Label : Myrrh
Great bit of funky work from First Gear – a soul group led by Larnelle Harris, a heck of a soulful singer, with a sound that should have made him much bigger than he was. Of course, part of his limitations came from the fact that First Gear were a religious-oriented group – not really gospel, or Christian, but righteous and positive in their message – and they recorded only two albums for the Myrrh subsidiary of Christian recording powerhouse Word, Inc. Forget the church roots of the music, though, because even a close listen won’t really pull out that much Jesus-speak here – as the group are pretty focused on laying down funky soul, in an ensemble mode that has Harris on lead vocals, and the rest of the group jumping in on the chorus tracks. Backing is in sort of an Average White Band sort of style. This is also a good place to start the hunt for First Gear’s fantastic debut album from 1972.
First Gear Featuring Larnelle Harris – Baked Bean Jam
By Electric Looser