southern soul blues
I began writing reviews for this site from 2005 thru 2008. I stopped writing reviews due to a potential conflict of interest since I started running the label CDS Records (includes Aviara Music, Benevolent Blues) that produced Southern Soul Blues. It really began in earnest in 2007. We didn't write any reviews for any albums we put out for obvious reasons. That label still exists today but just barely. We only release a couple albums a year anymore. I still don't write full reviews of these albums but for our "Annual Best Of" lists that we just completely redid from scratch (we finally finished today 4/8/18) I do give my honest and what I believe objective opinion on any of ours that may be listed from 2007 to the present. The lists actually go back to 2003 well before any label.
I found compiling these lists grueling and time consuming but my conscience is clear. I/we agonized over what to include. Yes, "we". My Blues Critic colleagues critiqued the lists and debated with me on which albums to include. We believe it was important to get those lists right. I feel I/we have achieved objectivity or as close to it as humanly possible. Otherwise every album we released would be on the lists and most are not. Yes most did not make those "Annual Best Of" lists and none reached the top spot. The vast majority in fact didn't make the cut. Still, we are proud of the ones that didn't make it. There simply were other albums that were better. This despite the fact we released between 10-13 albums each year from 2007 to 2014. No one but indomitable Ecko Records came close to that release schedule. So, odds are that some of those that we released were worthy to be on those lists and so they are. I decided to treat each album as if it were released by Ecko, Malaco or any other label. We possibly were too cautious and conservative about our own stuff to be blunt! Still as a music fan/critic I felt I had to say something about the potential conflict of interest one might suspect because some of our albums are on those lists. Bottom line is we listened to every album including ours as the music fans and critics we are and that's what these lists reflect. We are very proud of them and feel they are accurate. The integrity of this website is more important than any record label, even our own.
Cheers, Dylann DeAnna 4/8/2018 (edited 4/9/18)
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