Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ayúdame! Cash McCall - "S.O.S."

Yo necisito trabajo. I need help finding a job since my job search has produced not one single call back. Anyone in the New York City area know of some jobs, any job, please get in touch!

The song I bring you today is another man's (Cash McCall) desperation in the form of a powerful Soul/Gospel ballad. The music and composition is exemplary, featuring a rolling guitar riff, some sweet organ, and horns that build gradually until punctuating the song with an amazing horn line. The highlight is Cash's vocals which are mostly a Gosepl-esque spoken word style with a few soulful screams interspersed. You can taste the despair in his voice when he souls out words and phrases. Amazing stuff.

I can't find too much info on Cash other than he lived in Chicago and did some time in the Gospel Soulbirds, which apparently featured Otis Clay as well, and had a single on One-derful called "Earth Worm." Eventually he became a session guitarist at Chess, which is when this single came out. He had an LP on Paula in '73 called "Omega." That's an oversimplified version of this man's life and it's best to just let the song do the talking...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dave "Baby" Cortez - (Do It) The Funky Dance

Found this digging around and bought it expecting a tune similar to "Baby's" other body of work, "The Happy Organ Song" and "Rinky Dink," which were both pretty big hits when they dropped. This track is a whole different ball game compared to his earlier tunes, it possesses a deeeeeeep groove and funky rhythm that is very different from the other tunes. Dave is known mostly for his organ abilities and this song is no different in that regard but that's where the similarities end. The song is so laid back and so chill, I can't help but picture some Cholo dudes rolling through chicago in a '65 Impala. Enjoy the song and nice weather (if you're in NY).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Percy Sledge "Too Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff)"

Just got back from a digging mission/helping girlfriend move mission in Richmond, VA. Being that two of my all time favorite record stores are in Richmond it was imperative I did some digging. I came up with the most amount of superb records in the one week I was down there than I have in months. One of the best gems I found is the B-side of the 45 I bring you today, which is Percy Sledge doing a version of Jimmy Cliff's classic "Many River to Cross." Ironically this was the cheapest record I purchase ($1.00) and it is my favorite out of the whole stack I brought back with me. I found it while flipping through some 45's and saw the song title and thought to myself that it couldn't be the same as the Cliff song and then I saw the credit which reads "Jimmy Cliff" and my investigation was finished right then and there. I listened to the entire song on the store's listening turntables. The Jimmy Cliff version is, in my opinion, the best song on theThe Harder They Come soundtrack, which is probably the case because it's more of a soul/gospel song than a reggae song. So we have one of my all time favorite American Soul singers, and more importantly the voice that was responsible for bringing raw unfiltered Black Soul music to White mainstream America (See: "When a Man Loves a Woman") doing a version of a soulful tune written by one of the most prominent Jamaican Reggae musicians who was responsible for bringing Jamaican Reggae and Ska to a larger audience (See; the film and the soundtrack The Harder They Come. You know it has to be good.

P.S. Sorry for the poor picture, my digital camera sucks and the camera on my laptop is actually better (although still shitty)
P.P.S. I know the track is a little noisy but it was only a buck and honestly I would have paid a buck just to know this version existed.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Italian American Soul singer...wut?

As an Italian American I feel proud to share this with you all. I acquired this killer Dean Parrish 45 in a collection of some Northern Soul bonzers I bought. This is by far my favorite out of that lot of records and has gained consistant spins since it found its way into my boxes. Parrish had a couple of minor hits, this probably being the most minor of them all from information I've gathered, but is noted from having his track "I'm on My Way" to be the last record spun at the Wigan Casino.
The track I have up is "Skate PT. 1." First of all the actual label design for Boom might be my favorite of all time, simple and creative. The track itself is a bomb with a heavy beat, a piano track that moves the song along with a comfortable speed and a bass line that absolutely bounces. The call and response part of the song is my favorite along side the drum breaks. I hope you dig this one. If anyone has any other Dean Parrish 45's they'd be willing to part with please get in touch.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Grab Life by the Horns

Isaac Hayes and Dave Porter will forever hold a spot in my heart as one of my all time favorite songwriting teams. They've churned out over 200 singles, some of which were monster hits ("Soul Man," "When Somethings Wrong With My Baby," and "B-A-B-Y" just to name a few). I thought I had heard almost every Stax-era Sam and Dave track until I uncovered this scorcher of a B-side the other day while doing a little local digging. This 45, "Born Again" b/w "Get It," was apparently the last single that Hayes and Porter turned out at the Stax studios. Going out with a bang is an understatement here. The song "Get It" has all the marks of a Hayes and Porter classic (memorable horn melodies, jangley guitar rhythms, hard staccato piano line, and Sam and Dave's trademark howls to top it all off). There are a few things that stood out to me on this track: First is the epic horn break in the middle of the song and the ascending build up that follows, it comes out of nowhere but fits perfectly and Second is the completely fuzzed out solo at the end that had to be the work of Hayes. This kind of guitar work is atypical of Hayes and Porter's Stax era work but it completely and totally rips. The track has so much energy, hope you dig it.