Darrell Banks "Don't Know What To Do b/w My Love Is Reserved"
When it comes to sixties soul music, Memphis vs. Detroit equals raw vs. smooth, gritty vs. slick, down-home vs. uptown, right? At least that's the received wisdom. So how do you explain these two polished yet gut-wrenching tracks, originally released on the Memphis-based Stax/Volt label, by Detroiter Darrell Banks. You can start by throwing that tired Detroit-vs.-Memphis cliché right out the window. As it turns out, the 1969 LP on which "Don’t Know What to Do" and "My Love Is Reserved" appears beneted from a bit of the magic of both cities. Banks's "Here to Stay" album was, like much other Stax/Volt material of the time, ironically enough, recorded at Detroit's legendary United Sound studios, with a star-studded roster of Detroit talent chipping in: The great producer Don Davis (who’d previously worked with Banks on the hit “Open the Door to Your Heart” for Detroit’s Revilot label), hired many months earlier by Stax to Detroitify its sound, helmed the sessions; bandleader-organist Rudy Robinson contributed arrangements; local board whiz Ed Wolfrum engineered; Steve Mancha and the Brothers of Soul’s Fred Bridges and Richard Knight wrote these two songs; and presumably those are some of the Funk Brothers playing, augmented by what sound like Memphis horns. The results speak for themselves: moody, punchy, relentless, with a fully produced but rough-hewn beauty to the backing that’s just a perfect match for the deep soulfulness of Banks’s voice.