It’s not necessarily musical snobbery to prefer more obscure artists. For every stone cold classic, there are at least two that overuse has dulled. Either as a way of leavening cheaply put together television, adding gravitas to advertising or simply through constant radio play, fantastic music can get worn thin. It’s a shame that sometimes you can’t hear as superlative a piece of music as ‘Heroes’ without thinking of a thousand reality TV end-of-series montages.
Garnet Mimms has the advantage of not being on the mainstream of Motown and so not spoiled by overexposure. He also has the advantage of having made some of the most upbeat, warm and soulful music you maybe haven’t heard. His signature track, ‘Cry Baby’, is probably better known in versions by other artists (including, regrettably, Janis Joplin), but it is only in his hands that it has the heartcracking violence. Swinging into the chorus, Mimms seems to tear through the track, into something almost obscene. His voice has warmth and expression in spades, allowing him to take on the many moods and tropes of Motown records with equal quality. Enjoy the tracks below.
Bonus points for having a backing band called the Enchanters.
‘As Long As I Have You‘ – A fantastic up-tempo number that mixes a great range of instruments. Mimms’ voice has real poise and presence here.
‘It’s Been Such A Long Way Home’ – A belting torch song, touching, like Cry Baby, on lovers returning to your life.