
Collectors Choice, 966 North Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis, N. C. 28083
Store opening Weds to Sat 11am-5pm. Phone (704) 932 1763.
There are also plans for the CD to be listed on ebay the near future.