So back to today and not one to ride on someone else’s laurels I bring you my new mix entitled Raiders Of The Lost Funk. (The title just came to me out of nowhere…….Honestly!..…..)
We get the ball rolling with The Chubukos and their 1973 stone cold funk jam ‘House Of The Rising Funk’. The 13 members strong band also recorded as Afrique and put out several 45s under that name during the 70s. It’s hard to know where to start with this 45, all the components here are amazing individually. The drum break is a Hip hop staple, which along with the guitar, organ and horn sections form an awesome funk jam.
Charles Earland was an accomplished organist, saxophone player and Jazz composer. He hailed from Philadelphia and had a large output on Prestige Records in the 70s. This deep funk version of Sly And The Family Stones 1968 hit ‘Sing A Simple Song’ is an absolute monster and definitely worthy of its place here.
The New Mastersounds are a fantastic four piece funk band from Leeds. Released on Freestyle Records, ‘Two Note Brown’ is a re-working of their hit ‘One Note Brown’. Recorded live this is faster and grittier than the OG version. I had the pleasure of catching them at the Jazz Café in London and would highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.
‘Brother Brown’ is a 45 that has come down in price on sales lists of late. This is a great deep funker and IMHO should feature in play boxes a little more often! Camille Bob also recorded under the name L’il Bob and also released 45s on the Master Trak and La Louisanne Labels. Check out his earlier R&B 45 ‘I Got Loaded’ which he recorded as L’il Bob & The Lollipops.
Slim And The Soulful Saints recorded ‘Fish Head’ in 1970 at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and released it on the independent CAL label. The seven piece band were led by Stanford “Slim” Barnes who borrowed money from a local banker to hire the backing band and pay for the session. The track is a nod to Tenor Sax player Lorenzo “Fish” Fendley who penned the track.
I don’t know that much about Jimbo Jackson & Violators, but this is another raw Illinois funk 45 that seems to cash in on the Popcorn craze that was huge at the time.
The next two 45 are considered ‘Holy Grail’s amongst deep funk collectors. Their respective reissues a few years ago opened up many cans of worms regarding the rights and wrongs of reissuing expensive rare records. The Herb Johnson Settlement 45 was put out by Soul Fire and has a replica Toxsan label, As far as I can see the only difference is in the dead wax markings. The pressing is fantastic and will suffice for the time being until a spare £300-£400 comes my way!!
Herman Hitson’ s ‘Ain’t No Other Way’ appears here on the Grapevine Label. This is a record that commands some serious ‘wedge’ if your lucky enough to find a copy some where. The 45 is just as popular on the northern scene for the flip ‘You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down’. Originally this was released on Hitson’s own Sweet Rose Label as he had found it difficult to get a record label to release his material after a dropped assault charge in 1968. Head HERE for Colin Dilnot’s brilliant and insightful interview with Herman Hitson.
Like Charles Earland, Don Gardner also came from Philadelphia. He is an excellent drummer and singer who is still performing today. He had notable success in the 60’s with Dee Dee Ford, but this is my clear favourite cut of his. The drums and guitar take no prisoners what so ever. Quality!
Robert Moore’s feel good cut ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ was originally released on the highly collectable Saadia label. Written by Frank Williams, this is another 45 that falls in to the reissue category. With the OG fetching a pretty penny, the Record Kicks release makes a good temporary substitute.
We round things up with The Fantastic Johnny C and ‘Look What Love Can Make You Do’ on the Phil-L.A. Of Soul label. This is the flip to ‘Boogaloo Down Broadway’, his 1968 top ten hit. Johnny Corley was originally discovered whilst singing in a Church choir. This side is a great groover and wraps things up nicely.
That’s it for today, I hope we will see some of you this Saturday at The Brown Sugar Bar, Don’t Sleep on it!!
Track List (Click on individual track titles for label scans)
The Chubukos – House Of The Rising Funk – Mainstream
Charlie Earland – Sing A Simple Song – Prestige
The New Mastersounds – Two Note Brown – Freestyle Records
Camille Bob – Brother Brown – Soul Unlimited
Slim & The Soulful Saints – Fish Head – CAL
Jimbo Jackson & Violators – Pop Corn Part 1 – Brainstorm Records
The Herb Johnson Settlement – “Damph F’Aint” – Toxsan Records (SoulFire)
Herman Hitson – Ain’t No Other Way – Grapevine Records
Don Gardner – My Baby Likes To Boogaloo – Tru-Glo-Town
Robert Moore – Everything’s Gonna’ Be All Right – Record Kicks
The Fantastic Johnny C – Look What Love Can Make You Do – Phil-L.A. Of Soul