Album: Various artists, Take Me to the River, (Kent)
Not a nerdy digest of the rare and the unreleased, but a straight down-the-middle survey of soul – one of the greatest musical movements ever – with three CDs of 75 songs from 1961 to 1977.
Most of the favourites are here, yet there are enough surprises to make each new visit an education as well as a delight. When you hear Al Jackson's rimshot enter on Otis's "Try a Little Tenderness", the magic works every time. Otis, James Carr, William Bell and Al Green get two tracks each, everyone else gets one.
Pick of the album: 'Cover Me' by Eddie Hinton: yes, white guys do have soul