October 29, 2007

Bobby Hebb’s “Sunny” is perhaps one of the most covered songs in the history of soul music. No two versions are the same. Check out these clips, starting first with Mr. Bobby Hebb doing it himself. Be sure to look at his facial expressions.  Funny stuff.

Oh and the second clip is off the hook. It starts out slow, but then the JB’s turn it out.


Woke up this morning….

August 28, 2007

I’ve played “If This Aint Love” by Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators  countless times over the past year or so and I still can’t get enough of it. The video recently hit YouTube and deserves some shine.  Enjoy!


If you find Earth boring…..

August 15, 2007

In light of space shuttle endeavor’s recent trip to outer space, I thought it would be fitting to post about another piece of interplanetary history: Sun Ra. For those who are unfamiliar with the jazz great, Sun Ra was an innovative musician who believed that he was from Saturn.

When people talk about Jazz, you often hear names like Miles, Coltrane or Mingus, but seldom hear Sun Ra mentioned in the same breath. However, many people consider Sun Ra to be one of the most prolific musicians of all time, having released over 100 hundred albums.

Often overlooked due to his avant-garde sound, Sun Ra took his music away from the mainstream, further from the controversial, “Bitches Brew” and on to another galaxy way beyond earth. To me, his music is at times unlistenable, but his influence has always been undeniable.

George Clinton and Parliament were no doubt inspired by the elaborate look and intergalactic philospohy that Sun Ra and his Arkestra developed years before. Clinton once said “Sun Ra? Yeah, he’s out to lunch all right –same place I eat.”

Anyhow, this particular scene features one my favorite songs from the 1974 cult classic “Space is the Place.” I have to give a shout to Liam’s Dad for putting me up on the flick (this man has one of the greatest Sun Ra collections that I’ve ever seen–from hand-drawn records to rare European releases).  

My busy schedule has forced me to slack on ripping vinyl, but have no fear, I plan on spending some time transferring tunes this weekend. 


Dove Hunting?

August 13, 2007

I typically stick to the funk and soul.  However, the news of Karl Rove’s resignation and his comments regarding his post White House plans ignited a fire in me.  MC Rove stated today that he “plans on going dove hunting in West Texas with family and friends.” I must say, the fact he is going to hunt doves–a symbol of peace–is ironic considering his experience in the White House. I guess he’s sticking to what he knows.


Dancing on the East River!

August 8, 2007

I’m heading down to New York tonight and I thought it would be fitting to post this clip of Forest Terry Jr. playing his bass on the East River. If you’re like me,  you’re probably asking yourself, “how did he do that?” My answer: I have no idea. Maybe it’s magic?

All kidding aside, PJ over at Galactic Fractures recently had the opportunity to interview Forest Terry Jr. They discussed his rare recordings with the Original Black Sheep and his classic track “Branch N Out.” Check it out and big ups to PJ for the video.


A good piece of cheese

August 7, 2007

First off, I have to give props to the UMC’s who gave me my first slice of blue cheese back in 1991. Aside from listening to the Wild Pitch classic, I really love to eat blue cheese as well. To be honest, I have no idea why I would ever eat something that has mold spores purposely injected in it, but for some reason it just tastes so delicious.  

The same is true of another great piece of cheese, the 1977 “disco-folk” classic, “Party Line” by Caroline Peyton. Hands down, this is one of the most unintentionally funny songs of all time.  This tale of a boyfriend who refuses to answer the “party line” is filled with the same lyrical elements that made 80’s soft rock so popular.

On a historical note, the song appeared on the album Intuition, which was released on BarBbq records. Based out of Bloomington Indiana, the label was started by the granddaughter of pharmaceutical powerhouse, Eli Lilly. The album’s standout track, “Just as We” was featured on Volume 1 of Gilles Peterson Digs America and is truly an amazing song. Intuition was recently reissued on CD. I highly suggest picking up a copy for all of the non-vinyl users out there.

That’s all for now. I plan on doing a monthly segment on cheesy songs–anyone have ideas for what I should call it? Oh, and don’t worry, I will continue to bring you wine to go with the cheese.


Saturday Night Fever!

August 5, 2007

Don’t forget to practice your moves before you hit the party scene tonight.


Dave Cortez and the Moon People “Happy Soul (with a HOOK)”

July 30, 2007

This weekend every major media outlet focused their energy on the “crisis” in southern California, Lindsey Lohan’s DUI arrest. After indulging in the story for a few laughs, things got really serious when Headline News brought on addiction expert Joey Buttafuocco to weigh in on the topic. I suppose they thought he could offer some rational advice on how to deal with young ladies. Seriously though…….Joey Buttafuocco. What were they thinking!!!???

Anyhow, the downward spiral of Miss Lindsey Lohan got me thinking about Chrsitina Aguilera, and how she has avoided all of this nonsense by using her musical talent to garner great press.

She made the right decision by having DJ Premier produce her most recent album. The lead single, “Aint No Other Man” contains a sample from the song “Happy Soul (with a HOOK)” by Dave Cortez and the Moon People.

The song, released in 1968 on Speed Records, is a take on the Archie Bell and the Drells classic “Tighten-Up.” It features great guitar and organ work, but the true genius of the track is the interplay between the drums and the horn section.

After searching for a while, I finally tracked down a copy of this record at a flea market in Connecticut. If you’d like to own it on CD, you can purchase this compilation, which features the song and some similar songs that you might like.

Look out for my next post, which will feature Joey Buttafuoco’s top 5 favorite funk songs of all time.


It’ll make you wanna scream!

July 26, 2007

One of the most satisfying aspects of searching for records is the experience of discovering something that you’ve never heard before. For me, there’s nothing like letting the needle hit the groove and having my senses satisfied by the soul of the past. With each revolution of the turntable, I’m taken to a place that I’ve never been before. It’s sort of like the first time you fell in love…. minus the heartache. 

I was reminded of this “feeling” recently when I found  a copy of “What is this?” by Allison and Calvin Turner. A couple of weeks back I went digging through a warehouse, which had a ton of 45s. After about 3 hours of picking through Fleetwood Mac and Madonna records I stumbled across this rare piece of Indiana funk history. The song has all the elements of a great funk track–a driving bass line, a steady mix of drums and bongos, and a soulful vocal arrangement.

I’ve been playing this track non-stop for the past couple of weeks and it got me thinking. “What is this?” is a question we ask ourselves when things feel surreal. Whether it’s love or musical discovery, the answer always lies in our ability to embrace the feeling. So sit back, relax and enjoy this track……”it’ll make you wanna scream!”

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