James Carr: "The Complete Goldwax Singles"

"One of the greatest pure vocalists that deep Southern soul ever produced, James Carr is often mentioned in the same breath as Otis Redding, Percy Sledge, and Aretha Franklin in terms of the wrenching emotional power in his delivery. Or at least he is by hardcore soul aficionados; despite producing several classic R&B singles and some of the most intense country-soul ever waxed, Carr never achieved the pop crossover success that could have made him a household name, and his material wasn't always as distinctive as that of Stax artists like Redding or Sam & Dave."

"Carr finally hit in 1966 with the country-soul ballad "You Got My Mind Messed Up," a Top Ten R&B hit that earned him comparisons to Otis Redding. It kicked off the prime period of Carr's recording career, and among his next few singles was his clear-cut masterpiece "Dark End of the Street." ~ www.allmusic.com

Russell Smith: "The End Is Not In Sight"
"Returning to his solo career after over a decade spent as a Music Row songwriter, former Amazing Rhythm Aces singer Russell Smith released The End Is Not in Sight for Rick Hall's new Muscle Shoals imprint in 2002. Smith's familiar baritone growl, one of the most distinctive blue-eyed soul instruments of the '70s, sounds as good as ever throughout this album, and Mark Hall's production wisely avoids the temptation to make Smith sound like either the Dixie Chicks or Uncle Tupelo. Placed side by side with the Amazing Rhythm Aces' classic '70s records, it's hard to tell which is the new record."
~ www.allmusic.com