Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crescents - "That's All She Left Me" & "Here You Come Again"




I'm sitting here at my desk finishing the last bit of coffee and writing this post while simultaneously putting off all of the Christmas shopping I need to accomplish today. You may ask why I'm torturing myself in this manner. Well, the record I'm posting is just too good to hold onto any longer. It's also kind of a mystery to me so I'm hoping to gain some information from y'all.

This is obviously a New Orleans record: it's on Watch, both songs are written by Earl King, both songs are arranged by Big Wardell, and the group is call Crescents. I want to know if this is the same group that released a record on Seven B, my instincts tell me it is. However I can't seem to find any information on them. Regardless both sides are stunning. While I love the upbeat dancer "That's All She Left Me," the ballad is jaw-dropping. Whoever the McMillan Sisters are, they are quite talented.

Hope you dig these sides and I hope you haven't left yourself in a last-minute shopping predicament like I have done.

Crescents - "That's All She Left Me"



Crescents & McMillan Sisters - "Here You Come Again"

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ray Charles - "I Don't Need No Doctor"



I'm about to bust out of the concrete jungle and do a lil hiking. Once in a while a man needs to get back to nature. Before I do so I'm going to bring you a stormy little number from Mr. Ray Charles.

The last time Ben and I DJed he played this track and I immediately came to the booth to inquire. He told me it was a Ray Charles record. "No shit," I said. A week later I was flipping through a large and unruly stack of unsorted/uncleaned 45s I have and found the very same record. "No shit," I said. Although it's a little crispy sounding I don't really mind. Ray kills it on this number. Co-written by J. Armstead, a female Chicago based singer/songwriter who we've seen on here before. This is one of Ray's fiercest tunes that features the stormiest of rhythms and a top-notch horn arrangement. Come on, you know you're dancing ten seconds into it. Ray has got you hooked and now you need a little of his medicine.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dee Clark - It's Raining



Well, It hasn't stopped raining all day in New York. I hate the rain, under any circumstance. Obviously I understand its value but I can't help but feel great contempt for days like today where lethargy reigns. It does however give me a topical excuse to post this tune.

Dee Clark was a soul singer out of Chicago who record for Vee-Jay and later Constellation. The song however is a New Orleans tune, penned by Naomi Neville (not Leville) and originally performed, exceptionally, by Irma Thomas. Although the original is by far my favorite I really like Dee Clark's version. It's a different take on the song but still retains the intended sentiment.

I hope none of y'all are battling the elements but if you are may this song provide some comfort.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Joey Gilmore - "Do It To Me One More Time"



This is my favorite kind of record: relatively cheap (under the ten dollar mark) and completely killer. I haven't been able to try this out on the dance floor yet but I have a feeling it'll kill em. Such an interesting song that combines elements of funk, blues and employs latin influenced rhythm. It's got gritty organ, piano, and Joey has a spectacular voice to boot.

As far as I could gather Joey Gilmore is a Florida based blues guitarist who is still active. Here is a link to his myspace page: Joey Gilmore Blues Band. I hope he doesn't mind me posting this because the people need to hear this song! The flip to this record is pretty exceptional too so I might post that up eventually.

See you in a minute!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lewis Clark - "I Need You Baby"





First off, Ben Carey and I are at it again this coming Saturday at Lulu's in Greenpoint. We'll be spinning our finest soul, funk and r&B dusties from 10 PM to 4 AM. I posted the flyer and I advise you come if you're in NYC.

Some of the independent labels from the sixties and seventies that weren't exclusively soul or funk labels but sometimes released soul and funk records can be really hit or miss. Most of the records you actually find on Brent are terrible. They're either bad pop, silly novelty songs or just other random stuff. The one I'm posting today is an except.

Sir Shambling did an excellent and comprehensive write up on Mr. Clark HERE, so I'm not going to really bother going into biographical information that's been covered with considerable depth.

I will say though that this song, actually the B-side to his first major hit, is a complete ripper through and through. I will be playing this on Saturday just in case you wanted to hear it REALLY loud.

Lewis Clark - "I Need You Baby"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Huey & The Babysitters - "'Mighty' 'Mighty' Children (Unite Yourself This Hour)" Pt 1 & 2




Picked this up over the weekend on a digging trip to Baltimore.

Donny Hathaway arrangement + Curtis Mayfield production & song + Baby Huey's voice = GOOD VIBES. This is the kind of the record you play at a house party.

For some reason part two has the band's introduction as opposed to part one. I don't know if this is intentional or a pressing mixup. Either way, this record is such a party jammer. It's even got a positive message we can all get behind and it even references a turkey dinner (what up Thanksgiving).

Baby Huey & The Babysitters - "'Mighty' 'Mighty' Children (Unite Yourself This Hour) - Pt 1



Baby Huey & The Babysitters - "'Mighty' 'Mighty' Children (Unite Yourself This Hour) - Pt 2

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mary Ann Fisher - "Give"




I'm bringing you a late night special today. This song is best enjoyed with the lights turned down low, maybe a girl or boy to sway with. I first heard this tune on a mix DJ Bluewater did. I listened to the song on repeat for a week straight and resolved myself to finding a copy. They don't turn up often but fortunately when they do they're cheap.

Fisher is best known as a one time member of The Raeletts, and for her duets with Ray Charles. This track though melts my heart every time. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Folkways selections: Mississippi John Hurt - "Monday Morning Blues" & Clarence Ashley & Doc Watson "Dark Holler"



Huge news! I have internet in my apartment! After six months of self-inflicted internet deprivation we finally caved and got the cable guy over here. I have to admit that having dependable access to the internet is a luxury I'm not too fond of living without.

Today I'm switching things up a little bit. Since I never really laid out any rules for this blog I'm switching over to LP format and changing genres but still bringing y'all something unique and difficult to find. I'm only really setup for the 45 format so I don't have a scanner that'll fit LPs, an iPhone photo will have to do. This record is one of my favorites out of my entire collection. I'm a huge fan of early American folk music and thus a huge fan of the original Folkways compilations. In terms of packaging and creating records as a whole product (meaning equal attention to art, layout, and content) Folkways were way ahead of their time. Usually you can find the compilations in original format for pretty cheap and they're ALWAYS worth picking up. There's a lot of interesting comps of field recordings, Afghani folk music, early American folk, Russian folk, you name it and there's a good chance they've documented it. Anyway, this one is one of my favorites. It's aptly titled "The Friends of Old Time Music," and it features a variety of early American folk musicians ranging from finger-style blues, to banjo heavy folk and so on. It also happens to feature two songs from one of my all time favorite musicians, Mississippi John Hurt. If you're not familiar with the man you need to make yourself familiar. A pioneer in the finger-picking style of blues, he possessed the greatest natural sense of rhythm and melody. He created complex, full sounding, pieces just using his fingers and his ol' guitar. "Monday Morning Blues" is one of his blues dirges that make me want to crawl up inside myself and never come out. His voice is particularly haunting on this track.

The next track is from South Appalachian banjo-folk pioneers Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson. Ashley is known for his very distinctive style of picking appropriately called clawhammer because of the way it looks when the person is using it. To be honest this song haunts me constantly. It's otherworldly with it's minor key tuning and Ashley's crooning narrative.

I think the narratives told in the early folk songs are an often under-appreciated part of American history. There's so many incredible stories told in the lyrics of these songs, as well as in the lives of the musicians. They come from a place and time in America that is almost completely diminished but fortunately can be revisited in some small way but listening and appreciating these mostly forgotten songs. Sorry to get nostalgic on y'all but I have that tendency come Autumn. Hope you dig these.

Mississippi John Hurt - "Monday Morning Blues"



Clarence Ashley & Doc Watson - "Dark Holler"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Devils - "The X-sorcist" & "Hip Hug-Her"





Happy Halloween! Here's a spooky, weird, and funky track from Mr. JB. I'm posting the flip because it's just too good.

The Devils - "The X-sorcist"



The Devils - "Hip Hug-Her"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Gene Chandler "After The Laughter (Here Comes The Tears)" & Wendy Rene "After Laughter"





I apologize for the delay between the previous post and today's post. My work schedule and the fact that I still don't have internet in my apartment often makes it difficult to find the time to get to the coffee shop before they close. Anyway, I'm still here and to make it up to y'all I'm coming with two records today. Two very tasty records and an exciting announcement. First the news-- Ben Carey (co-creator of Hot Pants MN) and myself have teamed up to start a new, hopefully, monthly party in Brooklyn. For the time being we're tentatively calling it After The Laughter but it's possible that might be the permanent moniker. The information for the first party is on the flyer I posted above. Please come out if you're local, if we get enough support it'll be easier for use to convince the spot to allow us to keep throwing parties.

Now onto the tunes. These two records couldn't have any less to do with each other other than sharing similarly named song titles. Gene's song is a positively classy Northern record with a beat made for stomping around. Wendy's is heartbreaking ballad with her stunning vocals as a focal point. I believe it's honestly one of the finest vocal performances in the Soul canon. I don't know why some Stax 45s that look PRISTINE yet sound kind of crappy but this happens to be one. I'd also just like to point out a fun little fact about yours truly. The very very first piece of music I bought with my own money was Wu-Tang's Enter The 36 Chambers. My mom gave me twenty bucks one day when I went to the mall with a couple of friends and I bought the album on cassette from the wall. I remember playing that tape all day long, everyday. The reason I'm mentioning this story is because they sampled "After Laughter" on their song "Tearz". I still love Wu-Tang's take on the Stax classic and the more informed twenty-five year old me now has a profound appreciation for Wendy Rene's original.

Hope y'all enjoy the tunes and I hope to see some of you at the party next weekend.

Wendy Rene - "After Laughter"



Gene Chandler - "After The Laughter (Here Comes The Tears)"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Magictones - "I've Changed"



Alright, back on the Detroit tip! As I said two posts ago I've been digging hard on Detroit sounds, particularly Revilot/Westbound releases. Awhile back Larry Grogan posted a killer version of "Good Old Music" by a Detroit group called The Magictones. I remember listening to it and initially filing it to the back of my brain as often happens due to an overload in media-consumption. Later when I met Larry when he spun one sunday at Fat Buddha he showed me the record and my memory was jogged, then he played the record and I lost my mind. As a result I went on a hunt for other Magictones records and found this one for a little bit of scratch on the ol' eBay. Well worth it.

Tremendous groove on this one with just enough attitude. Hope ya dig it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sunny & The Sunliners - "The Thing"



One of my favorite things about hunting for Soul music (including funk, jazz-funk, boo-ga-loo, northern soul, sweet soul, and all the other offshoots) is that there is literally just an endless amount of recorded material, really good material, out there. Throughout the sixties and seventies there was a seemingly unlimited amount of artists working and recording, some on major labels and some on microcosmic independent labels. So just when you think that you've uncovered every little niche of the genre, not necessarily discovering every artist or record in that niche but just as a whole, another door opens up and there's a whole different Thing going on that you had no idea existed. It's kind of like a giant puzzle and it's what holds my attention and keeps me interested (something that's NOT EASY to do) in discovering what else is out there.

The primary way of finding these new doors is through networking and meeting new people. Since everyone has a different ear, and more importantly since everyone comes from a completely unique cultural background, each person is bound to have a different experience with the music. Sooooooo, getting to today's song and how this all relates. In New Orleans I meet Justin "Rambo" Salinas through my friend Tarik. Naturally Justin and I had a lot to talk about since we both have a profound love for Soul and records. He kept talking about a musician from his native state of Texas, Sunny Ozuna. I had never heard of Sunny before but Justin spoke with great passion about him and his music. This caught my attention since it seemed I had found out about a new little niche. After coming back from New Orleans I turned this record up by Sunny & The Sunliners, and it blew me away.

"The Thing" is a tremendous instrumental workout that's part boo-ga-loo, part jazz and part funk. Throw that all together and you have an incredibly killer tune that's sure to get the people moving. The song moves along driven by a groovy rythym comprised of an organ, the bass, guitar and drums. Around that static rythym is where the magic happens: a few HUGE horn breaks and horn lines, and a seemingly improvisational jazz-like trade off between the trumpet and sax. Man, this song is just plain cool.

I'm sending this out to Rambo Salinas. He's currently hosting an all-nighter weekender for the three year anniversary of his hot-as-hell Hot Pants party in Minneapolis. I wish I could have made it out for that but I'll have to celebrate on my own with this record.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Solomon Burke - Down in the Valley



I'm sure a good majority of you have heard the sad news of Solomon Burke's passing this morning. If you're unfamiliar with Dr. Burke (as he liked to call himself), he was one of the pioneer Soul singers of the 1960's and is largely responsible for the mainstream/crossover success of the genre. In my opinion he was the most versatile of all his peers, he could utilize his sweet voice in any number of ways: from deep baritone to screaming falsetto. He certainly stands out among the plethora of Soul Singers working his era, mostly due to his severe talent and also due to his larger-than-life personality. I suggest reading Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom, as Big Sol plays a primary role in the book and a crucial link between all other working entertainers. There are amazing stories about Sol outwitting, and ultimately performer to, a large gathering of KKK members and duping the promoter of The Apollo into allowing Burke "full concessions." Those are abstract summaries of the stories he tells in the book but it's definitely worth it to read them in full.

Now, on to the tune. "Down in the Valley," was co-written by Burke and Bert Berns in 1962 and was later, more famously, covered by Otis Redding on Otis Blue. As much as I love the Otis version it has nothing on the original. Burke displays his supreme grasp over his craft in this sweet blend of Country and Soul that he was most known for. The lyrics are exceptional, and the metaphorically biblical undertones are not to be overlooked (he was a working preacher after all). Just sit back and appreciate Burke's true artform so rarely found in modern times.

Rest in peace, Big Sol.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Darrell Banks - "I've Got That Feelin'"




I'm going to be M.I.A. for a little while, or more accurately my computer is going to be M.I.A. for a little while. There's a huge gaping crack across the LCD screen of my lap top as I type this. Of course it's not covered under Applecare's bogus protection policy and it will probably cost a small fortune but the silver beauty shall rise again. I figured I'd get a post in before it goes off to be repaired.

I've been digging hard on the sounds of Revilot lately, specifically the early releases from The Parliaments. I went searching through my stash and came up with this one, which although it isn't a Revilot release it was recorded at the Revilot studios and features one of Detroit's most talented singers. Unfortunately Darrell Banks was cut down by a Detroit police officer at the young age of 35. "I've Got That Feelin'" is a serious booty-shaker with a terrific Northern sound. Love the bass on this track.

Hope y'all dig it and I'll see you as soon as my computer is returned to me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

DJ Hambone (aka Me) live set from Lost & Found 09/28/2010


Here's my set from Lost and Found this past Tuesday. Almost everything on here came from my trip to New Orleans. Hope you dig these tunes. Internet connection my apartment is non-existant so I'm posting this from the local coffee shop. Unfortunately I can't recall what two of the records I played are and those are marked with question marks. As soon as I get home I'll look them up and fill in the blanks. I'll be back soon with some more featured 45s. Be well!



Mary Jane Hooper - I've Got Reasons (Power Pac)
Willard Burton & The Funky Four - Funky In Here (Capitol)
Betty Harris - Ride Your Pony (Sansu)
Honey & The Bees - Why Do You Want To Hurt The One You Love (Arctic)
Billy McGregor - Fall Down On My Knees (Flash)
Evie Sands - You've Got Me Uptight (Blue Cat)
The Enchanting Enchanters - Boss Action (BenMoKeith)
James Rivers - Let's Live (Eight Ball)
Charlene P.M. - Loving You (FW)
Lee Moses - Got That Will (Maple Leaf)
Bobby Rush - Done Got Me Good PT. 2 (Sedgrick)
???
Chris Kenner - All Night Rambler Pt. 1 (Instant)
Charles Mintz - Give a Man a Break (Uplook)
Ernie Hines - Were Gonna Party (USA Records)
Tommy Ridgley - I Want Some Money Baby (Johen)
Bobby McClure - Love's Coming Down (Klondike)
Eddie Bo - Can You Handle It (Bo-Sound)
Cody Black - Going Going Gone (Ram Brock)
Mel Hueston - Double Confusion (Chanson)
???
Diamond Joe - Hurry Back To Me (Sansu)
Doug Anderson - Hey Mama Here Comes The Preacher (Janus)


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tommy Ridgley - "I Want Some Money Baby"



Ladies and gentlemen, I have returned from an absolutely euphoric trip to New Orleans. I'm going to keep this post kind of short only because tomorrow marks my return to the work week and I need some substantial rest. During my five day stay in the lovely Crescent City I made some new friends, spent quality time with my father, ate ridiculously good food, and partook in the most insane digging session(s) I've ever experience. I have to send a huge shout out to my boys Tarik Thornton and Rambo Salinas. I'll have more anecdotal content regarding those two in subsequent posts. To say that I picked up some heat is an understatement. A lot of it will be featured on here at some point but if you're really eager to hear a majority of it I'll be spinning exclusively what I picked up in NoLA at Savalas this Tuesday (9/26/2010) with the Lost and Found crew. I go on at 11 for a full hour of 45 goodness.

As for the tune of the day I'm coming at you with a tremendous track from Tommy Ridgley written by Sir Edwin J. Bocage and produced by Big Q (Wardall Quezergue). This might be my favorite non-funk Eddie Bo related track. The combination of absolutely stellar songwriting from Bo, a huge vocal performance from Ridgley, and a massive sounding production from Wardell make this track one you probably won't ever forget. Wardell is known for his liberal use of horn arrangements and the horns on this jam sound thundering. Back to work tomorrow to make that paper and this is the perfect song. Dig it friends. I'm posting the flyer again for Savalas for anyone who's interested. Be well.

Tommy Ridgley - "I Want Some Money Baby"





Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Megatons - "Shimmy, Shimmy Walk PT. 1 & 2"





Howdy friends. Thought I'd make a quick post before I headed out to see Larry Grogan (Mr. Funky16Corners) DJ in Manhattan. I'm posting up two sides of extremely smokey and dangerously blazing R&B. Here's some biographical information about the group take from Rockabilly Hall:

After Rita Records , Riley established Nita Records followed by Mojo Records and for the latter in 1960, he released 'Fast Livin'/Hill Country Music' under the name of Skip Wiley. May 1961 saw his versions of 'Teenage Letter/Flip Flop and Fly' on Home Of The Blues (#233) but Billy is adamant that he cut these sides earlier. Later that year, he and his band (Pat O'Neil on bass, James Van Eaton on drums, Jimmy Wilson on organ and Martin Willis on sax) went to the Pepper Sound Studio in Memphis and recorded the instrumentals 'Shimmy Shimmy Walk Parts 1 and 2" which were released under the name of The Megatons on the Dodge label (#808) out of Ferriday, Louisiana. This disc was subsequently issued on Checker 1005 and made position #88 on the Billboard charts in January 1962.

PT. 1 is a total burner complete with some serious ripping on the organ. PT. 2 slows it down a bit, just a tad bit, and gets just a little more serious. Both sides are bombs. The main premise is cutting it a little close to Roy Orbison's "Candy Man," which came out just a year earlier. In my opinion though The Megaton's sides are way more raw, dirty, and filthy just the way R&B should always be. Hope you go beat up some socs after listening to this one.

The Megatons - "Shimmy, Shimmy Walk PT. 1"



The Megatons - "Shimmy, Shimmy Walk PT. 2"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

James Brown - "Jimmy Mack"




It's a beautiful Saturday here in New York City and fortunately for me I have the day off. Unfortunately for my woman she has to work, so I'm dedicating this post to her. She works as a chef in a pretty popular restaurant in Manhattan and her number one passion in life is food. Let me tell you from experience, she can cook damn good. She's started her own food blog where she talks about restaurants that we've eaten at. You can check it out here, Hammy On Rye

Anyway, I was going to post a food related side today but decided to go with a very cool cover of her all time favorite soul classic, "Jimmy Mack" originally recorded by Martha & The Vandellas. Since that's a little too obvious, as it is an extremely accesible tune but one worth checking out if you haven't heard it, I'm going to post James Brown's cover of the Motown classic. The cover is actually an instrumental and features JB flexing his chops on the Hammond B3. I love the rawness of this version, it's totally stripped down to the absolute basics while retaining the charm of the original.

Hope y'all dig this one. I'll try and get a post in before I bounce to the Crescent City but I can't make a guarantee.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Volcanos - Storm Warning



So, I was going to post this yesterday but didn't really have a chance. The coincidence of posting this song yesterday and the events that transpired in my neighborhood would have been uncanny. For those of you that don't know, a "tornado" or at least a very violent storm ripped through Brooklyn and Queens last night. Massive trees were ripped out of their roots, Wyckoff General Hospital (which is two blocks from my apartment) experienced tremendous damage, cars were crushed, and all around my neighborhood is the cathartic aftermath of a kind of storm that frankly I'm, and I'm sure most New Yorkers, are just not accustomed to. Luckily there's been only one reported death, not to say that one lady's life is irrelevant or undeserving of attention but thankfully and miracously no one else was killed. An event like that is a very raw reminder that were at the very fickle mercy of the earth and anything can happen at any given time.

As for the tune I'm posting, it's a whole different brand of storminess. A classic slab of Philly Northern sound chock full of xylophone and stupendous group harmonies. That drum fill at the very begining is a signal of what's to come: a moody and unstoppable track propelled by thundering drums.

Hope y'all dig this one and I hope all my fellow New Yorkers and New Jersey-ians are safe.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lee Dorsey - A Lover Was Born.



Quick little news for ya'll. I'm heading down to New Orleans for Ponderosa Stomp and to celebrate my pop's 50th birthday. Going to be on the hunt for some serious platters again. If any of ya'll are going to be down there holler at me and maybe we can say what's up. I might even get a table to sell some stuff at the record fair.

First Lee Dorsey record I'm posting was the first on my want list for a while now. The first time I heard this tune I was in my buddy Tim's car and it came on his ipod. At first it sounded like a Chuck Berry or Marty McFly standard then those drums came in and I think I literally said "Holy shit" out loud. I immediately resolved myself to finding a copy, and for a while it was one of the only Lee Dorsey Amy 45s I didn't have, but I discovered that tracking this one down was a little tricky. It almost never pops up on eBay, I didn't find it when I was in New Orleans, and had never seen it anywhere out digging. Today all my dreams came true when I pulled it out of a gentleman's box at DJ Shakey's 45 only fair. Satisfaction is mine.

This may be an obvious one for some of you but that doesn't take away from how ridiculously PERFECT this track is. In my opinion it's Lee Dorsey's finest and certainly one of Toussaint's best. Hope y'all dig this one as hard as I do.

Monday, September 6, 2010

J. Hines & The Fellows - "Victory Strut"



Happy Holiday to all my fellow citizens of the United States of America out there and to those of you not celebrating Labor Day I hope today finds you all in good health. For my fellow New Yorkers, I hope you're all enjoying this ridiculously perfect weather we are having.

Instead of trying to assert any kind of small knowledge I have about today's song I'm just going to direct you to this article of amazing breadth on Soul Detective, Case Three: J. Hines.

"Victory Strut" is the perfect tune to compliment a day like today, it's celebratory and victorious sounding (as the title would lead you to believe). Hope you dig it. Be well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Roy Lee Johnson "Cheer Up Daddy's Coming Home." A little Muscle Shoals produced deep soul action.



This evening's post was inspired by my completion of Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music. The book details the Soul movement in the deep south of the United States. Guralnick highlights the musical movement and its participants as well as drawing a strong parallel to the vast social and economical changes the country faced through out the 1960's. I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the music detailed in the contents. Although I'm a fan of the work I had a major gripe with it: where the fuck was any inclusion or even slightest mention of what was going on in New Orleans during the same time. There's Stax, Fame, American, Atlantic, all the major players but not once in Toussaint or Lee Dorsey's names mentioned. It seems kind of questionable, and maybe slightly biased, to leave out such large players. That small discrepancy aside the book is actually a really good read and Guralnick's writing is always enjoyable.

Getting to the tune of the day. I'm bringing you what I believe to be a near perfect deep soul ballad that stands up with the heaviest hitters ("Dark End of the Street" and "When a Man Loves a Woman" to name two as examples) but isn't talked about nearly as much. I got this record for 3 bucks because I was familiar with Johnson's other work, namely his killer tune "Boogaloo #3" on Josie, and was floored when I put the needle down on this side. This is one of those songs that completely moves my soul. Perfect arpeggiated rhythm guitar, sweet lilting organ, heartbreaking horn arrangements, and a vocal performance by Johnson that is nothing short of stunning. Top all of those ingredients off with the classic Rick Hall touch and you have one of the best representations of a very deep, sweet soul ballad. It's really hard to get the needle off this one. Hope y'all dig it.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The beginning of the eBay sell-off!

Here's a link to my eBay store: Slash.Your.Face I've begun listing some 45s including funk, northern soul, some r&b, and even rockabilly. There's only a couple up now but I'll be gradually adding more and more. There's some really great stuff going up that you can probably snag for really cheap. Here's some label scans to entice you.




Friday, August 27, 2010

Funky Friday (Nights): Jo Armstead - I've Been Turned On




As promised in yesterday's post I'm bringing you that funk. Today's tune is a stormy number from the fiercely independent woman Jo Armstead. The record today was written, recorded, released, and published by Ms. Armstead. That's pretty impressive considering it was released in 1968. The song is a total funk ripper with a Northern feel to it via the sweet strings. I really dig this one hard and hope y'all are feeling it as much as I am.

Keep an eye out for the upcoming 45 sale. Enjoy the weekend, friends.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

...but when we walk down the street he never holds my hand.



Much like today's selection I'm going to keep it short and sweet. I whipped up an earlier side from The Turner's for y'all. This one came out in '64 and actually charted on the US pop charts, just two releases before the behemoth "River Deep, Mountain High." The track kicks off with an absolutely raw and blazing drum beat with some gospel-esque hand clapping overlapping. The song has a total gospel feel to it, mostly due to the choir-esque female backups. I love how raw the song is, there's barely any instrumentation on the entire track and the whole song relies heavily on the beat and Tina's stellar vocal capabilities.

Hope y'all dig this one. I'll be back tomorrow with something slightly more funky. Also coming soon I'll be having a big 45 sale on eBay. So scrounge up some loose change, I'll have some good buys for you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Funky DJ: Live set from my first DJing experience!




Hello friends! I'm back with a special little surprise. This past Tuesday I went down to the Lost & Found Soul Night @ Savalas in Williamsburg to spin an hour of 45s. I was invited by Jared (JBX) from Big City Records, he's one of the fellows running the night for the past five years. Each week he, Chris, and DJ Boogieman spin their records and then there is a guest or two who gets to spin for an hour or so each. I shared the the guest spotlight with Tariq, an extremely amiable dude who hails from New Orleans and who subsequently dropped some serious bombs. I was a little nervous about the whole thing but that was quickly calmed by the supportive nature of the the event. Seriously, I can't recall an atmosphere and a group of people as supportive as Jared and the Lost and Found crew. It's a good feeling to know there are people out there who are willing to give you a chance and not just scoff at some new cat or pull the pretentious card that the city of New York seems to hand out to ever douche bag that comes along. Digression aside, the whole experience was uplifting, informative, supportive, and just downright fun as hell. Playing your favorite songs loud as hell for some strangers and friends (shout outs to my girl Steph, Kev, R. Samis, and Brittany for coming to watch and hear) to hear is an enriching experience.

Fortunately they record all the sets at Lost & Found and I got a copy from Jared yesterday. I'm posting up an mp3 of my set, recorded live with all original 45s spun by yours truly. Some of the songs maybe obvious and overdone but it's all shit I truly love and wanted to share with others. I hope y'all like my selections. Peace to y'all.



Tracklist:

Roger & The Gypsies - Pass The Hatchet Pt. 1 - Seven B
Lou Courtney - Rubber Neckin' (Chick Check'n) - Verve
Seeds of Life - The Whole Things Pt. 1 - Sedgrick
The Gaturs - Hunk of Funk - Gatur
Chuck Carbo - Can I Be Your Squeeze? - Fireball
Hank Ballard - How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven't Cut Your Process Yet?) - King
Hank & Claude Carbo - Fox In A Miniskirt - Castle Records
Joe Tex - You're Right, Ray Charles - Dial
Jay Dee Bryant - Get It - Enjoy
G.L. Crockett - Watch My 32 - 4 Brothers
Eddie Bo - Hook and Sling Pt. 1 - Scram
Marvelle & The Blue Mats - The Dance Called The Motion - Dynamic Sound Records
Roy Ward - Horse With A Freeze Pt. 3 - Seven B
Obie Plenty - Beef Stew - Verve
The Moon People - Land of Love - Speed
Lee Dorsey - Give It Up - Amy
Professor Longhair - Big Chief Pt. 1 - Watch
Irma Thomas - We Won't Be In Your Way Anymore - Canyon
Oliver Morgan - The La La Man - Seven B
The Dapps ft. Alfred Ellis - There Was a Time - King
The Endeavors - I Know You Don't Want Me - Stop
The Meters - Ease Back - Josie
Solomon Burke - Get Out My Life Woman - Atlantic
Dyke and The Blazers - Let a Woman be a Woman - Original Sound
Gunga Din - Crabcakes - Valise



********** THE LINK FOR THIS HAS BEEN FIXED. HAD A LITTLE BANDWITH ISSUE ************

Monday, August 16, 2010

...you wouldn't have made my tears fall like drops of rain.




The sky broke over New York City this evening and the rains came down. A lethargic fog settled in over the city today giving the untamable metropolis a subdued quality. I enjoy rainy late-summer days like today, they allow me to take a moment to slow down (it also helps that I had the day off) and enjoy life at a somewhat slower pace.

Since everything has to relate to music for me, or else I might not be able to function on a comprehensible level, I went into my collection looking for something to match the mood of the day. Here's what I found: Big Maybelle's "I Don't Want to Cry."

Big Maybelle was born Mabel Louise Smith in Jackson, TN. She recorded for King, O'Keh, Savoy, Chess, RoJac, and Brunswick. With a discography spanning from the late forties up until the early seventies (she passed away in 1972) Big Maybelle dipped her fingers into gospel, blues, soul, and funk.

The slow ballad arrangement on this track is definitely exceptional. The horn arrangements are so good, perfect even, as they drag along with a somber feeling. The piano is simple but works so well to give you the feeling of rain drops falling. But what's the most splendid thing about the track, like all of Big Maybelle's tracks, is her voice. Have you ever heard a voice so rich and robust? It's simply unforgettable and heart-wrenching. It's hard to say that I can think of many other voices as tremendous as hers.

Hope y'all dig it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Funky Fridays: Edd Henry - "Two Heads Are Better Than One" b/w "Soul Socking Time Baby





Hello to all my friends out there. On this lovely August Friday I'm bringing you a seriously cool funk two-sider to punctuate your week with. It's not often you find a 45 with two equally hot sides so instead of making the choice to showcase one I'm doing both!

Edd Henry is a somewhat mysterious character to me. I know that he was/is from Detroit and was working outside the Motown circle. He's got a handful of singles popular in the Northern Soul scene, particularly the monstrous tune "Crooked Woman." Other than those facts I can't really find much biographical information about him.

The A-Side, "Two Heads Are Better Than One," is super groove heavy track with some killer horn arrangements. If you notice on the label the track features a "taste of Memphis funk." That, my friends, is referring to Jo Bridges who shares songwriting credits on the tune. Jo Bridges was a late-era Stax writer who was responsible for co-penning some of Rufus Thomas' funkiest tracks. Also more recently Bridges wrote a hit song, "Teenage Love Affair," for Alicia Keys. That taste of Memphis funk makes this tune a truly killer funk tune.

The B-Side features a track titled "Soul Socking Time Baby (SSTB)," which is noticeably different from the A-side. That's probably due to the fact that Jo Bridges is not featured on this side. It's slightly more gritty, the guitar tone and riff in particular. Also the use of bongos makes the song just that much more killer. I'm not sure but I might be leaning more towards this track for my favorite but make no mistake both are exceptional lessons in groovy funk. What I actually like the most about this song is the inspirational message in the lyrics. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing I love more than a silly dance craze or lyrics with comedic value but I also enjoy a thought-provoking set of lyrics. My favorite line is "Soul is love and faith within yourself that you got for your fellow man," I think that is such a poignant definition of what Soul can represent.

Y'all enjoy your weekends, much love.

"Two Heads Are Better Than One"



"Soul Socking Time Baby (SSTB)"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let yo'self be free, give all your love to me.



Here's a very slick number from Bill Johnson on the Jocida label. Bill Johnson comes from the duo, Sam and BIll. This is one of his few solo sides. From what I can tell there are only two other releases on Jocida. Whatever the story is the song is killer.

It's the kind of song you except to hear in a smoke filled dive bar just before a fight, or a dance, or something dramatic is about to happen. Bill's smooth vocals are pretty reserved until he belts out a soulful scream at the end of the song. I love the piano in this song, it carries the tune along quit nicely.

Hope ya dig it. Let me know if you have more info about this record.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Post swap: Ana from The Singing Bones!



Today Ana from The Singing Bones and I are swapping posts, here's what she has to say:



I'm in New York! [not really]. Joe and I just thought it would be fun to switch places today. 

I consider NYC to be my third home. I went to school there, lived one street south of 125th on the west side. Absolutely, the city broadened my horizons, but ya know at the same time, parts of it really did feel like home. I doubt most folks know this, but there's an inner city New Orleans accent which sounds quite a lot like Brooklynese. 

Anyway, I meant to post a "New York record" today, but truth is, I had a hard time finding exactly what I wanted.  So, instead I've got something on a Chicago label. Make sense? I didn't think so.

Although this 45 is credited solely to Wylie Dixon, it's actually the first recording by the duo Simtec & Wylie.....issued a year before the partnership 'officially' began.

These guys are totally fascinating. Wylie Dixon came from a hard-core gospel background [the Highway QC's!!!] and then formed a band called Wylie Dixon and The Big Wheels [which included James Carr!!!].

Simtec Simmons was a pioneer of the drum machine, putting out records under the names, Simtec and The Mechanical Monster, and...Computer and The Little Fooler [probably my fave band name ever].

Together, Dixon and Simmons formed a great Sam and Dave type duo, ultimately issuing 10 or 12 singles and an album. And then, when they broke up, the band continued on as the great, Southside Movement [!!!].

Seriously, it's like you can't buy anything associated with these artists, together or separately, that isn't, at the least, very very interesting.

Enjoy



Make sure you head over to Ana's blog, The Singing Bones, to check out the my post as well as all the killer tunes she has to offer.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I can't stop, what about you baby?



I'm not feeling completely up to the weather so I'm going to keep it brief today. Here goes...

I found this recently at one of my local digging spots in a pile tucked away that was obviously a stack of records someone was contemplating buying but ultimately decided not to. Sucks for them... All the record needed was a little cleaning and love and I got it sound pretty damn good, and considering it was a measly quarter. Now for some info on the group.

The Notations: group from Chicago featuring Clifford Curry. "I Can't Stop:" killer upbeat number with smooth as hell guitars and stellar horn lines. I love the horns on this one. Dig this track, friends!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baby, I've given you everything I've had to give and now I'm gonna live.





I was holding on to this one for a rainy day, or until a moment in time that felt appropriate. Well that moment is upon us friends! In honor of Dean Parrish's upcoming Brooklyn performance at Southpaw I'm posting one of the most tremendous Northern Soul anthems I've ever heard: "I'm On My Way" by the one and only Mr. Parrish.

This is one of those soul songs that is so grandiose that it literally takes ten or fifteen listens to even begin to comprehend how massive of a song it really is. Another song, for example, is Frank Wilson's "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)." These kinds of songs to me represent the perfection of class and style, they recall a time when being a performer meant actually possessing a respectable talent.

"I'm On My Way" is too impressive to properly describe with words so it's best to just listen, on repeat, until you find yourself shouting the words at the top of your lungs. I hope you enjoy this one because it's definitely one of my favorites. Also, check out the flyer I'm posting at the bottom of the post for Dean Parrish's upcoming show and if you live in New York definitely come out.



Friday, July 30, 2010

Funky Fridays: G.L. Crockett - "Watch My 32"




It's the end of the work week, for most at least, and we all need to get just a tiny bit funky to prepare for the weekend. I'm bringing you a ominous little slab of funk that I picked up in NoLA (thanks NoLA). The artist is G.L. Crockett, short lived singer whose discography spans just four 45s. The song is "Watch My 32," a promissory message from Crockett that you better not forget about him and his 32. The lyrics are an explicit response to some of his contemporaries: J.R. Walker and The Sharpees.

This song is so damn killer and I don't understand how it isn't talked about more frequently and why it doesn't really go for any serious dollars. The song literally starts out with a blast, immediately you're shot in the head with the drums and a blaring sax solo. The guitar immediately falls in with a staccato-laden riff that is nothing short of hypnotizing, this continues as the song evolves around the riff all the while G.L. croons his cautionary note to watch your back. There's a haunting quality to G.L.'s voice that hovers of the song like a ghost. I'm a huge fan of this one and I hope y'all can dig it too. Enjoy the week and I'll be back soon with some more jams.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please tell me so before I go crazy



Hello mis amigos, como estan? Been meaning to post this one for a while now. I'm trying to keep the posts regular and quality so I hope you're all following me here. If you dig what I'm doing on here please feel free to drop a comment or subscribe to the blog.

Here's a cut from Little Jerry Williams aka Jerry Williams aka Swamp Dogg coming straight out of 1966 on Calla. It's a nice little Northern Soul heater. I really dig how the chord progressions in the verses are ascending and the bridge and choruses descend, it creates a nice little bit of dynamic tension in the song. The horn charts in the bridge are kind of somber sounding and at times the song seems a little melancholic. Some nice guitar work going on in there too if you pay attention.

Hope you guys enjoy it, be well.