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Norris Vines and the Luvlines

 Norris Vines and the Luvlines - Give In / Feel the Warm - 7

Give In / Feel the Warm - 7"
Smile - 1976

Michael Panontin
Here is a vinyl dweeb's enigma if ever there was one. Norris Vines and the Luvlines' honey-dripping floor-filler must easily be the Canadian holy grail for modern soul collectors, but with the dearth of information out there in cyberland, little is known about the man or the record. The hugely sought-after 'Give In' has sold well into the four figures, hardly a surprise I guess given the record's rarity, those mellifluous arrangements and Vines' impassioned vocal, and of course the lengths to which soul obsessives will go to track down a coveted tune. Most sites give it a 1976 release date despite the "January 28th, 1977" stamped onto some copies. A Billboard issue from early February 1977 makes reference to the "already released" single, but lists the slower 'Feel the Warm' as the a-side and the up-tempo 'Give In' as the flip.

Even more frustrating is a March 2006 posting to the Soul Source site by a mysterious Canadian collector named Kevin who writes, "Just got a call from Norris and will be meeting him for an interview at my place late today. Doesn't have his record...but says he's stocked with videos, tapes of their awesome live shows...and pics of the band. All but one member of the band is alive and well." And though there seems to be no trace of that interview anywhere on the Net, the same fellow popped up a month later with a signed copy for sale - on behalf of Vines himself! - for the princely sum of $1650US.

Vines seems not to have had much of a recording career after 'Give In', but the crusty old veteran can still be heard up in the Barrie area north of Toronto fronting his Norris Vines Trio at the odd small town jazz and blues fest.

(And for those of us on a budget, both sides were reissued on the Canadian Soul Tribe label and are readily available for under 10 bucks.)

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