Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Knights 5 + 1 - On The Move (1967)

Of all the rediscoveries from the Justice Records library, the Knights 5+1 are one of the most rewarding, a sophisticated multi-racial rhythm-and-blues sextet with a professional veneer to their playing and three qualified lead players (Wilfred Wilson on sax, Ronnie Cook on lead guitar, and Bing McCoy on the organ). The Knights 5+1 had a great lead singer whose name, alas, hasn't lasted in the memory to be passed down to us today. They were based in the area around Charlottesville, Virginia, and undoubtedly played a lot of clubs and dances there-this is one band that would've been worth seeing more than once, and not just for r&b history buffs and oldies fanatics.

The Knights 5+1 were not only a completely professional band, in contrast to virtually all of the rest of the Justice Records roster, but they were good songwriters as well, based on the evidence of the title track and a pair of additional instrumentals interspersed among the covers of "In the Midnight Hour," "Mustang Sally," "Land of a Thousand Dances," and "Try Me." Their influences included rock & roll and gospel as well as R&B, and they must've held audiences at the University of Virginia and other venues spellbound when they weren't up dancing to the group's music.

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