The Folkstudio Singers was a gospel band that had a good fortune in Italy during the 60's. Their name is taken from a club in Trastevere (a neighborhood in the heart of Rome) called Folkstudio, owned by an afromerican painter and musician called Harold Bradley. The basement used to be Bradley's studio, and in little time it became a place of underground artists, musicians and painters. The attention of the club was oriented towards american folk and blues music. Even a young Bob Dylan played here in 1962.
Harold Bradley at the Folkstudio
In the second half of the 60's the Folkstudio Singers were formed. Soon they recorded an album and in little time they were in television shows backing famous italian singers such as Mina and Milva.
Their first album is Shak-a-Lak in 1966 (Company Discografica Italiana) and the 11 tracks are simply amazing, a mix of gospel, r&b, traditional folk and blues. The power and control of the voices covers the lack of instruments used in the album (guitar, percussion and piano) and the result is excellent also considering that gospel wasn't that popular as a genre in Italy at that time.
The Folkstudio Singers are:
Clebert Ford (guitar/voice)
Eddie Hawkins (voice)
Jesse Hawinks (voice)
Archie Savage (voice)
Llew Trotman (Bass, bongo, tambourine)
Billy Ward (piano/voice)