Rudy Got Soul: The Early Beverley's Sessions 1963-1968
Released: Aug 2009
The "Early" in this 46-song double disc's title basically means "before 'Israelites'" -- which is to say, before Dekker's immortal 1969 hit introduced Jamaican rhythms to American audiences. The half-decade of recordings here shows him graduating from brass-crazed ska to relaxed-harmony rocksteady, from giving children lessons on honoring their parents to celebrating rude-boy delinquents, from calling his girl Dracula to denying he's a nincompoop. And despite some unexpected hints of gospel and funky blues, his falsetto stays rooted in the most otherworldly doo-wop throughout.