There are certain things that you eventually pick up on after listening to funk and soul music for a while (and indeed I guess any other genre of music too). These are the things that shape your tastes and eventually become the reasons why you love the music so much.
Awhile back I had a chat about this with the rest of the Betterday’s lads at one of our nights. Over a few beers we went on to concoct a tongue in cheek (and slightly drunken) list entitled “You Know You’re A Soul Boy When…” Many of the ideas we came up with were comical, such as being able to listen to ‘Tainted Love’ without the aid of make up! Others were just outright stupid, such as thinking a cowbell is a legitimate musical instrument in its own right! However, one idea did really stick in my mind and prompted me to pull out today’s selection, and that was “You Know You’re A Soul Boy When…a guitar can be part of the rhythm and percussion section.”
Which brings us to “Get Funky Sweet A Little Bit” by Jackie Harris And The Exciter’s released in 1969 on Westbound Records.
This record sums that concept up perfectly, as the ‘chicken scratch’ guitar picks out the rhymical lines of the track, while it duels with the bass line and drum patterns. Jackie Harris had a few releases during his career, but this for me is by far the stand out track. His vocals almost harangue you with his screams of “NOW GET FUUUUNNNKKKKYYY, NOW SWEAT A LITTLE BIT!!!” Clocking in at only two and a half minutes long, it really is an unforgiving slice of deep funk, screaming along at 100 miles an hour dragging the Hammond organ with it!
I haven’t seen it on sales lists very often. Both the side featured here and the flip ‘Do It, Do It’ are highly sought after with funk collectors. It tends to be quickly snapped up when it appears for around the £30 - £40 mark, depending on condition.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this side as much as I do!
We are also nearing our first funk and soul night of 2008. Myself and my two partners in crime, Hoppin’ John and The Popcorn King will be at our usual venue, The Brown Sugar Bar in London’s West End on Saturday 12th January. We will be dropping our usual blend of funk and soul, old and new, for your listening pleasure. Don’t miss it, as it should be another good one!