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 star t 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" appeared benefited 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 per fect match for the deep soulfulness of Banks's voice.

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