New mixtape! Heard through the grapevine it’s gonna be featured in the Meltin Pot radio show on London’s KANE FM real soon…Wednesday January 9th between 9:30 AM and noon, GMT! Tune in on www.kanefm.com, and like the Meltin Pot Facebook page while you’re at it: www.facebook.com/kanefm.meltinpot
The fifth installment of a series of mixtapes that’s improving in quality as my digging / collection of 45s grows. For this one I wanted to make a point. Music with a message…hmmm yes, sort of.
Sometimes I hear folks dissing new funk bands and releases, only because it’s not from the late sixties. First of all, that’s lame. Second of all: I’m-a prove you wrong, motherfucker!
As a real battle strategist I gathered some of my latest acquired troops and mercenaries on the 1 and 2, separating the old and the new 45s in two teams. These fierce teams battle song by song for the listeners’ respect. I dare to think that after an hour you will never diss new funk no more.
I put together a new mixtape. DOWNLOAD DJ DON GIO – FUNK 45s MIXTAPE VOL.1 Hope you enjoy! Volume 2 is on the way.
1. Pigmeat Markham – Sock it to ‘em Judge
2. Bobby Freeman – Midnight Snack
3. Warm Excursion – Hang Up (Part 2)
4. Breakestra – Come on Over
5. Bama and the Family – Feeling Good
6. Chubukos – House of Rising Funk
7. Dyke and the Blazers – Stuff
8. Chantal Mitvalsky – Friend or Foe
9. James Brown – Let A Man Come In And Do The Popcorn (Part One)
10. Curtis Mayfield – Right on for the Darkness
11. Chambers Brothers – Funky
12. Robert Moore – Make it Alright
13. Donald Ray – Strut your Stuff
14. Aretha Franklin – Rocksteady
15. Speedometer ft. Ria Currie – Answer to Mother Popcorn
16. Maceo and all the King’s Men – Thank You for Letting me be myself again
17. Bobby Williams – Funky Superfly
18. Sammy Gordon & the Hiphuggers – Upstairs on Boston Road (part 2)
19. Joe Chopper and the Swinging 7 Soul Band – Soul Pusher
20. Willie Mitchell – Soul Serenade
Recorded at The Soul Shack, Eindhoven NL, december 2010
Mastered by Napzter / 4XM Music
[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.
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…
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!
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
Every Billy Garner song has a great beat. It’s that beat and Billy’s screams and shouts that I fell in love with when I first heard his song “I Got Some” on the Brainfreeze Breaks compilation 2LP. You might know this tune as it was sampled by DJ Premier for GangStarr’s “B.Y.S.” . His other two landmark breaks are “Brand New Girl” and “You’re Wasting My Time” which were featured on SuperFunk vol. 2 by BGP/Ace Records (www.acerecords.com).
For now, take a listen to his most recognizable song “Super Duper Love” as this was revived by Joss Stone a few years back. Luckily, Joss does not deteriorate the original, as happens to a lot of covers. They either get ‘dancified’ with a stupid techno beat, or the singing really sucks compared to the original. Joss has a great soul voice, and her backing band is top notch. It gets close to the intensity of the original. Listen…
I am greatly fond of Dennis Coffey, not only because he is an incredible guitarplayer, but his songwriting and jamming style of recording made me fall in love with everything he ever put on record. I first got acquanted with his name when Mike D of the Beastie Boys was rapping: “Like Dennis Coffey I’m a Scorpio” on “Skills to Pay the Bills”. Not knowing that “Scorpio” is an awesome breakdance classic, I never gave it much thought. When hearing Coffey’s “Black Belt Jones” soundtrack on a compilation record (Schoolyard Breaks vol. 2 – GET THIS RECORD), I was sold.
I will definitely include “Scorpio” (got that 45 in the mail just a few weeks ago) and “Black Belt Jones” (when I find it on a 45 at a reasonable price; last week a copy went away on Ebay for $100) on this blog soon. For now listen to his 1969 cover of The Isley Brothers’ “It’s Your Thing” he did with some band called the Lyman Woodard Trio. Pay attention to that fatback drum in the intro, with Coffey’s wah-wah guitar riff. Heavenly!
Part of Dennis Coffey’s biography from Allmusic.com:
From the mid-to-late ’60s, Coffey was a Detroit session fixture, appearing on such mainstream hits and cult classics as Darrell Banks‘ monumental “Open the Door to Your Heart,” Carl Carlton‘s “Competition Ain’t Nothing,” and Tobi Lark‘s “Happiness Is Here.” His inventive playing is the tissue that connects an untold number of crowd favorites within Britain’s Northern soul club culture. Around 1968 Coffey also began working steadily at Motown, beginning with the Temptations‘ gritty “I Wish It Would Rain.” He went on to appear on the group’s landmark efforts “Cloud Nine” and “Ball of Confusion,” pushing the Motown sound into increasingly funky territory with his ingenious use of a wah-wah pedal, one of several technological innovations he introduced to tweak The Sound of Young America. Beginning with Jack Montgomery‘s Scepter release “Dearly Beloved,” Coffey concurrently added arranging and producing to his slate, teaming with local session drummer Mike Theodore to found their own production firm, Theo-Coff. The duo quickly hit paydirt helming a demo tape for the blue-eyed psych-soul combo the Sunliners, landing a production deal with MGM’s Maverick subsidiary. Six months later, Maverick also signed Coffey to a solo contract, releasing his psych-funk classic Hair & Thangs and scoring a Midwestern smash in 1969 with his fuzz-laden instrumental reading of the Isley Brothers‘ “It’s Your Thing.”
Where else to start off than the mother of all breaks? You probably have heard these drums countless times already, not only in virtually every jungle record, but it is even used in commercials nowadays. I heard it in a car commercial two weeks ago…Anyway, find below an explanative youtube video on the ‘Amen break’.
Short biography from Allmusic.com: ”A Washington, D.C.-based soul act led by Richard Spencer, the Winstons signed to Curtom in early 1968 and lasted there for one single, the rousing “Need a Replacement.” They had a sound that was somewhat similar to the Impressions, but were unfortunate enough to have signed with Curtom before the label had national distribution, and the single never got the play it should have. A year after leaving Curtom, they hit for the Metromedia label with a huge single called “Color Him Father,” which became a Top Ten R&B and pop hit, just missing number one on the R&B list, and also earned a Grammy for Best R&B Song. It was both a great tribute number and outstanding lead vocal from Richard Spencer, along with Ray Maritano, Quincy Mattison, Phil Tolotta, Sonny Peckrol, and G.C. Coleman. Mattison and Coleman were veterans of Otis Redding‘s band. The Winstons eventually toured as the backup band for the Impressions, but never again made any noise on the charts.”