Hey regular readers and new visitors, I don't have any new musical goodies today (I promise to put up something new by the end of the coming week), but instead wanted to send out a request. I'm in D.C. until Wednesday for work and don't have much of anything to do outside of normal work hours. I'm heading over to Som Records in a few minutes, but am looking for other suggestions of things to do (outside of the obvious visitor stuff like the monuments and the Smithsonian museums). Digging advice is always much appreciated, but I'm also interested in any other happenings (is anyone worth checking out playing records in the next few days?) as well as good places to grab food and lesser known places to check out as a visitor. You can either hit me up in the comments or shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com. Thanks in advance, GA.
Well... I promised a new mix about a week ago and it is finally ready to go. In the past I've whipped together mixes with a particular theme (take Windy City Workout and Baby Do Right By Me as fine examples), but have yet to put one together that focuses entirely on a single instrument. The idea of pooling together funky tracks that highlight the importance of a single instrument is by no means a new one. For instance, our dear friend Vincent the Soul Chef whipped together a funky guitar mix for Jemsite a few months back, while Mr. Funky 16 Corners has provided a number of smoking hot organ mixes in the past. With the solid staple of previous mixes highlighting key funk band instruments in tow, I decided to take the opposite route and throw together a mix focusing entirely on a rather 'un-funky' instrument, the flute. To keep things interesting, this mix highlights the flute playing a variety of roles. For example, in cases like Herbie Mann's Memphis Two-step, the flute plays a prominent role throughout the entire song, vamping along in a funky mode that really sets the tone for the entire track. In other cases, like Lonnie Liston Smith's Expansions, the flute remains hidden in the background while the other instruments really get things cooking, only to emerge for a brief time to treat the listener's ears to a killer funky solo. Regardless of the specific role played in each track, one thing is for certain, this mix demonstrates that in the hands of the right player even an instrument as unfunky as the flute can be mighty soulful.
Yusef Lateef – Nubian Lady – Yusef Lateef Michael Howell – In The Silence – Bennie Maupin Bobbi Humphrey – Chicago, Damn – Bobbi Humphrey Mongo Santamaria – The Whistler – Grant Reed or Roger Glenn Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes – Expansions – Donald Smith Hank Crawford – Funky Rooster – Jeremy Steig Herbie Mann – Memphis Two-step – Herbie Mann Ron Carter – Uptown Conversation – Hubert Laws Harold Johnson Sextet + - Delores – David Crawford Cymande – Changes – Mike Rose
After a VERY long hiatus, I've finally found some free time to resume providing funky nuggets for your listening pleasure. In the time since I've been withdrawn from the blogosphere this site passed the one-year anniversary mark, an event that unfortunately passed by without any commemoration by yours truly (it's not that I didn't want to do something. This site has always been a "labor of love" that sometimes needs to take the back-burner to real-life responsibilities). Hopefully, now that I've got a better handle on the whole being a dad thing, I'll be able to get back to a level of output similar to what was common in the "early" days of Trunk of F.U.N.K.
With the extended break from mixes and singles running through my mind, I thought I'd mark my return with a blistering funk 45 from a group out of the southside of Chicago.
The bits of information that I have on this band are few and far between. The Brothers of the Ghetto marked the first instance of recording, arranging, and performing original music for bass player Sam Cockrell. As far as I'm aware, this 45, on the Ghetto label, is the only recording by the group known as the Brothers of the Ghetto. This is recording is not, however, the only recording by the core group of musicians. Sometime after recording this 45, the group changed their name to Majik and recorded three 45s with Willie Mitchell for the Hi label (including the highly sought dancer "Back into your Heart"). After this time, I have no idea what happened to most of the musicians in the group. What I do know is that Cockrell later went on the record a minor national hit, "Gotta Get Up" with Kevin Bell of Kool and the Gang fame. Since that time, Cockrell has remained musically active, recording and performing with his group The Groove.
Today's single, "Rocking Chair", blasts out of the gate with a short, choppy drum break that's guaranteed to get beat nerd ears ringing. Luckily, the short break isn't what makes this track, but rather the full band joining in at a similar raucous pace after only a few bars of open drums to really get things moving. When everything gets going full speed ahead, it's clear that this 45 packs the kind of energy that is guaranteed to get people out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. Clearly, that must have been what the band had in mind, as the vocals serve little purpose beyond describing in detail how to make your body do the "Rocking Chair" (if you listen closely, unlike a lot of other 'dance craze 45s', I think the vocals herein allow for a pretty great mental image of what the guy on stage doing the "Rocking Chair" must have looked like). All in all, this 45 encompasses everything that funk 45 fans look for: a great party single, a killer break, and the relished, yet rarely found energy that truly defines the funk 45.
Enjoy, and I'll be back in the next few days with an all-new mix dedicated entirely to an oft-overlooked instrument, the funky flute.
I've been promising a new mix for sometime and have finally had the opportunity to whip something together. Luckily for the listeners here, my wife actually told me that I should take some time out of this evening to put something together (I secretly think she wanted some Mother's Day alone time with Isabel, which is definitely OK by me), so I gladly present to you...
Due to the limited amount of time available tonight, I'm not going to go into details on the individual tracks provided in this mix. Suffice it to say that this mix is a collection of some of my all-time faves on the 45 format, many of which are old hat to seasoned diggers, but great nonetheless.
Title - Artist - Label
House of the Rising Funk - Chubukos - Mainstream Synthetic Substitution - Melvin Bliss - Contempo Marvins Groove - B.W. Souls - Round Expo 83 - Backyard Heavies - Scepter Ghetto Man - Tony Clarke - Chicory Let A Woman Be A Woman, Let A Man Be A Man - Dyke & the Blazers - Original Sound Compin' & Smokin' - Calypso King & the Soul Investigators - Soul Fire Hot Grits - Elijah & the Ebonies - Capsoul Shootin' the Grease - Jesse Gresham + 3 - Head Wasted - The Gaturs - Gatur Get Down People - Fabulous Counts - Moira
P.S. Thanks to everyone who has sent e-mails as of late, feedback is always appreciated.
After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back again with a little something different for your listening pleasure...
Far Out - The Hip Sound - Limelight
This 45 is another recent addition to my collection, having been acquired during the same bit of Chicago digging as the Stanley Keeble & Voices of Triumph 45 posted a few weeks ago. While working my way through a stack of mostly trash, I came across a white label promo that begged to be placed upon the portable for further inspection*. Within seconds of dropping the needle on the record I heard a rather strange, electronic sound that I was sure I'd heard before. At the time I couldn't place exactly where I had heard this song before, but a quick perusal of the label helped push my further inquisition in the right direction. This particular track is credited to two individuals: musique concrete pioneer Pierre Henry and French composer Michel Colombier, who, as far as I was aware, had only worked together on one project, Maurice Bejart's ballet masterpiece, Messe Pour Le Temps Present**. I know what you're all thinking at this point, "how in the hell does a track off of a 'ballet masterpiece' fit into the Trunk of F.U.N.K.?", well luckily for you, this particular track takes some interesting off-kilter electronics typical of musique concrete pieces and applies them over some fairly standard 'freak-beat' fare, resulting in a great, dance floor-friendly 45.
Now back to my quest to figure out where I'd heard this record before. With the bit of insight that Henry and Colombier had only worked together on one occasion fresh in my mind, an important series of events needed to be worked through upon arriving home: get the family settled, grab something to eat, and check out the tracklist from Messe Pour Le Temps Present as soon as possible to determine if "Far Out" is included on the record. After a quick once over of the tracklist, it appeared as though today's selection may have been a similar sounding one-off recorded by Henry and Colombier that hadn't made it onto the record. However, a quick listen of Messe Pour Le Temps Present finally answered my questions once and for all. Today's selection does appear on that LP, although on the LP it is titled "Teen Tonic" and is at a slightly lower BPM. I'm still not sure why this track was re-named "Far Out" for this 45, or why Henry and Colombier chose to work under the moniker of The Hip Sound for this particular record only, so if anyone out there has any additional information, passing it along would be greatly appreciated.
Enjoy, and I'll try to be back with a new mix for your listening pleasure in the not too distant future.
* Those that occupy their free time, however fleeting it may be, huddled over boxes in the dingy confines of a used record store can appreciate the sense of curiousity evoked by a 45 titled "Far Out" recorded by a group called The Hip Sound.
** Fans of Futurama will recognize the opening track off of this record, Psyche Rock, as this song was adapted for the opening credits of the show.
** For those curious, Michel Colombier is pictured first and Pierre Henry is pictured second
I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week, as the job, the lecture I still need to prepare for tomorrow, family affairs, and upcoming travels this weekend are keeping me pretty busy.
Rarely does a song with a title as boastful as 'Masterpiece' live up to the hype. However, when that song happens to be a Norman Whitfield classic that has been 'jazzed up' by a Bob James arrangement, and includes killer players (e.g. Airto, Ron Carter, Richard Tee, and Idris Muhammad), the likelihood of living up to the hype increases significantly. Instead of simply taking my word for it though, why don't you go ahead and judge for yourself... Masterpiece - Grover Washingon, Jr. - Kudu
Ultimately, Grover Washington, Jr. is credited alongside artists like George Benson, John Klemmer, and Herb Alpert as being responsible for developing the smooth jazz genre. Prior to helping move jazz to a more radio friendly format though, Washington recorded a handful of records with a much stronger soul-jazz vibe, as exemplified by today's selection. His break into the recording business was an extremely lucky one, resulting from Hank Crawford missing a Kudu records recording session in the early 1970s. Despite only playing in back-up roles prior to this point, Crawford's absence opened a door for Washington in a lead role. The result of the opportunity was Washington's first LP, Inner City Blues, released in 1971 on the Kudu label. Between 1971 and 1976, Washington recorded and released a total of 6 LPs for the Kudu label, with his most significant early commercial success resulting from the release of the album Mister Magic in 1974. After his time recording for Kudu records, Washington's recording career continued at a rather steady pace through the release of his final album, Aria in 2000.
Enjoy, and I'll try to be back in a few days with something new for your listening pleasure.
I am by no means a religious person. Unfortunately for my record collection, this choice has left me with a plebian knowledge of gospel music, a member of the musical specturm that often demonstrates serious funk and/or soul tendencies (a fine example: the Good God! collection compiled by the fine folks at the Numero Group a few years back). The addition of funky gospel sides to my record colleciton has been further limited by the lack of "funky tip-offs"* on gospel records. Fortunately, the aquisition of a portable turntable has made it a little bit easier for me to stumble on gospel finds as of late. One such example**, acquired just this last weekend during a dig at one of my favorite spots in Chicago, has been provided for you listening pleasure today...
Can't You Love Him - Rev. Stanley Keeble & The Voices of Triumph - Sounds of Soul
Stanley Keeble was born in Chicago in 1937. His musical career started in 1952 with the Fellowship Bible Church choir, a group he directed, as well as accompanied on the piano and organ. His career in gospel music was continued through connections with artists like Inez Andrews and Jesse Dixon. In 1968, he decided to start his own gospel choir, The Voices of Triumph***, who back him on today's selection. Although I'm not sure how long the group was active, I do know that he worked with the group through at least 1974, as that is the publishing date stamped on the 45 label. More recently, he is credited with establishing the Chicago Gospel Music Heritage Museum, as well as hosting a weekly radio program on WKKC.
*Examples include, but are not limited to, the word "funky" in the song title or an artist name like, "(insert first name here) and the (insert object here)".
**There's no use in denying that I was initially drawn to this record by the imprint name, Sounds of Soul. Luckily, as has happened a great many times in the past, the imprint name tip-off didn't fail to impress.
***The Voices of Triumph are also featured on the Good God! collection released by Numero Group.
Hello again. Most of the regulars in these parts probably noticed that there wasn't much action around here last week. The onslaught of dirty diapers coupled with getting back to the daily grind full time left me wiped out to the point that it felt like I couldn't keep my thoughts straight, let alone write anything worth reading. Luckily things have been a sailing a bit more smoothly over the last few days, so I figured it was high time to get back here and provide you with a nice slice of dance craze 45 action...
Philly Barracuda pt. 1 - Holly Maxwell - Star
Interestingly, despite the reference to Philly in the title, this single was actually a Windy City product, as publication and production credits are given to Monk Higgins' Special Agent company, which he started during his time working in Chicago. Higgins, who shares writing credits with Holly Maxwell for this single, was a staple in the Chicago R&B and soul scene throughout the 1960s*. Despite the absence of a date on the 45 label, it's safe to assume that this single was recorded during or before 1969, as Higgins left Chicago for L.A. in that year to begin working with a number of west coast labels, including United Artists. Holly Maxwell was born and raised in Chicago, spending a significant part of her life trying to break into the music scene there. She got her start in the music business singing with the group the Tourjourettes during her high school years. She later attended Chicago Musical College in 1965, where she pursued studies in classical music. Her collegiate career ended early, however, after signing a deal with Constellation records, where she would record two singles that sold well locally, but never really picked up steam regionally or nationally. At least two more singles were recorded for the Star label in the mid- to late-60s, including today's selection. In 1969, Maxwell landed a deal with Curtom records that resulted in the release of one single, while in 1970 she cut a single for Smit-Whit records. With only limited success achieved in Chicago, Maxwell headed west for L.A. sometime in the early 1970s. During her time in L.A. she was managed by Monk Higgins' cousin Barbara Acklin who landed her a gig working with Ike Turner as Tina Turner's fill-in. Holly remained in L.A. until 1985, at which point she relocated back to Chicago. Despite never really amassing a level of critical acclaim in the states, Holly had/has a steady gig at Maxwell's Cafe (which is of no relation to her) in Paris, France.
With fingers crossed, but no promises, I hope to be back in a few days with the next volume in the Trunk of F.U.N.K. mix series.
*Monk Higgins is also credited with a single entitled "Barracuda" that was recorded by Alvin Cash and the Registers for the Mar-V-Lus label sometime during the 1960s. Despite the similar name, the two singles share very little, if any, musical qualities in common.
Hello again. Although my time's been pretty well occupied with all things related to caring for a child, it looks like we're starting to develop a bit of a schedule. Luckily for me, the change of pace has afforded a bit of free time to pull out a nice little Latin side for your listening pleasure.
Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries - Willie Bobo - Verve
A little while back I stumbled across this box set from Verve records that I couldn't reasonably pass up*. A big part of my inability to avoid it's purchase stemmed from the great cover art (see the photograph above). However, what really sealed the deal was a "nice price" opportunity to hone in my knowledge of a jazz percussionist that was effectively unknown to my ears at the time. Luckily for me, this was a wise choice as the set includes five 45s containing tracks from each of Willie's three Verve LPs (Spanish Grease, Uno Dos Tres/1,2,3, and Feelin' So Good). Also included was a one-page info sheet which, aside from giving a fair bit of biographical information, identifies jazz pianist (and digger's dream) Mary Lou Williams as the party responsible for breaking Willie into the scene**. The insert also mentions that after his work with Williams, Willie played with Cal Tjader for 4 years and was a featured player with Tito Puente before deciding to start doing his own thing in 1961. While recording under his own name he released sixteen albums, including a staggering seven LPs for the Verve label between 1965-1968 and the funky classic Do What You Want To Do, Tomorrow Is Here for Sussex in 1971. Unfortunately for the music world, Willie passed away at the age of 49 after complications from illness.
Relying only on an echo-ey chorus singing the title over and over, some fairly simple percussion, and a smooth, slinky horn line, Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries burns along at a nice slow pace. In reality, I think it's the simplicity of this song that really makes it so great, as there's no unnecessary filler muddying things up. This track has always been the standout of the box set for me, as it creates a vibe that reminds of warm summer nights. Enjoy, and I'll try to be back in the next few days with something new for your listening pleasure.
*This box set is from the "Verve Celebrity Scene" series, which also features boxes from Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery.
**I've since read that Willie Bobo (born William Correa) was given the nickname "Bobo" by Mary Lou Williams during his time playing with her.
Hello again. A few weeks back Ava from Jemsite sent me an e-mail asking if I'd be interested in putting together a guest post for her blog. For those not in the know, Jemsite is a community dedicated to guitars, rock and roll, and the music industry as a whole. Her invitation indicated that she was particularly interested in a post on the collaboration between rock and funk. While I wouldn't consider myself foremost expert, I figured I could put something interesting together. So, with notion of the marriage between funk and rock fresh in my mind, I dug through my collection and hand-picked a dozen or so tracks that fall under one of three categories: 1) rock songs influenced by funk, 2) covers of funk songs by rock artists, or 3) covers of rock songs by funk/soul/jazz artists. The result is available on the Jemsite blog by following the link below.
Prelude – The Millenium – Begin – Columbia Black Dog – Deodato – First Cuckoo – MCA Train – The Buddy Miles Express – Expressway to Your Skull – Mercury As I Lay Dying – Melting Pot – Ampex (I Know) I'm Losing You – Rare Earth – Rare Earth Funk-In-Wagnall – Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Dunhill/ABC Go On Home – Gee Gee Shin – La Louisianne Taurus – Dennis Coffey – Goin' For Myself – Sussex Let A Woman Be A Woman – Roy Head – Same People – Dunhill/ABC Get It Together – The Grass Roots – Dunhill/ABC Season of The Witch – Al Kooper, Steven Stills, Mike Bloomfield - Super Session – CBS
And now for some really important news.... I was a bit slow in putting up this post as this has been a huge weekend for myself and my family. My wife and I welcomed our first daughter, Isabel Jane (photo at left), into the world late Friday night. We're finally home again, as mom and baby are both doing quite well (we've all actually had a reasonable amount of sleep over the last few nights, which is a nice surprise). I'd like to say that I hope things won't change too much around here, but there's really no way of knowing how busy the little bugger is going to keep us over the coming weeks. Hopefully I'll be back in a few days with a new single, but until then, enjoy.
Hello again. I hope that this last weekend has treated you well, as it did me, instilling a renewed sense of energy to approach the upcoming week with a full head of steam. I've got some huge news on the horizon (more on that in a few days), which, coupled with the time to finally sit back and relax a little bit, has left me feeling a lot better about things on the whole. It was with these feelings of excitement and energy that I chose today's single, a track that storms out of the gate from the first note and doesn't even consider quitting until the final note is played... The Bushman - The Tenth Dymentions - Sapphire
We seem to have stumbled upon a trend here in the last few weeks, as this single is yet another example of a side that I've held onto for a bit in the hopes of being able to dig up any relevant information on the group. What I can tell you is that the Tenth Dymentions were a Chicago group, that this single was produced by Joe Savage, an individual with a reasonably long track record in Chicago indie productions in the late 60's and early 70's, and that writing credits on this single are given to Vern Ryan, who is presumably a member of the band. This band may in fact be the same group (or at least similar to) the Fantastic Dimensions who released a Northern mover on the Sapphire label (also credited to Vern Ryan). Other than that, there aren't a whole lot of other specifics out there on the band or the label.
The Bushman, a dance whose steps are not very well explained in vocals, relies on a full horn section that's blasting away throughout most of the song, a choppy guitar line that's really similar to the sound of Alvin Cash's Keep on Dancing, a fairly subtle organ line to round out the sound, and some hand drumming to help set the groove right for getting bodies moving on the dance floor.
Enjoy, and I'll be back in a few days with another guest mix.
I hope you've been enjoying the guest mix I dropped last week over at This Is Tomorrow. I was definitely pleased to be given the opportunity to contribute to one of my current favorite music blogs. And if you haven't made your way there yet, be sure to stop by, not just for my guest mix, but for all of the other great singles and mixes hosted on the site. With that said, I know I had promised a fresh new single late last week, however, an untimely bout of the flu left me in a wholly unproductive state. In an attempt to make up for the lateness of it's delivery, I've chosen a newly acquired 45 from a powerhouse songwriting duo out of Chicago that will definitely be in heavy rotation over the coming months...
Instrumental # One - Richard Terry & Co. - Nickel
My first glance of the artist name listed on the 45 left me confused, as I was not familiar with an artist by the name of Richard Terry out of Chicago. However, taking a closer look at the writing credits cleared things up immediately. Instead of Richard Terry & Co., the artist name should have read Richard, Terry & Co., as Richard is none other than Richard Pegue (a prominent Chicago DJ and songwriter whose been in the business since the early 1960's*), while Terry is Terry Thompson (Pegue's long-time songwriting partner). Over the course of his career, Richard Pegue has worked at the Toddlin Town', Met, Nickel, Penny and TwiNight labels, among others where he wrote songs not only for himself, but also for The Perfections and Ronaldo Domingo. The songwriting duo of Pegue and Thompson was featured previously in the Windy City Workout mix, as the duo is credited with writing the Brothers and Sisters track, Nobody is Gonna Turn Us 'Round on the Toddlin' Town label. Aside from his work with Pegue, I haven't been able to dig up too much information on Terry Thompson. Additionally, I unfortunately still don't know who is involved in the Co. credited on this record as there isn't a ton of information out there on this particular side**.
*As far as I know, Richard Pegue is still hosting a radio show on Saturday nights on Chicago's WKKC 89.3 fm
**The flip to this single is the very soulful I've Got To Find A Way by the Hallelujah Chorus.
A few weeks back, Mike over at This Is Tomorrow got in touch with me to see if I'd be interested in putting together a guest mix for his blog. For those that don't head over there regularly, he does some mighty fine work covering all things funk, soul, and hip hop, so with little hesitation I whipped together a handful of current favorites...
Gossip – Cyril Neville – Josie Free Your Mind – The Politicians – Hot Wax What Can You Bring Me – Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – WB Razor Blade – Little Royal and the Swingmasters – Tri Us (Do The) Hot Pants – Mr. Jim and the Rhythm Machine – Wizdom Jukebox – Fried Chicken – Stone Football – Mickey and the Soul Generation – Maxwell Family Affair – The Family – North Bay Will You Be Ready – Samson & Delilah – ABC Something or Other – Richard's People – Tuba Can I Get A Witness? – Barbara Randolph – SOUL Fight Fire With Fire – Delia Gartrell – Right-On Who's the King? (You Know That's Me) – Joseph Henry – Daptone (I've Got) So Much Trouble On My Mind – Sir Joe and Free Soul – Mantis Here's Some Dances – The Eight Minutes – Jay Pee
Enjoy, and I'll be back later in the week with a new single.
Up this week is another single out of Nashville, Tennessee... A House By The Side Of The Road - Lee Martell - Renegade
Much like Eddie Mobley last week, there isn't a whole lot of information available on Lee Martell (a.k.a. Lee Bynem). What I do know is that he recorded two very soulful 45s for the Renegade label under the name Martell, A House By The Side of the Road* (1970) and A Good Woman (1971) as well as one 45 under the name Bynem for the True label, Two Warm Bodies. As a whole, the Renegade label only released four 45s in all, the two credited to Martell listed previously, one from Lattimore Brown that is supposedly relatively easy to score, and one from Jimmie Baker that's considered to be fairly rare. The soulful nature of the Renegade 45s is somewhat surprising based on the label credentials, as the label was run by Chuck Chellman, a Nashville-area country music promoter and producer (who is also credited with starting the Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame in 1974).
*While Bynem is credited with writing his later Renegade single, A Good Woman, today's selectionis credited to Gloria Shayne and Pearl Bender. I haven't been able to dig anything up on Pearl Bender. What is still leaving my curious is if the Gloria Shayne credited with writing today's single is the same woman credited with the Christmas classic, Do You Hear What I Hear?
Well, here we are, back again with an all-new single for your listening pleasure...
Stick It In Your Ear Hole - Eddie Mobley - Sound Plus
I picked this record up a fair bit ago, but have waited on adding it to the old blog in an attempt to find any relevant information on the artist. However, a good deal of searching using the traditional avenues has yielded nothing pertinent to date*. The little bit I can provide you with is taken directly from the 45 label. Of note, the song is credited to a fellow by the name of Robert S. Riley, Sr.; Sound Plus is the product of JR Enterprises of Nashville, Tennessee, so presumably, Eddie Mobley was from the greater Nashville area; and the record was distributed by T-K productions of Court Hialeah, Florida (the T-K label was home to K.C. and the Sunshine Band, among many others). Like a good bit of the other work on T-K, this track has a refined sound thats not quite disco (maybe more appropriately classified as "pre-disco"?) with a fair amount of hand drumming and heavy brass worked into the mix to give a really full sound.
*If anyone out there has any additional information, it would be appreciated if you could pass it along.
Another few weeks have passed, which means it's time for another mix. With the current schedule of a new mix every ~2 weeks (sometimes needing an extra week to tend to real-world moves), reaching number 13 means that I've been doing this for just over half a year. I'm always amazed at how quickly time seems to pass by lately, but I guess that's just a sign of growing up and taking on new responsibilities. Regardless of how quickly it's come and gone, these last 6 months have been pretty great (both in real life and at this here blog, where I've learned a lot, while also making some new e-quaintances), and it was this rare feeling of positivity that initiated the concept of today's mix...
Hip Walk - Cal Tjader - Verve Soul Power - Richard "Groove" Holmes - Prestige Grazing In The Grass - Hugh Masekela - Uni Groove Grease - Jimmy McGriff - Groove Merchant Them Changes - Ramsey Lewis and Co. - Cadet BO Ghana - Lonnell Dantzler - Met Booty Butt - The Ray Charles Orchestra - Tangerine Soulful Strut - Young-Holt Unlimited - Brunswick Express Yourself - Idris Muhammad - Prestige
Enjoy, and I'll be back in a few days with a new single for your listening pleasure.
Here we are, back with the first post of the new year. Hopefully things have been as good on your end as they have been here at the Trunk of F.U.N.K. compound. Back around Christmas (if you can remember back that far...), I provided an example of a house band, Motown's Funk Brothers to be exact, stepping out on their own to record a fantastic little slice of funk. More recently, when going through the records to be blogged pile, I realized that I had another great side that was the product of a similar situation...
Save That Thing - Rimshots - A-1
In the 1970's, The Rimshots worked alongside Wood, Brass and Steel as the house band for Sylvia and Joe Robinson's family of labels, including Stang, All Platinum, and Vibration. During this time, the Rimshots backed artists like Hank Ballard, Brook Benton, and Chuck Jackson, as well as also being credited with providing the music for the great disco-funk collaboration, Girls, recorded by the Moments and Whatnauts. When the Robinson family of labels started moving towards the more refined disco sound, the Rimshots started recording funkier material under their own name. In 1972, the group released an LP, Soul Train, as well as two singles, today's selection and Soul Train pt. 1&2. Some readers may be familiar with the Rimshots song, Soul Train pt. 1&2, which served as the theme song to the TV show of the same name somewhere in between the versions provided by The Ramrods, Blue Mink and MFSB. Later in the decade, the Rimshots recorded an additional staple of non-LP singles, such as Dance Girl, and Who's Got the Monster, before firmly planting themselves in the disco-sound in 1976 with a series of singles that included, Super Disco and We've Got You Singing.
Today's selection starts off with some heavy electric piano work from keyboardist Bernadette Randle, which prompts the vocalist to ask the question, "Ain't it funky now?". The answer to this question is a resounding YES, as the whole band comes in chugging along in a groove much like that of the Isley Brothers classic with a strangely similar name. Things then cool down a bit to open up room for additional electric piano work from Randle and a wailing saxophone from an unknown player, until the groove is finally resolidified by the rest of the group and carried out through the end of the side.
Enjoy this single over the rest of the week, and be sure to check back in this weekend, as I'll have an all-new mix available for your listening pleasure.
Disclaimer: The material presented on this site is for educational purposes only. Links will be active for 7 days and then will be removed. A good number of the tracks posted here have been reissued in one form or another, so if you like what you hear on this site, give respect to the artists by picking something up from your local record store. If you have issues with anything posted on this site, contact me at trunk.of.funkATgmailDOTcom, and I will gladly remedy the situation.