I have finally managed to pull together a decent chunk of time to put out the next mix for you all. My apologies as I know its been nearly a month since the last one, and of late the posts have been sporadic to say the least. Hopefully I am making some head way in remedying the issues at hand and a “normal” service can again resume shortly. As always, a big thank you to everyone for your continued support and comments, they are highly appreciated!.
So here we go with my latest offering, which is a nice mix of funk and soul for you. Hopefully if you’ve managed to find our little corner of the internet for what ever reason, there will be something in today’s selection that fills the gap!
First up is Bobby Williams, an artist I featured way back around last Christmas. Recently the good folks at Jazzman Records have been doing a fantastic job of licensing up some really good funk and soul tracks and releasing them on mini 7 inch albums. ‘Let’s Jam’ comes from their latest output The Best of Bobby Williams and comes highly recommended from camp Hook and Sling. I dropped this the last time I played out and can assure you that it’s one of those tracks that kick starts a tiring dance floor perfectly. With its seriously informative sleeve notes I urge you to grab a copy from HERE while you still can.
Hugh Masekela, trumpeteer extraordinaire follows on next. ‘Gettin' It On’ is a nice horn led funker which fits in nicely after the full on first track. Masekela hailed from South Africa and a large potion of his music had anti slavery and apartheid undertones. Well known for his Jazz playing, you can certainly here tinges of it here.
Turning it up a notch Tower of Power step up with ‘Only So Much Oil In The Ground’. This was one of the first funk tracks I heard many many years ago after I was given a mixtape made by a friend who was trying to turn everyone he knew onto the virtues of funk! Tower of Power still tour and recently played Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London a while back.
I’ve been on a bit of a J.J. Barnes tip and he seems to be a permanent fixture on my Ipod at the moment, which prompted me to include ‘ I Ain’t Gonna Do It’ on today’s mix. J.J. Barnes was an artist who didn’t have very much success until his records were discovered and bought to light through the Northern Soul scene. He also notably went on to release several 45s on Motown after Berry Gordy acquired Ric-Tic Records in a bid to stifle competition to his own label. Check out the video of ‘Our Love Is In The Pocket’ below – Pure quality!
Sharon Jackson And The Soul Destroyers caused some ripples on the funk revival scene with this 2002 release. ‘Fakin’ It’ is the B-side To Keep On and came about after Sharon Jackson who was in the audience watching impromtly joined The Soul Destroyers on stage during a performance at Madame Jo-Jo’s. The band added her to the roster and immediately knocked this gem out of the studio.
This 45 has caused me some what of a headache over the last several years of collecting. ‘Soul Of A Black Man’ by Maceo And The Macks is the flip to the classic ‘Cross The Tracks’ and as some of you who regularly check here know, I collect the People record label fanatically. I currently try to have a red, purple and promo label issue of each single. The first red copy of this single I found had an unknown miss-pressing with a female vocal (who I assume is Lyn Collins - Please correct me if I’m wrong) and not ‘Soul Of A Black Man’ as the label stated. This has already led to me obtaining 3 copies and often buying ‘Blind’ in an attempt to find the elusive issue with the correct label and wax pressing…..Highly geeky and extremely anal I know!! What I can say is that all the trouble, time, effort and money was well spent and one listen to this reveals what I can only describe as a beautiful piece of soul, confirming why, in this collectors humble opinion, Maceo Parker is absolutely unmatched on the horns, hands down!
The next two see Gloria Walker and Etta James hitting us up with a cover ,‘Talking About My Baby’ and then the original issue, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’, a soul standard. This is one of my very favourite soul ballads, or as my fellow Hook and Slinger, Hoppin’ John comically calls them ‘Weepies’!!! Quality on both accounts!!
Taking us to an upbeat finish is Bill Moss or the ‘Boss With The Sauce’ as he was known during his early DJ career. ‘Sock It To ‘Em Soul Brother’ was released back in 1969 and was a call to arms styled record. Notably Bill Moss also went on to found the collectable CapSoul label, which put Columbus on the musical map.
That brings us to the end of today’s selection. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much
as I did putting it together. Stay safe and don’t forget to drop by later in the week for a suitably spooky Halloween styled offering.
Track List (Click on individual track titles for label scans)
Bobby Williams And His Mar-Kings – Let’s Jam – Jazzman Records
Hugh Masekela – Gettin’ It On – Uni
Tower Of Power – Only So Much Oil In The Ground – Warner Bros. Records
J.J. Barnes – I Ain’t Gonna Do It – Ric-Tic Records
Sharon Jackson And The Soul Destroyers – Fakin’ It – Stark Reality Record Co.
Maceo And The Macks – Soul Of A Black Man – People
Gloria Walker – Talking About My Baby – Flaming Arrow
Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind – Cadet
Bill Moss – Sock It To ‘Em Soul Brother - Pama