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"