Firstly, Happy New Year and I hope 2009 is a good and prosperous one for all of you.
Secondly I’d like to apologise for my unplanned hiatus as I had originally intended to return here between Christmas and New Years Eve with something for you, but with organising our NYE special (more on that later) and squaring away some continuing real life moves, this proved to be more difficult than I originally envisaged.
2008 has been a bit of rollercoaster ride here at camp Hook And Sling. I’m still in awe at how everything has grown over this year in regards to our nights, as well as the ever-growing readership and subscribers. I owe a lot of that to our many guest contributors and DJ’s, there are far too many of you to name individually but you all know who you are. I also want to thank everyone who’s rolled by these parts and left comments and words of support.
Our New Years Eve Special was a truly memorable night, Aside from all our South coast regulars, there was an abundance of new Soul recruits in attendance. We hit capacity by 10pm, with the dance floor constantly packed right through till the very end. From what I can remember (after several too many beers), I had a ball and really enjoyed watching everyone’s reactions to the 45s we played, both known and unknown. A truly top crowd, very receptive, who all deserve props for creating a fantastic atmosphere.
I’ll be posting more NYE photos on the gallery page as and when they become available to me.
We’d also like to thank Diane and the entire bar staff at The Brown Sugar Bar in London for their help and support with the night over the last couple of years. Unfortunately due to several culminating circumstances it is looking like we will be moving the night back South to La Havana Bar in Chichester for the time being. Dates to follow soon.
Fortunately, during my time away, in between trawling a few of my favourite digging spots, I’ve also managed to put together several new mixes, so hopefully for the time being there wont be any interruptions to my out put here. So lets kick off 2009 as we mean to go on with today’s selection of 45’s.
First up is one of my recent finds, The Fabulous Rhythm Makers with ‘Ya Gotta Be Doing It’ on the highly collectable Forte label. After the teasing intro, this 45 comes out fighting and flailing like a true heavyweight champ! Some serious guitar chops and intricate saxophone make this a sure fire winner.
From the same haul comes this Bobby Powell 45 on Whit Records. ‘Peace Begins Within’ starts out with a lick that has you getting your groove on even before the track fully kicks in. Check out the breakdown just over a minute and a half in – Quality!
Robert Parker is a real Hook and Sling favourite and as a general rule of thumb I always pick up any of his 45’s when I come across them in the field, I’m yet to be disappointed! Parker lays done some brilliant Nola styled R&B with ‘Barefootin’, the flip to ‘Let’s Go Baby’ on the 1966 Island Records issue of the 45.
The Turbans allegedly earned their name after their manager Herman Gillespie suggested they wear caps while performing, when Charlie Williams, the groups baritone replied he’d rather wear a turban instead, the name stuck and the group actually went on to perform wearing turbans! ‘B-I-N-G-O’ was the groups third single, released in 1956 and failed to chart, maybe due to it being a bit to gimmicky for the main stream which was still abound with church styled music at the time.
Huey ‘Piano’ Smith was one of the very first artists I wrote about on these pages and he hits us up again with his ’Clowns’ on this Ace Records release. Another Crescent City offering, this like all of his cuts captures the New Orleans party vibe perfectly. Some nice rolling piano and punchy horns make ‘High Blood Pressure’ a favourite of mine.
The next two 45’s go hand in hand. First we see Marva Whitney and James Brown duet on ‘You Gotta Have A Job (If You Don’t Work You Can’t Eat), a real call to arms which seems almost like a live recording. Horn maestro Maceo Parker provides the glue on this one and I really love the call and answer going on at the end, which just seems to build and build.
And then Bobby Byrd, the man responsible for giving a young James Brown a break (his family took him in after JB did a spell in prison) steps up next with a stripped back, bare bones version of the track, simply titled ‘If You Don’t Work You Can’t Eat’ Its all about the plain guitar and horns in unison here. I find it hard to decide which cut I prefer so I’ll let you choose!!!
Rufus Thomas is next up with the aptly titled ‘All Night Worker’ I felt after the previous two 45’s I had to stick this one in! This is from a black Canadian Stax issue and is something I haven’t seen very often around these parts. A nice little R&B stomper nonetheless.
Finally I thought I’d throw in a curve ball with this jazzy little number from The Righteous Brothers, the duo that bought us ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’ (This is actually the flip to that 45). Slightly downbeat psyched out vocals but a tidy little piano lick rounds things up here nicely.
So that’s the first mix of 2009! I hope you enjoyed it and rest assured there’s plenty more from where that came from. I’ve also got a couple of special treats coming up for you in the form of some new guest mixes. I promise you won’t be disappointed with these new comers to our ongoing Guest Mix Series and I’m really looking forward to dropping them on you, so make sure you check back here regularly so as not to miss them. I’ll be back soon with another dose of the ‘Good Stuff’ for you so don’t go far.
Track list (Scans available on request)
The Fabulous Rhythm Makers – Ya Gotta Be Doing It – Forte Records
Bobby Powell – Peace Begins Within – Whit
Robert Parker – Barefootin’ – Island Records
The Turbans – B-I-N-G-O (Bingo) – Herald
Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns – High Blood Pressure
Marva Whitney And James Brown – You Got To Have A Job (If You Don’t Work – You Can’t Eat) – King
Bobby Byrd – If You Don’t Work You Can’t Eat – King
Rufus Thomas – All Night Worker – Stax
The Righteous Brothers – There’s A Woman – London American Recordings