This is the first full length album from Nat Turner Rebellion who were an early 1970's Philly Soul band who broke up before they completed their debut album. The band are named after the Rebellion Nat Turner led in 1831 in Virginia against his slave owners, he was eventually caught and executed. This album takes the bands singles and demos and any other recordings that could be found in the archives in Pennsylvania to let crate digging rare groove soul boy's wet dreams come true for this year's record store day.
From the opening bars of Laugh To Keep From Crying they bring the soulful funk and are ready to get down and dirty on a brass strewn dance floor as the message comes through loud and clear to join the struggle and help everyone through to some better days.
Tribute To A Slave has a bit of a Rotary Connection style sound to it with full on brass begging forgiveness and redemption for the Slaves that the original Nat Turner tried to free from there chains that combines super serious lyrics with super funky dance music.
Can't Go On Living is a lovers ballad that could easily be by The Stylistics or The Impressions it's pleading but not begging for her to come back with some loved up strings to woo her back.
Care is about that talk a husband and wife have about when to have a first child and how to Care and provide for it and of course that conversation never goes how it should, this is wonderfully full of reflections on one of the hardest questions in any relationship, they also ask how you can bring a kid into the world at a time like this, which almost 40 years later seems a really pertinent question still.
Fruit of the Land takes us strutting back onto the dance floor for some full on spinning and jumping to this super funky tune that really needs a full on Soul Train dance routine to go with it, with some special moves for the bongo breakdown before it starts to re-work the rolling on the river part of Proud Mary into the tune.
Love, Peace & Understanding does re-order the phrase and gets down and funky to bring us all some good vibrations and love in a Crusaders kind of way.
Plastic People it a nice disco floor filler to the vapid and less than real people you meet and any song with a chorus of "Watch Out freaks are on there way" will always get me smiling.
McBrides Daughter takes us back into Contours territory as they tell us about how much they want to love McBrides Daughter and manage to make it sound like the theme song to an early 1970's film as the girl of the title walks through the streets of Philadelphia.
Never Too Late for you to tell someone you love them and once you do well you won't want to stop now will you this is again feels like Rotary Connection but with male vocals.
Fatback has a great Blaxploitation feel to it, but are they paying tribute to a film or to the leader of the Fatback band or a woman with the Fatback they desire, either way this is funky funky funky horn mania that will get you dancing around in no time at all.
Getting Higher Together is the tune to light up a big one and pass it around, even if that's no longer allowed, so all light up together and get down and start to notice just what bits of this song turn up decades later in an Issac Hayes song on the South Park soundtrack as we all get higher and higher together.
Going In Circles is a slow soul stirrer that could have been made by Harold Melvin And The Bluenotes as they let her know how much they love her and want her.
The Download card has a couple of bonus tunes the first of which is Right On We're Back that's a great funky slice of dance floor fun with a message thrown in for good measure on this very James Brown sounding tune.
The second bonus tune is Ruby Lee who was apparently Nat's first love and this sound like they have re-worked and made a far funkier version of what became Minnie Ripperton's Loving You although of course it would be the other way round as I believe this was recorded first.
If you love obscure lost funk records find out more at https://orgmusic.com/releases/nat-turner-rebellion-laugh-to-keep-from-crying/