Category: Diggin’

Diggin in the states, part 3

Just returned from my third trip digging through various record stores and thrift stores in California. Came back with a helluva stack wicked 45s and LPs. Nothing beats the feeling of returning home with a shitload of gems just waiting to be cleaned and played for a live audience…

Speaking of which, we’re currently looking for a new venue for weLOVEweFUNK, as residents around Skatepark Area51 have filed noise complaints. Eindhoven authorities just pulled Area51′s license for staying open late and organising stuff. Which sucks not only for funk lovers in the area, but also rock, punk, hip hop, dubstep and techno crowds who flocked to the many parties held at Area51. I guess it’s the same old story over and over again… stay tuned for more news on www.welovewefunk.nl or join the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/welovewefunk.

For now, gaze at these pics I took on holiday. Just some good spots I could recommend to every vinyl junkie.

 



Funk 45s mixtape vol. 3 – the US trip

ALL TRACKS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD (RAR – separate MP3s).

Funk 45s Mixtape Vol. 3 – the US trip by Don Gio on Mixcloud

Tracklist:
1. The Impressions – Mighty Mighty Spade & Whitey (Curtom)
2. Buddy Guy with Dr. John and Eric Clapton – A Man Of Many Words (Atco)
3. Joe Cocker – Woman To Woman (A&M)
4. Ike and Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister (Blue Thumb)
5. Lou Rawles – Bring it on Home (Capitol)
6. The Turtles – Buzz Saw (White Whale)
7. Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Band – What Can You Bring Me (Warner Bros)
8. Johnny Tolbert – Check Your Battery part 2 (Jasman)
9. Gladys Knight & The Pips – The Nitty Gritty (Soul)
10. Leroy & The Fabulous Rocking Soul Band – Just Jiving Around (Plut – Reissue)
11. Z.Z. Hill – I Think I’d Do It (Mankind)
12. Hank Ballard – Butter Your Popcorn (King)
13. Bill Doggett – Honky Tonk Popcorn (King)
14. The People’s Choice – Cause That’s The Way I Know (Phil – L.A.)
15. Lou Courtney – Do The Thing (Riverside)
16. Alvin Cash ft. The Registers – Diff’rent Strokes For Diff’rent Folks (Mar-V-Lus)
17. Bill Cosby – Funky North Philly (Warner Bros)
18. The Fantastic Johhny C – Look What Love Can Make You Do (Phil – L.A.)
19. Wilson Pickett – Funk Factory (Atlantic)
20. Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose – Treat Her Like A Lady (United Artists)
21. Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song (Congress)
22. Jimmy McGriff – I’ve Got A Woman (Sue)



Jimmy Hughes – What Side of the Door

[dewplayer:http://www.don-gio.com/wp-content/mp3/jimmy hughes - what side of the door 111.mp3]

Back from a long time…I have been busy with University last few months, trying to graduate. The blogging duties have been woefully neglected…But I have restyled the WordPress blog, and moved it over to my own webspace www.don-gio.com, which makes it much easier for me to update. And have I something very special for you!

Featuring on Jimmy Hughes’ 1969 record “Something Special”, the track “What Side of the Door” was apparently written by Isaac Hayes and David Porter. The intro alone makes this one a very special tune.  Using a bluesharp on a funky soul track is something I never heard before giving this record a spin, and never heard since. Judging from the massive sound of the drums on this song, and from the credits, the producer of the track couldn’t be anyone else than that fatback drummer of Booker T & the M.G.’s, Al Jackson Jr. 

Short biography from allmusic.com: 

Jimmy Hughes established producer Rick Hall‘s fledgling Fame studio as an R&B mecca with his 1964 blues ballad “Steal Away.” The ex-gospel singer hooked up with Hall in 1962 but it wasn’t until the explosive “Steal Away” was issued on the Fame label that his career took off. With an intense, crying vocal style that was perfect for deep soul ballads, Hughes scored with the pleading “Why Not Tonight” in 1967, although the untypically uptempo “Neighbor, Neighbor” proved another giant hit. Hughes broke away from Hall and recorded an album for Volt before retiring from performing in the mid-’70s.



Dynamic Corvettes – Funky Music is the Thing pt.2

DYNAMIC CORVETTES

I was looking a while on eBay for this record, which is virtually impossible to get here in Europe. It was featured on the 4th edition of Ultimate Breaks & Beats, but the 45 is *of course* much cooler to add to the ol’ collection. Part one has a great intro, but the flipside features a massive break. Give it a listen…



Syl Johnson – Is It Because I’m Black?

SYL JOHNSON IS IT BECAUSE IM BLACK

Howdy, it has been a while since my last post, but I promise you I am back with some funky fireworks. It has been a busy month for me, but I got reminded of my blogging duties by a befriended DJ of mine. And yesterday I got a weird surprise by watching an item on eBay and seeing for what price it went for. It was last post’s Warm Excursion 45 which traded hands for 137 US dollars. Sick!

Well, today’s tune of choice is something every Cypress Hill fan would instantly recognize by the instrumental. Featuring as a skit on the Hill’s Black Sunday album called Lock Down, this garnered my attention when I was a 15 year old kid giving the Hill serious playtime on my dad’s stereo (he even bought the CD a while ago because even the old man can appreciate some blunted hiphop). The original however, is much more impressive, and makes clear why DJ Muggs used especially this piece of music (he apparently got sued by Syl Johnson in 2008 for 29 million dollars for the use of this tiny sample. Seems a bit harsh to me.)

Syl Johnson is a guitarplayer from Mississippi, and scored hits in the 60s with, among others, “Different Strokes” which is a breakbeat classic record. When I can cop that one on vinyl I will surely feature it on the blog. Syl got another hit in 1969 called “Is It Because I’m Black”. It is a socially conscious song, the message being that he feels discriminated over the colour of his skin. The intro alone gives me goosebumps, and Syl crooning his words even so. Give it a listen!



Warm Excursion – Hang Up pt. 1

Download or listen to Warm Excursion - Hang Up part 1

Download or listen to Warm Excursion – Hang Up pt.1!

Speaking of fatback drums, this little record deserves first price in funk drums excellency. I picked up this Pzazz single with a small batch of 6 dollar records on E-bay, being the most expensive at 12 dollars. When reading more about this 45 on Funky16Corners (be sure to check that blog, more about that later) it should have gone for $50 in 2005. Well, I think it was just my lucky day not having to beat insanely high bidders, shall I blame the economic crisis that my US counterparts are not so interested in collecting vinyl? The high value of the euro? Whatever the reason, I am glad this slab of vinyl made it to my small yet growing record collection. 

Some info from Funky16Corners (Blog of Larry Grogan, soul connaisseur extraordinaire, www.funky16corners.com):

“The Pzazz label (“Put a little Pzazz in your jazz!”) was started by New Orleans legend Paul Gayten (funny, isn’t it how things always make their way back to New Orleans?). Gayten, who wrote and recorded some seminal R&B in the Big Easy in the 1950’s, eventually winged it out to the West Coast where he ran things for Chess Records on that end of the map for some years. He started Pzazz in 1968, and over the next few years released all kinds of records; jazz, funk, soul and blues, with a catalogue including a few dozen 45s and a handful of LPs (and an especially cool label design). Pzazz had success with recordings by Lorez Alexandria, and also released sides by veterans like Louis Jordan. Also included in their discography is another funky organ classic, ‘Twitchie Feet’ by The Soul Machine. I haven’t really been able to track down much information about the group Warm Excursion (subtitled ‘Terrible Three’ on the 45 label). They recorded at least one other 45 for the Watts-USA label, ‘Funk-I-Tus’ b/w ‘Phut-ball’, and were almost definitely LA-based. There’s also a rumor that they recorded a full albums worth of material, which was destroyed at some point.”



Booker T and the MG’s – Melting Pot

Download Booker T & the MGs - Melting Pot

Download Booker T & the MGs - Melting Pot

The first time I heard this tune by the famous Booker T & the MGs was on Kenny Dope’s Break Beats compilation DJ mixtape, which is a 100% must have for all you breaks fanatics. Next thing I know, I found the 45 single in a Berlin record store for just 3 euros, in pristine condition. It’s a bargain!
Of course Booker T & the MGs are most famous for their hit record “Green Onions”, which is a great track, but here they outdo themselves if you ask me. It is a 4 minute jam in the instrumental style they are known for, but more drum-heavy. Apart from the great organ playing and guitar riffing, especially Al Jackson Jr. ‘s drumming makes this tune stand out. Damn is that dude funky or what? Jackson also produced some stuff, of which one is an obscure 45 I just got in the mail: Jimmy Hughes’ “What side of the door” on Volt. I will post that up some time later. For now, listen and groove. Be sure to pick up their full length “Melting Pot”out of the crates if you haven’t got it yet.
booker t melting pot record


Bobby Williams – Funky Superfly pt.1

Download Bobby Williams - Funky Superfly pt. 1

Download Bobby Williams - Funky Superfly pt. 1

Download Bobby Williams – Funky Superfly pt.1 here!

I found this song when browsing through the radio podcasts by Midnight Soulstice on W-RIR 97.3 (be sure to check out http://www.myspace.com/midnightsoulstice and tune up to their weekly radio shows). I was lucky enough to be the only bidder on an E-Bay auction, which got me a good deal for this rare gem.

Hailing from Miami, Bobby Williams gets 100 out of 100 points for pure funkiness. I can’t find much info on Bobby, but you can clearly hear the James Brown influences going on here. The tune instantly blasts off pure horns ‘n all funky style, with his typical screams and shouts Bobby gets the party started.  Watch out for that drum break! For a 1974 song, it is recorded almost at the end of the great funk era, but there is somehow a 60s rawness to this recording that makes it stand out. Enjoy!

PS: if it would make you happy, someone uploaded Bobby Williams full album “Funky Superfly” here.



Timothy McNealy – Sagittarius Black

Timothy_McNealy

Timothy McNealy

Download or listen to Timothy McNealy - Sagittarius Black

 Click the image above or download it here!

Wow! The first time I heard this tune I was mesmerized by its lazy mellow groove, perfectly fit for a hot day like today is in sunny Tilburg, Holland. I found out the original pressing of only 500 7″s on his own Shawn label made it one of the rarest records to be found in the deep funk scene. Luckily, Truth and Soul have reissued this magnificent disc, featuring “Funky Movement no.2″ on the A-side. I just found out it is already sold out on their site www.truthandsoulrecords.com, but maybe you can try your luck elsewhere, like http://www.undergroundhiphop.com/store/detail.asp?UPC=TS02112. Pick it up for only $4, this is amazing stuff!

Some info from www.npr.org: “Until Brooklyn’s Truth and Soul label recently reissued Timothy McNealy’s “I’m So Glad That You’re Mine,” most of what anyone knew of this Dallas funk and soul veteran was as an instrumentalist. In the late ’60s, the keyboardist had been a member of Bobby Patterson’s Mustangs band, but he broke out solo in 1970 and formed the Shawn label. His output on Shawn was meager, but when funk collectors discovered singles such as “Sagittarius Black” and “K.C. Stomp,” they clamored for one of the scarce original copies. Strangely, though, the one single to actually feature McNealy’s vocals would go relatively ignored. In 1972, he released a single with a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” on one side and this remarkable version of Al Green’s “I’m So Glad That You’re Mine” on the flip.”



Dyke and the Blazers – Stuff

Dyke and the Blazers - Stuff

Click the image above or download here!

This is something I picked up as a package filler record for an E-bay transaction. It turned out to be the best single of the bunch! I didn’t know much of Dyke and the Blazers, apart from some songs that were included on some funk compilation series. The other side of this Original Sound 45 is “Wobble”, a pretty funky tune as well. I might include that in my blog one day as well. I will feature the A-side “Stuff” in here, it has a fatback groove, stabbing horns and incredible energy. Enjoy!

Some information from Allmusic: “Arlester “Dyke” Christian was born in Buffalo, NY, in 1943, and by the mid-’60s was singing and playing bass with the O’Jays backing band, the Blazers. Dyke and some of the other Blazers were stranded in Phoenix when the O’Jays‘ couldn’t afford to bring them back to Buffalo, and the Blazers based themselves in Phoenix, having no means to travel elsewhere. Their “Funky Broadway” was released on the Phoenix indie Artco in late 1966, and picked up for distribution by the L.A.-based Original Sound label. It became a sizable R&B hit (and a small pop one), and may have been the first record to use the word “funky” in the title.

As with James Brown, Dyke & the Blazers’ records sold far better, and charted much better, with the R&B audience than the pop one, which was for the most part unaware of the band. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, Dyke and the band issued a series of gut-bucket funk singles with scratchy guitar riffs, greasy organ, hoarse vocals, and jazzy horns; all traits that James Brown and his band had developed, admittedly. But Dyke did the style well (right down to issuing several two-part singles), although not with a great deal of variety. For some of his sessions, Dyke recorded in Los Angeles with musicians who would later play in the Watts 103rd Street Band (guitarist Al McKay would later be in Earth, Wind & Fire). According to Original Sound producer Art Laboe, most of the singles came from 15-to-20-minute jams that were edited down to a length that could fit on the 45 RPM format.

Dyke & the Blazers had Top Ten R&B singles with “We Got More Soul” and “Let a Woman Be a Woman — Let a Man Be a Man” in 1969, and smaller sellers with “Uhh, ” “You Are My Sunshine,” and “Runaway People.” Dyke Christian, sadly, was fatally shot on the street in Phoenix on March 13, 1971.”