As far as soul tunes go, this has that ‘something’ unusual about it, something that sets it apart, and this is what reeled me in. It’s been four days without a song!! Four long and painful days of searching, but the LP Blog has struggled to find that which stirs the old ear receptors! Luckily, Brenton Wood’s haunted soul ballad, Trouble, sparked some well-needed sonic therapy!
Issued in 1967 on the California label, Double Shot records, Trouble was the b-side to his hit single, It’s Just A Game, Love. I’ve not listened to much of his other music if I’m honest, because a lot of what I’ve heard is more down the straight-cut soul line, and I’m just not a big soul head! Trouble, on the other hand, takes you down a less-trodden and rather dark-tinged avenue which, with its contrasting and more sunnier section, offers a very intriguing contrast. I like how the two parts mingle and I likes its edginess.
For those who are not familiar with Alfred Jesse Smith, better known as Brenton Wood, he was a singer-songwriter and musician whose career spanned over several decades (on and off). Californian-born, he began writing and releasing music in the early 1960’s, learning the piano and taking inspiration from the likes of Jesse Belvin and Sam Cooke. He issued a few singles in 1963/64 which initially failed to chart, but in the summer of 1967 he released what was to become one of his biggest hits. Gimme Little Sign hit No. 9 on the pop chart, No. 19 on the R&B charts, No. 2 on KHJ, and No. 8 in the UK Singles Chart. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc!! This song took him into far-reaching realms and his career took a turn for the better after this.
Aside from his song writing and musicianship, Wood was also labelled as a music entrepreneur and in 1972 he formed his own record label. From here he released, co-produced and co-wrote the very smooth funk soul classic, Sticky Boom Boom to cold Part I & II, On this track he teamed up with collaborators George Semper (co-producer, arranger) and Al McKay (co-writer, performer) of Earth, Wind & Fire fame. This was one song that I actually knew of his, but have never known who did it!!..until now!! I’ve also had his rendition of Psychotic Reaction recommended to me and, as far as covers go, I like it!! He definitely adds another dimension to this song with his cool vocal work! Brenton Wood has a really cool voice and Trouble really flaunts it! Listen above.