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Hand picked records important to the history of Soul Strut.

Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul - Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul

  • Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul

    Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul LP (1973)

    GSF Records

Ranked #99 in the Soul Strut 200

Washington D.C.'s Sir Joe Quarterman and his band Free Soul were hot on the scene in 1872 with their locally released 45 "(I've Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind."  R&B Lloyd Price was so impressed he signed the group to a one album deal to his GSF label (an ABC Paramount subsidiary).  The result was a politically charged raw funk masterpiece.   Highlights include the nasty wah grooves of "I Feel Like This", the cathartic "Give Me Back My Freedom," and the previously released aforementioned track "(I've Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind".  The album is also notable for its unique hand drawn artwork.  The passage below was written on the Soul Strut message board.

There's a neat little story behind the artwork for this album. Lloyd Price was a friend of Joe's and when he first heard the 45 of "So much trouble," released on D.C.'s local Mantis Records, he immediately signed Joe for a one-album release on GSF. 

Lloyd asked Joe for some ideas for the cover artwork. Joe was in his car with one of his kids, and together he made a sketch of what he envisioned the cover to look like. He then submitted his sketch to the art director of GSF, hoping that he'd use it as inspiration to do something nice.

Weeks later, when the record was released, Joe was shocked to see that the art director had used his sketch unaltered. He was told that the art director liked it as it was - but my guess is that he was simply too lazy and not too enthusiastic about the album, which is why he just used what he got from Joe. At the time, Joe wasn't really happy about it - but today, he's proud of the cover because it is his own work and it's quite different.

The band would later release a couple 45s on the Mercury label.  While a modest success, they that did not match the intensity of their debut. The GSF album later became a cult classic ("So Much Trouble" was even on the Grand Theft Auto video game series) encouraging the band to reform in the 00s and tour Europe.

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