The Four Mints – 1973 – Gently Down Your Stream
Gently Down Your Stream marked a creative zenith within the Columbus, Ohio, soul scene, at the juncture of the 1960s and ’70s. The Four Mints were one of the most influential local group harmony outfits of their era and—with assistance from Columbus doyen and Capsoul purveyor Bill Moss—among the few to release a full length LP. The roster of backing musicians hired to provide aural landscaping reads like a Midwest super-group, with surprising appearances from Indianapolis-based vibraphonist Billy Wooten and drummer Bobby Allen of the Fabulous Originals from Dayton, Ohio.
And though most of the material on 1973’s Gently had been previously released as 45s, the collection—five singles and one priceless track saved from the scrap heap—gives witness to a world-class vocal quartet at its professional and intuitive peak. Under the watchful eye of arranger and mega-talent Dean Francis, the Four Mints pour forth from your speakers soulful, faithful and clear, but perhaps more importantly, intrinsically homegrown and utterly honest.
A1 You’re My Desire 3:20
A2 Row My Boat 3:58
A3 Why Did I Go 3:49
A4 Do You Really Love Me 4:30
B1 Too Far Gone 2:03
B2 You’ll Want to Come Back 2:38
B3 Keep On Loving You 3:26
B4 In a Rut 2:52
B5 Can’t Get Strung Out 3:12
B6 They Were Wrong 4:35
This is another marvelous vintage soul treat, rediscovered and reissued by the Numero Group label. If you’ve heard the “Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label” compilation from Numero, then you HAVE heard this talented group; they had 3 songs on that collection.
The Four Mints did indeed record for the Capsoul label, but only released five singles in their recording career. The label deemed that enough material for a full album, thus they put out “Gently Down Your Stream” in 1973, the band’s — and the label’s — one and only LP! For this CD reissue, those diligent crate-diggers at Numero found “one brilliant song saved from the cutting room floor” along with some rehearsal versions of two songs from the album, taken from the archives of one of Capsoul’s main songwriters. It’s not a long album in terms of minutes, but the quality of the material is strong.
If you are a fan of 1960s and 1970s soul music and haven’t heard the Four Mints before, you are in for a real treat. This Columbus, Ohio group had a sweet soul sound that reminds me of classic soul acts such as The Impressions and the Miracles, with a bit of Chi-Lites in the mix too. In other words; these guys could sing!
The CD comes with an 8-page booklet that includes a short history of the group and a lineup of the members and musicians who played on these songs. Another very satisfying reissue from Numero Group that will surely satisfy soul fans.