Vocalist Bob Brady sounds so damn close to Smokey Robinson that, when hearing his records for the first time, many have had their minds blown to the fact that this isn’t Smokey himself. Hailing from Baltimore, Bob Brady & The Con Chords cut quite an impression as a popular live act around the Maryland/ Washington DC area, and seemed poised for stardom when their records received national distribution. Sadly, the group never had that elusive hit, although their records have been massive on the UK northern soul scene since the 1970s.
One of the quintessential figures of the girl group sound, Lesley Gore released several impressive records showcasing the sweetness of her vocals. However, when she teamed up with producer Quincy Jones, she cut one hell of a tough side in the masterpiece that is “No Matter What You Do”. A superb song in and of itself, it’s Quincy’s production, here, that takes a great song and sends it completely over the top. Over an incredibly dense track full of fuzz guitar, heavy drumming, horns and hypnotizing, downright zombie-like backing vocals, Lesley delivers an outstanding vocal that cuts through the mix and demands attention.
‘Trypt On Love’ is a superb, little heard gem with a title that’s pure late ’60s with a tongue in cheek play on words that takes a simple love lyric and throws in some LSD double entendre. The flip side (which was actually promoted as the A side) is a red-hot version of Sly & The Family Stone’s classic which was VERY new when Wakefield Sun cut their version. And though “Trypt On Love” has long enjoyed a hefty amount of spins in the northern soul community throughout the years, there was very little information about this band available on the web. However, when I originally posted it on my Daily 45 blog, back in 2009, the drummer left a comment saying the group hailed from Long Island.
(Derek See is a Bay area based musician who plays guitar with The Bang Girl Group Revue, Joel Gion & Primary Colours, and occasionally makes records on his own with The Gentle Cycle.)