Sunday, September 26, 2010
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.