Sunday, January 30, 2011
As many of us that have been digging through piles of soul, funk and blues from the 1950's until the mid 1980's for a long time, we're starting to feel like every stone has been turned and all the good stuff is already exposed. This is NOT true of course, but it does justify opening newer and alternate doors. Gospel is an epic oasis of great soul music. It's a mostly untapped chapter in soul and American rhythm and blues. It's been sitting patiently right along side commercial and pop offerings for as long as any us can remember. For me, it's been a great source of amazing stuff and I'm heading more and more in that direction.
This tune was in fact one of the very first gospel tunes that really opened me up. I sat in a empty three bedroom house, all alone, and grieving over the loss of a girlfriend. There I was shedding tears and realizing that the records surrounding me floor to ceiling couldn't exactly give me a hug. So, I learned a hard lesson at that young age, never place your obsessions for music, collecting or making music higher than your actual 'personal' connections with people. So it was for me. That's how it was. Record shows very early in the AM, on the phone talking about trading, hunting records down, trading at people's houses and then DJ'ing until 2am. Nothing wrong with all this mind you, but for me, I needed to apply the e-brake. But, in my moment of grieving, records did come to my aid. In particular I turned to the healing powers of Al Green. We all know he made 'make-up' music, but he was also the perfect author for 'break-up' music. Then, I flipped through a pile that I had picked up for free some where, just because they looked like they might be good. Harold Smith, The Violinaires, James Cleveland, Highway GC's, Rance Allen, and The Clark Sisters were all in this pile. All of them had the right components, similar to the funk records I was picking up, so why not?
I remember that 'Lord, Help Me To Hold' sunk deep into my chest with a potato sack full of truly moving soul. It's funky, that's a plus. Slow moving, heavy, thunderous soul music. When the singer (still not sure if it's James Cleveland or Harold Smith) comes in, it's in a commanding voice, sturdy and solid like a battle tank. This is exactly how I like my gospel...thick throated, a handful of soul claps and little tickle of B-3.
The Harold Smith Majestics - Lord, Help Me To Hold Out
Saturday, January 29, 2011
EXCLUSIVE WORLD PREMIER TRIBUTE TO
EDDY GRANT AND THE EQUALS
Time to make way for one of the absolute and undeniable kings of music in my eyes. Often a guy who is lesser known and perhaps never really received his 'due'. I'd put him up there with some of my all time favorite top cats, Arthur Lee or George Clinton, who, in my eyes, really made tracks in their own distinct directions. Eddy wasn't a complete lyrical genius like Arthur Lee, but he could craft a catchy pop tune out of a wet paper bag. He wasn't the founding father of psychedelic funk like George Clinton, but everything he did had a 'funky' edge, even his rock and roll is tuff, soulful and rythmatical. He had some kind of undeniable energy that made everything irresistibly charming and jump right out of the speakers into your lap. Many of his songs, whether they are bubble gum pop, skin head soul, reggae, garage punk, or plain ole rock and roll, they always have another edge to them, and are seriously chock full of potent energy. If there ever was undertones to music or something you could read between the lines it was with Eddy Grant. To me, his freedom to bounce in and out of so many genres made him an endlessly invaluable innovator. I think his only downfall was staying too much in one pocket, mostly being reggae, but somehow he made that work and made tons of money from it.
We all know what it sounds like to take a walk down 'Electric Avenue' but, his rich history is seemingly unknown. I had heard faint whispers online that somewhere someone was going to release a complete Eddy Grant compilation. I forget who it was...Soul Strut? Soul Jazz? Perhaps I will beat them to it here. But, it definitely needs to be accomplished. The man deserves to be known for what is really the bigger Eddy Grant picture
He proves my 'energy' theory with an extended rap sheet of other projects. Not only has he released a ton of other records recording under different names, he's produced so much and been in so many other groups, many of us, myself included are still trying to piece it all together. I will attempt to break the ice on this fascinating untold story. No pun (he was on Ice Records for a while) in tented there.
This may take 2, 3 or even 4 parts to tell his story and post the according tracks. But, in order to do it proper it will take time. The sheer magnitude of what he's done would probably be a 15 CD box set if you catch my drift. And, I'd like to avoid the attention of any copyright infringement issues with our insignificant offerings.
First up, right down to business, from the funky era we have The Equals 'Mystic Sister' from the LP of the same name. Its frightfully experimental with it's jarring, nails on a chalkboard, type of keyboard riff that sounds as though it's partially submerged under water. Yet, the feeling is resurrected with Eddy's powerful almost shouting chants and a few funky 'well, well, wells' thrown in for good measure. Head cracking drums and some early use of synthesisers round it out. One thing about the equals I should start out with is just how amazing they look throughout time. If you have an affinity for mixed race bands that are draped in 60's through 70's rags, then they're your band. With all the UK, European and Japanese singles that were released, you've got a treasure trove of killer looking covers to collect.
The Equals - Mystic Syster
The Equals - Diversion
Another one from the early days. Brought up from the deepest caverns of garage and punk rock history. 'My Life Ain't Easy' from their first LP. Hard ass drums and fuzz guitar that sounds as if it were recorded in a distant room. All the while with well put harmonizing backing vocals and Eddy screaming on top. There's some interesting things to look at when looking at the career of Eddy Grant and The Equals and the beginning releases. Released in the same year as Sly And The Family Stone's 'A Whole New Thing' one has to question just how ready the industry was to promote mixed race groups. In 1967 when it was released, the American version on Laurie had negative and positive exposures of their band picture, and the UK version on the President label had a strangely suspect and oddly 'colorized' looking picture of them. Makes me wonder what boundaries they encountered as a group in those early days. I'd love to interview Eddy at some point and get all of this info first hand.
The Equals - My Life Ain't Easy
|UK version released on President|
|US version on Laurie|
This next classic of his was reworked through several time periods. I've counted a total of 4 different versions of the same song. There may be more, but we'll highlight 2 of the best versions of 'Nobody's Got Time' for this special. This first version is from his very first self titled solo outing on Torpedo records. It's a different mix from the 7 inch version, which is killer as well, but this version is longer and just as lethal. I'll definitely rip the 7 inch soon, because it is jaw dropping heavy funk. It's a damn hard LP to find and really shows what potential he had. It's rock, it's funk, it's reggae, it's really all over the place. But, good and interesting throughout. This LP is a super big treat for y'all. I dug around quite a bit and couldn't find any of this ANYWHERE. So, I'm pretty sure it's a Soundboutique exclusive.
Eddy Grant - Nobody's Got Time (Torpedo LP version)
Then the later version released in 1980 on the 'Love In Exile' LP which became a classic in the loft classic, disco, and cosmic DJ crowds. The dub version of 'Nobody's' is still in great demand. Haunting vocals, sweeping atmosphere, strange keyboards, and the basis for an electro orgasm you can see why. I still prefer the vocal version, just because I am EG's biggest fan. You can't beat a harmonica solo right dab in the middle. You can also see how a dubbed version could cause your head to start to cave in. It's a lethal version later available by the Coach House Rhythm Section on a Ice Records 12 inch.
Eddy Grant - Nobody's Got Time (1980 version)
Eddy Grant - Stone Cold Cat (Torpedo LP version)
|Self Titled LP on Torpedo|
Friday, January 28, 2011
Here's a nice tough little jammie. I was playing this out quite a bit over the last year and felt it deserved a resurrection here. This tune is slammin' boogie funk at it's best. It's an epic tune as well, close to ten minutes in length bouncing back and forth from instrumental to vocal. The Floaters and Shu Ga have said to 'Make It Hot' and they have indeed done just that.
The Floaters are most well know for the chart topping 'Float On' in which they made the cheesy 'what's you sign?' rap a household skit. Rather, leaning into the mic with a deep baritone voice and stating your astrological sign. That song was parodied by everybody from Sesame Street to Cheech and Chong. Yum, a hamburger. A hamburger than gets on everything and everybody. Check it.
Originally from Detroit they started in the mid seventies and continued through the early eighties. They stemmed from the fantastic well know group the Detroit Emeralds. Even though they scored a major hit with 'Float On' they got pegged as 'one hit wonders' but, thankfully they kept right on floating on and gave us this killer LP. This LP 'Get Ready for the Floaters and Shu Ga' is from 1981. It's a little bit hard to find, and on the small indie label Fee-troit, but extremely well worth the hunt.
This tune was featured on a Truth Is Light edit, so this is also available for 10 to 12 bucks from those folks. Although, they edited it into a strictly instrumental version, and this vocal version is far more superior in my eyes.
This track seriously sizzles. If you're like me, you'll fall in love with it. When I first heard it, I had never heard something so tasty. Wicked. We hope that Soundboutique is your favorite disco spot just like they say in the song.
Straight up, not much else needs to be said other than this is my effin' jam.
The Floaters Feat. Shu-Ga - Make It Hot
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Update: Right before posting this I decided to re-edit both sides together. So, now you get part one and part two all in one track. I've never posted any of my edits. Not one single damn edit. So, this is a first for this blog. Maybe, there'll be more. But, I really couldn't just leave you with only this one side of this 45. I had to share the extended version. Or, rather make it an extended version. So, here you go..my first edit on the crappy Audacity program. Somebody get me Protools or Cubase PLEASE! Again, this is a true soundboutique exclusive just for you.
I was going to ask a contest question:
Who can tell me at what point the song is edited from part one to two?
(Hint: it's not where you would think it is)
But, two major problems arose with this contest question idea.
1. I have no prize.
2. I forgot where the edit is myself!
Well, so much for that idea. But, for the first official soundboutique edit, it's freakin' CLEAN. Brand new baby spankin' clean. So, clean in fact that it's better than the original studio edit where they punch in the backing vocals. Oh, well. If you can guess it (for example...like 1min43sec) and it's close, you may win something. Or, whoever is closest, still don't know what the prize would be...but, perhaps I can whip something up. Let's just say I'm proud of myself and leave it at that.
Vandales - Feeling Freaky (soundboutique edit)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Rad picture sleeve with them on the cover in the early morning mist, maybe in their school yard. Would kill to hear the story behind this one, and how they got to make this record. Teachers are rad. Teachers are rad. Teachers are rad. Especially if they help kids make reckkids!!!!
From the looks of the names they are dutch, but they're a cool looking diverse bunch. I love how Bass is Bas, Guitar is Gitaar, and if you want me to Zang you a tune, you'll soon learn I'm not the best Zanger. Reminds me of something out of 'I Love You Man' like, when I slappa da bas.
So, if you were in this band or had school mates that cut this record give me a call! I wanna talk to you. And, if you've never heard of these kids like me, take a listen to this number and see what these cool kids came up with. 'So when I try to change the subject......' La la la. I'm pretty sure it's like nothing you've ever heard before.
Now 'N - The Bomb
Monday, January 24, 2011
Mellaa - Free
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Well, it just so happened that during Xmas time my brother Andy was in town. He was over at my place and noticed some Coleman Hawkins records I had pulled aside for him. He had given me these records many years ago, and I promised I would give them back at last years Xmas gathering. We got down on our knees are flipped thru the whole pile looking for more Coleman Hawkins. Once I pulled aside a bunch of stuff he wanted I started finding a bunch of things I was looking for in the surrounding records. A few things I wasn't looking for, but was cool to see again. And, a few things I HAD been looking for. Well, it just so happened that I found my copy of this Odyssey LP. Ultimately I sent it to the LITA folks and it was confirmed that it was the cleanest copy they had all seen. My copy of this LP is a bit strange. It's actually a dutch issue of the LP and has that layer of gloss only on the front cover. This issue is surprisingly put out by Rare Earth Records which of course is another Motown subsidiary. The fact is has this protective layer of plastic built into the cover has protected it well over the years.
So, the moral of the story...flip through your own shit! You may have a goldmine right under your nose. Funny how if they weren't my records in that pile I would have gone through them in a heartbeat.
Cool, so now I get to see my copy on the cover of LITA's new compilation. And, they were nice enough to grace me with a few of their fine releases. So we'll give them a big shout and plug when this comp comes out and probably feature their future releases as well. Really nice folks over there and really quality releases on that label.
So, this tune by Odyssey was probably thee very first hippie soul or folk funk tune that I ever fell deeply in love with. It's simply a majestic and charismatic tune. So calm and gentle yet deep, funky and soulful. I think the first format I had this in was on 45. I had looped the first two or three measures and just played them over and over again. Still its a solid tune as a whole, delicious from start to finish. To me, this is what hippie soul and folk funk is all about. It's about something more seductive then just out right hard funk. It's about a positive or introspective message. It's tinged with just a hint of psychedelic flavor and often riding on the cusp of an acid trip. It's about the merge and harmony between rock and soul. A perfect hybrid developed and groomed right from the waves of late 60's and mid 70's AM radio. Bands Like Odyssey had a mixed race cast of characters and this particular outfit was comprised of several session players. Some of the singers went on to providing backing vocals for Ambrosia and Steely Dan. Odyssey didn't record anymore and this was their only release. Aside from having a 45 released of 'Our Lives..' this great group never hit the charts or made much of a name for themselves. However, in the rare groove and folk funk circuit this LP and this group are well loved. You can't get this LP for less than $150-200 these days and once this LITA comp drops.. expect that to hike the price up a bit. Some like this LP through and through, and at times I'm one of them. Most would agree that the stand out tracks are this one, and 'Battened Ships'. 'Ships' is a bit more of a modern groover with a big brass arrangement that almost sounds salsa inspired. It's definitely a dancer where as 'Our Lives...' is just mellow madness. Perhaps I'll put up 'Ships' when the compilation comes out, but I have a feeling there's going to be many good tracks to choose from.
For many of you familiar with this blog, you'll be well aware that I often meander in the categories section of things quite a bit. I assure you there is purpose behind my standings on this subject. In speaking about Odyssey over the last few weeks, many don't seem to know where to really put a group like Odyssey. Either people thought they were a rock group or a soul group. But, that just doesn't quite encapsulate their true sound. So, Hippie Soul or Folk Funk as a category opens up opportunity to explore more artist like this. Or, the desire to find more that sound like this. My Argument: If you ever handed me a record and I didn't know it..and you said it's perfect Hippie Soul..I'd ultimately know exactly what you meant and would buy it without listening to it. How do you know if you're a folk funk group? Well, like Odyssey, you're probably recording with choir like backing vocals and a vibes solo to boot. Then you go out to beach and shoot a trippy LP cover photo? The answer is...for crying out loud! You're a funkin' hippie group! I rest my case.
Odyssey - Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love
Saturday, January 22, 2011
The vibe and groove of this tune is lethal. Even with a lengthy guitar solo, which feels so dated and outdoor rock festival-ish, it still manages to kill me. If you know anything about my tastes, you'll know how much I love the imperfections in this singers English accent. It's not how you say it, so much as what you're actually saying. And, this song has a happy little positive message. Love it. Then it gets brutal, at about two and a half minutes in, they cave my head in with this synth and guitar thing. Sounds like they're showing Blue Oyster Cult what it really sounds like to be the cheer squad for Godzilla. Nice chanting vocals, goofy-but endlessly cool-lyrics and a mid-tempo groove. Great synthesiser action throughout, tasty flute, falsetto highlights, it all adds up to one tasty bowl of Blue eyed inspired Japanese Boogie funk. Stir it around a bit, let the miso mix with the tofu bits. You'll thank us for it.
Char - Shinin' You Shinin' Day
Friday, January 21, 2011
Far from being shite really. Here's a guy who seems to have 'Earth, Wind And Fire' trapped up in his chest and soul is oozing on every album.
This tune start out like the music from Kubrick's 'Clockwork Orange' and eclipses into the loveliest of hippie funkdom reaches a plateau of late night loft classiness. Amazing really, this tunes does my head in quite well. Just so freakin' lazy and cool yet so irresistibly funky.
From his 1976 'Hard Candy' LP this song was also used by Tata Vega for a disco version. Most seem to know her version, but have never even heard of poor ole Ned. Ned Doheny had 5 albums in total and was immensely popular in Japan and Europe. More so in Japan. Several of his LP's also were released in Japan at the same time as over here. Could also be why you can't find any of his joints on this side. All his shit was bought up long ago buy Japanese dealers and collectors. Nice work gang, early appreciation gets the worm. Got to respect that. This only further confirms my suspicions about Japanese groups being heavily influenced by soft rock and blue-eyed boogie. So true, that something in artists like Ned Doheny bled right into Japanese artists like Char. Wait, have I posted anything by Char yet? Ok, shit. I'll get right on that. (I actually went and checked) Ok, it looks like I haven't got to that yet..so, here's what I'm talking about... Char - Shining You, Shining Day on YouTube. But, it'll go up next. But, with artists like Char and Tatsuro Yamashita it's obvious to me, they are replicating this small but delicious genre or, short lived era of groove rock or soft rock soul music. I've heard the young kids these days calling it 'groovy' well, that's certainly true. Kind of funny to us old folks as 'groovy' could just about identify anything.
So, back to Ned. He's the king of shit like this. And, THIS song proves that shit. Whether he took a back seat to Boz Scaggs or Robert Palmer because the FM bandwidth in peoples brains was so narrow or he just didn't get play on radio at all...he still deserves major credit. Credit for making sweet music and doing his thing, which at any time was not immensely popular to be doing.
Mr. Black Dick himself, D.J. Harvey even threw kudos to him and reminded disco folks that before Tata there was Ned by playing him at his gigs. If you're looking for more interesting and groovy white guys and theme music for floating around the harbor in a yacht then check out Ned. But, make sure you're getting on the boat with shorts and Sperry Topsiders or just a white suit with no shirt on. Important.
Ned Doheny - Get It Up For Love
Thursday, January 20, 2011
BEWARE the image pictured above is NOT associated with this tune. This came out on a 45 only and was never released on an album. I used this pic because it was an actual picture of the whole band. Again, you will NOT find THIS tune on THIS LP. Every once in awhile, it pays to read the actual writing in my posts. Right?
The Faith Band - Riding High
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Success might have eluded them, but milestones are what they left us on all three of these LP's. They bounced around on a different label for each decade. 'Heartbeat' is a quality straight soul LP with stunning production but it most known for the tune 'Hey Boy Over There' which was also flipped by DJ Premier. It's a great soul LP produced in a very typical style for 68-71 in Los Angeles. Released on the Imperial label.
In 1971 Jimmie and Vella expanded and deepened their sound with 'Jimmie And Vella' released on Atlantic Records. They turned away from commercial stresses, explored more folky grooves and wrote about social issues and injustice. In 'Lord Abide With Me' they came with a heavy gospel and revolutionary feel. This 'self-titled' LP is a fine crafting and example of 'hippie soul' or 'folk funk'. At times laid back and delicate and at other times empowering, passionate and furious. Just a well rounded work.
They spent some time laying low and dabbling in various studio projects, writing a few things here and there but, mostly went unheard from. Back and ready for more in 1981 they had a fresh new sound and another attempt at a hit. Taking a chance with one of the biggest hit makers of the late 70's they recorded 'Song Painters'. There are several good tunes on here, but by far 'Be Fair To Me' is the best. With Barry White at the controls, the hit from the LP was no doubt going to be a disco tune. But, with the interesting disco arrangements Barry was trying with his late 70's Love Unlimited records it could be something really different. Indeed it was, hard to tell if that helped our happy couple out or not. The intro is so far from typical that it makes the main parts of the song stand out with their genius and diverse syncopation. The amazing strings and that use of multiple guitars! Dang, what is that? Acoustic, two on rhythm, one on the upbeat? It's pretty crazy, such a full and intricate production.But, a marvelous and somewhat rare song.
I will definitely get around to posting tracks from the first two LP's. But, for now I wanted to share this fine tune 'Be Fair To Me' (also, I couldn't find my copy of the 1971 LP) and the others will come soon. One of these days when I'm more organized you'll see a more complete exposure of an artist like Jimmie and Vella and that'll be sweet, but for now you'll have to track them down on your own.
Just maybe you'd never heard of Jimmie and Vella before?
'Jimmie And Vella Cameron - Be Fair To Me'
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Let me say that picking one tasty tune from so many good ones was difficult. Especially when you start opening your ears to the gospel soul and funk sound. But, I'm digging and searching for more and more gospel these days. The good news is that now I've dug a few things up, you'll see (Or, hear rather) more posts on this genre. Perhaps I'll do a gospel Sunday regular thing.
Not only did I want to post a gospel tune when I woke up on Sunday, but I've been meaning to check out a church right here in a local neighborhood. The plan is for the family to check it out this upcoming Sunday.
I also wanted to pay respects and acknowledge Martin Luther King Day. It was a pleasure to do homework with my daughter this week. It was a huge project about MLK and it was a joy to see her open that door to an important page in history. She's really lights years from that experience and how important it has been for many of us. But, to chip away the ice and make it fresh and relevant to her was a pleasure and important challenge. So, how does it sound for Soundboutique to pay respects to Dr. King?
For me, what better way than to take it back to the old school, to where it all started for MLK himself, to the church. The good word, the gospel. And, if you will....part one of a soundtrack to MLK Day by yours truly and Soundboutique.
So, enjoy this gospel burner from The Southernaires from their 1979 'Legendary Gentlemen' on the Malaco label and let these words from The Rev. Martin Luther King ring true...
"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." Martin Luther King Jr. from 'Where Do We Go from Here'
Jackson Southernaires - Give It To Me Jesus
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Well, well, well. Right down to brass tacks for the new year. Undisputed new heavy weight super funk. There's few tracks that bang along like a freight train, and this offering from Mr Holmes is one of them. Solid drum filled smoking hot funk goodness. When I stumbled across a few copies of this at a record convention many years ago, I knew I had hit a soul mine. This juicy 45 was desired by all my fellow funk hunters and honestly, I couldn't have found enough to meet the demand. Everybody wanted it. Nice to be able to trade such a caliber of 45. You'll hear why in a second. Eldridge had a few gems along the way, but never a full LP. Sad but true. Under the wing of Toussaint and fresh from Sehorns Soul farm Eldridge had the highest endorsement. With a nice tuff, raspy strong voice he laced tracks from early boogaloo to northern soul to bad ass funk. From 'Humpback' to 'Lovely Woman', I don't know a tune by this man that is anything short of killer. Spattered throughout labels, Deesu, Kansu, and Jet Set this man assembled a tasty career of one off's. Funk conessuiers should also peep his slow funk banger 'The Book'. Also, for those looking to follow in the steps of Allen Toussaint's smooth take on soul, Eldridge is a sure bet.
This is another fine artist from the New Orleans area, and there's no doubt that the Meter's graced the recording sessions a time or two. In fact it's more apparent on his earlier recordings, but they are all indeed completely rock solid grooves. But, I truely think this 45 takes the cake. Recorded in 1969 during a brief courting by the Atco label it was one of his last few records that he released. He resumed a normal life in Louisianna and abandoned a recording and performing career. He never had a hit or entered the charts, but was and still is well loved by soul AND funk enthusiasts world wide. Many, like myself think he was an incredible artist with great potential. Just so happens that a few cats in New Orleans felt the same way. Fortunately they kept pushing him and as a result we have a fine collection of 45 to enjoy. Sadly he passed away at the age of 56 but, saw some long over due credit and respect in the deep funk revival of the 90's. Hats off Mr. Eldridge Holmes, we love what you did and appreciate you big time.
Rest in Peace
Eldridge Holmes - Pop, Popcorn Children
Friday, January 14, 2011
MG and TT as I like to call them, were dynamic together in their soulfulness time and time again. Over and over on every song and LP. At the time they were the King and Queen of pure soul. The recordings are incredible. Production is perfect and stereo separation of the tracks and instruments just makes it that much sweeter. It's that Motor City Magic once again. But, even more amazing are the incredible stories behind their lives. Tammi suffered a horrible bout with brain tumors for most of her life. And, Marvin was riddled and torn with a struggle within himself due to depression and an abusive father. Not only did MG and TT find solace and happiness with each other, but they gave the world a brand of soul music it had never heard before.
This marvelous funky cut is from their classic 'You're All I Need To Get By' LP. A standard text book issue for Soul Appreciation 101A. Do your homework!
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell - Baby Don'tcha Worry
Thursday, January 13, 2011
|Wallace, Eugene and Wilson|
All hail these lesser knowns. When you close your eyes and dig deep in the soul basket, there's an endless supply of joy in finding great and talented artists like these cats. I've said it once before, and most folks reading this already know... just how deep things can get.... You could collect only L.A. Doo Woo from the 60's and STILL never know every artist that recorded that sound in that area. What a treat that can be. The Meadows are just that treat for me. Tear stained soul, big daddy funk that your parents would jam if they knew about them way back then.
There seems to be a little confusion about another LP released in 1977. But, again asking these questions here is proving little or no response. I suppose I've got to 'up' my soul collecting knowledge before the cats that can answer these questions start really paying us any attention here on this little blog. I tried to find out more about this release in 1977 with no luck. Seems there's also a collection of singles. Maybe one in the same? We'll post more by these fine brothers as we snatch them up. Even though the Meadows Brothers had little or no fame or response it didn't stop them. So, we won't let it get us down, we'll keep pushing on just like them.
You can't say we didn't give it our all. We too have tried it all...
Like they sing....
You can't stop a song in the middle of the show.
True dat, true dat Meadows.
The Meadows Brothers - I've Tried It All
Saturday, January 8, 2011
About that time was when I discovered other things like Lyn Collin's 'Think (About It)'.
Thing is, they were both tunes that were decades old but, were experiencing a new birth by being sample by popular rap artists. Rob Base's sampling of Lyn Collins was playing out of every car that summer. EVERY damn car. It was crazy. While D-Nice's treatment of 'Crumbs' by Laura Lee wasn't as widely received it still justified my insatiable fever for getting to the 'roots' of the issue. My grand scheme would be to promote and illuminate the 'real' artists. Well, over the years not much has changed in my agenda.
Laura tried an impressive set of labels. With early releases on Ric-Tic and Chess, then onto Cotillion and her mainstay Hot Wax. She enjoyed most of her success at Hot Wax with singles 'Women’s Love Rights' and 'Rip Off' reaching the pop and R&B charts. Before her departure from Hot Wax she had a few more singles... 'If I'm Old Enough To Love (I'm Old Enough To Marry), 'Crumbs Off The Table' and the classic 'If You Can Beat Me Rockin' (You Can Have My Chair)'. But, as amazing and brilliant as they were, they didn't chart as well as her earlier singles.
She laid low in the mid seventies but became active in the gospel genre again in the late seventies and early eighties. Gospel music was her original starting point and after a bout with cancer she devoted herself entirely to gospel music. It was rumored that she had a lengthy romantic relationship with Al Green and in 1983 they collaborated on 'Jesus Is The Light Of My Life' for the Myrrh label. She also, much like Al Green became an ordained minister and continues to record and perform gospel music.
For me this is one of thee most bad ass sister funk tunes. It's empowering, yet entirely devoted. Wildly busty with incredible production and the breakdown is savage and completely legendary in the funk and soul world. This is top notch stuff here. So glad Laura Lee got her start and brought us to this incredibly funky place.
Laura Lee - Crumbs Off The Table
Friday, January 7, 2011
|The Jezebel LP|
The 'real' amazing story behind Mary is that besides her hailing from the Bay Area (We love it! - another fine Oakland/SF story!) she was in the amazing Sly Stone side project band Little Sister. She was born in San Francisco and got involved in the gospel music scene. She then recorded with a group called the Heavenly Tones. It was rumored that she was traveling down to L.A. and being courted to perform and record with James Cleveland and various gospel projects. Then she was involved with providing backing vocals for Sly Stone. Little Sister released a few 45's in the early 70's and they are ALL incredible. And, so is her entire catalog. She's been known as Mary Rand, Mary Russell, and Mary McCreary but, make no mistake about it, to name her body of work anything but 'genius' would be a mistake.
|The Amazing Mary McCreary|
Mary made a huge contribution to many flavors of soul music and was unconstricted by any usual limits. Her soothing and sweet vocal style works well with whatever project she dabbled in. This tune from the Jezebel LP is a fine example. She made her mark on any style she touched. This is an unusual brand of hippy soul meets rocksteady reggae.
|Little Sister on Stone Flower Records|
Mary McCreary - Singing The Blues (Raggae)
Thursday, January 6, 2011
In fact, Nigeria has indeed survived. 2010 was the celebration of Nigeria's 50th year of independence. So, on the local airwaves and in the hearts and minds of Nigerians 'Nigeria Go Survive' has already been an anthem and a theme of hope and pride. Flirting with larger success and crossover appeal this song is sung in both native Nigerian tongue and English. It is often called Pidgin or Broken English but is popular among recording artists for a hipper flare. Nigeria is vast in different dialects but some Hausa, Fulfulde, Yoruba, and Ibibio can be heard in these Nigerian records. Many Nigerian artists in the eighties had come full circle with language and attempted to gain that greater appeal that speaking English provided. Written and produced by Jake Sollo of Osibisa fame, this was a marginal hit for Veno Marioghae in 1985. Released on the small but prominent Tabasi record label, it was also the home to many other African artists including Felix Lebarty, The Esbee Family, and Harry Mosco.
Veno - Nigeria Go Survive
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Here's another killer sample of Nigerian Boogie. This is one that is entirely carried by this stunning and slick as hell bass line. It's just simple drums, bass, synth and guitar but complex in it's syncopation. Just the right touch of brief bursts of brass. The breakdowns are heavenly, first with the instruments, then into the chorus repeat. Simplistic funk. Genius shit. The only thing lacking would be Sam's minimalistic vocals. Still it works for this track and the entire LP. Which by the way is quite good. Sam more than makes up for lacking in vocals with nice arrangements and writing cunning dance floor winners.
This LP, 'Another Colour' is an all around pretty great LP. I'm finding more and more quality Nigerian boogie LP's. One of those occasion where you thought you were almost done, but then the hunt seems to be just starting to take off. More waves of Nigerian boogie that were heavily influenced by none other than big time pop super star and commercial boogie king...Michael Jackson. Loads and loads of LP's with bow ties, black tuxedos, and red leather zipper jackets is the proof. In this instance Sam Marris is sporting a white suit. Not out right MJ clone, but in that same direction.
Most records from Africa are beat to hell. They often look as though at one time or another they've been used to sweep a hut floor. Or, acted as shingles for a shanty on a rainy night. I don't have any mint African records. Least I've never seen one. Could be they don't exist. I'm fine with that. The dirtier the better. Long as the funk still comes through the wax.
Sam Marris - Are You Gonna Stand There
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
This is an example of excellence for as late as 1987. Unbelievable to me that this tune is so charismatic of such older styles yet, even with it's heavy late 80's production, complete with Kenny G style sax solo, it's a hot tune. I kinda wished the beginning of the tune would just go on forever. I suppose it would be handy to pull off a re-edit. But, for now the sax solo is intact.
To me, this is what modern soul is all about. We all need a little more 'Love Power' wouldn't you agree? This is one kind of power that rarely gets abused.
I don't have any further info on this group. And, it's a shame. I would really hope someone could chime in with some additional knowledge, because I feel as though I've seen this groups name before. I would really like to know more about them. My guess is L.A. area and probably still kickin' around.
Act III - Love Power
Monday, January 3, 2011
Some of you already know I'm a huge fan, promoter and collector of anything on People's Potential Unlimited. I'm often blogging them up, wearing their gear and spreading news of the latest releases.
It's rare I come across originals that PPU have released, those are usually the tunes that get nabbed up with the quickness and disappear from the web. Or, where never there. I blame it on impeccable taste. The label founder Andrew Morgan puts out quality and excellent material. I've had a long history with this cat, buying from him way back when he was virtually the 'only' cat selling records under boogie, electro, and modern featuring sound clips. That was huge. And, a milestone in introducing many folks to tons of material. Myself included. He's been earth's core deep since I first knew about him. PPU has manifested nothing but pure, raw, uncut goodness and done so with immaculate style and vision. Not to mention a solid penchant for honest dealings.
Back to what I was saying... So, its rare I come across originals that have been released by PPU. This J.P.'s Force was released by PPU on 45 perhaps a few years ago now. When I came across this I had to have the original because I genuinely loved this tune. It's robust funk from 86. The rest of the EP is really good too. It's worth seeking out. I think the flip of the PPU 45 has the other best song from this EP. But, a second pressing of this EP originally released in 1990 is available here and there as well.
Heads up, and mad respect to People's Potential Unlimited, Andrew, and the Earcave site. If you're not aware of this great resource your seriously a nappin and a snoozzin'
Check them out here.
J.P.'s Force - Time To Throw Down
Ferocious vocal talent here folks. These sisters seriously set this shit on fire. This has been a long awaited and welcomed treat in my stacks lately. For true soul connoisseurs, its a royal treat. This LP is well rounded with excellent production and sultry arrangements for a big label sound. A few folks have had to endure me ranting about these gals everywhere I go lately. Now, you'll see what I'm talking about. This ones gonna be in the DJ bag for a bit.
The real kicker here is, is that this LP has The Suttons all over it. Mike and Brenda Sutton wrote and produced several of these tunes. Including the incredible ballad 'Today Will Soon Be Yesterday' which is nothing short of genius. I can't place who may have re-done this tune and possibly had some major success with it. If you can help on this, it would be much appreciated. I know I've heard it somewhere else...
Once you delve into these sisters and enjoy this fine LP you too will probably want more. I know they started out with some Northern Soul stuff produced by none other than Mr. Popcorn Wylie, but I don't have any of those 45's. I'm not sure anything ever came out on 45 or on the Pameline label, it may be stuff that was unreleased that surfaced later on? Not entirely sure. Again, I would hope those that have more info would share in the comments below. I've heard as well that they had something on IX Chains Records, but again, I don't have it and haven't heard it. Could be fantastic...who knows. But, you'll have to wrestle with me over anything with their name on it at the record swap.
Three Ounces Of Love - Give Me Some Feeling
Three Ounces Of Love - Bet You'll Come Running
Three Ounces Of Love - In The Middle Of The Feeling
Three Ounces Of Love - Today Will Soon Be Yesterday
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I couldn't find much about this little one anywhere. I couln't find a pic, not on ebay, not of popsike, not in japan. Doesn't mean it's rare or anything. Maybe even means its not 'such' a hot tune. But, I beg to differ. So, I took me own photo. Here's another, yes another soundboutique exclusive. Jerella Hope's 'Funk '79' Hope you enjoy it.
Jerella Hope - Funk '79
Saturday, January 1, 2011
To start the new year off on the right foot, I've got an offering from Brazil by Antonio Carlos E Jocafi. Kabaluere. Something I dug up the other day while sorting through my records looking for some things for my brother. I rarely take the time to dig through my own collection, but when I do it's pretty much like xmas. Anyways, I had to dig through a section I had set aside for some reason and it yielded some treats for this site. Both my brother and my dad had given me records over the years and just recently asked for a few of them back. Nothing that I would be posting up here, but nevertheless always good to fall back on my old rule...I really don't ever get rid of anything. My collection has and always will be inspired by family. My Mom had some incredible records, my Dad too. And, my brother was a humongous influence in my musical tastes, both in passion and expression.
This tune was effectively sample by the Jurassic Five, been comped a few times, and among some of the best stuff in my collection from Brazil. Unlike many of my colleagues, I've never been to Brazil. But, I've done a fair amount of pillaging from a distance. Connected online with several Brazilian collectors and sellers. I've also gone through several periods of getting Brazilian records for pretty stinking cheap from eBay. Those days seem to be long gone, much like finding sealed copies of 'Damn Right I Am Somebody' by the JB's.
So, here's a taste of Antonio Carlos E Jocafi's Kabaluere. Nothing that the 'heads' don't already know about. But, solid nonetheless. A bit of Brazil funk, and the first lesson of world rare groove 101. No prerequisites.
ALSO.....Big shouts to my boys Allen Thayer and Jacob Pena keeping that Brazilian heat bumping in SF at GOSTOSA. Every second Wednesday at the Casanova in the Mission.. 527 Valencia SF, CA
Antonio Carlos E Jocafi - Kabaluere