Founded by Eric Foss, the Minneapolis, MN-based label Secret Stash Records has focused on compiling and reissuing obscure 60s and 70s soul, African and Latin music. As Foss has explained “It’s really about putting a light on stuff that never really broke through.” However, the label has begun to release new, original material from many of the same forgotten talents, including Sonny Knight and the Lakers, Wanda Davis, The Valdons and others, continuing the soul music renaissance that folks like Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields, and others have started some time ago.
Now if you’ve followed this site over the last few months you would have come across a couple of posts on Sonny Knight and the Lakers – and in one particular post, I made a reference to the Minneapolis, MN-based soul act, The Valdons. That act’s founding members, Monroe Wright and Maurice Young had seen their music and their careers revitalized after Secret Stash released their compilation of Minneapolis, MN-based soul titled Twin Cities Funk and Soul as well as several singles during the year.
Originally written in 1971 and recently recorded “Just How Much Can One Man Stand” is a soulful and pleading ballad that bears a resemblance to The Chi-Lites’ “Have You Seen Her?” but with a denser series of arrangements. In fact, the interplay between think bursts of organ chords, bass chords, angular guitar chords and earnest vocals evoke sensuality and a very masculine vulnerability and need – the sort that seems uncommon in contemporary pop music. Throughout the song, the song’s narrator is pleading with his lover to come back so they could work things out; of course, done in dramatic old school style.
The folks at Secret Stash are releasing The Valdons “Just How Much Can One Man Stand” as part of a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. The A side is the modern recording of the song while the B side reveals a long lost demo of the song, recorded in 1971. And of course, coming across a demo can offer a rather revealing look into the artists’ songwriting process.