(Photo by Andy Tennille)
Odyssey Five’s performance last Saturday, as part of the Crossroads Concert Series at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, is the very reason one gets into the “business” of prying into the lives and related legacies of our state’s musical veterans. Only teenagers when they recorded their lone LP, First Time Around, for Brunswick Records in 1975, the ladies of Odyssey Five are far more familiar with these songs today than they were when the lyrics sheets were shoved into their hands by producer Alonzo Tucker some 35 years ago. Time has also been kind to the voices of Odyssey Five, taking on a far more mature and finessed timbre in the intervening decades. Retro-upstart Ronnie Levels and his Genius Band, having cold-called Carolina Soul with the question: “Why doesn’t someone around here organize a soul revue?” were given the mandate to become part of the solution, and rose to the occasion. We hope this is the beginning of not just beautiful things for Odyssey Five and Ronnie Levels, but other Carolina Soul combos wishing to get a little more mileage out of their catalogs. We have proven that there is both a platform and an audience for this type of affair, and hope that Saturday’s time-machine talent show is the first of many.