MUSICAL MYSTERIES


Archie Whitewater: Track 3
From Unreleased Archie Whitewater album (Cadet Concept, 197?)

Unknown: It’s Hard To Tell(?)
From unknown (label unknown, 197?)

Unknown: My Love Ain’t No Play Thing(?)
From unlabeled acetate (label unknown, 196/7?)

Here’s a trio of musical mysteries – unreleased and even completely unknown recordings:

I had heard rumors of a lost Archie Whitewater album but didn’t realize the tapes actually existed. Clearly, someone booted ’em and put them out into the world, for which we’re all better off (even if the mixing on these tracks are muddled as hell). Whitewater put together one of the most eclectic (and sought after) albums on the Cadet Concept label, which, true to the imprint’s “Concept” part, seemed like a challenging but rewarding collision of jazz, funk, soul, and rock. I’m betting it sounds amazing on weed but I wouldn’t really know. I’m not advocating for it either (but do comment about it if you try!) It seems that Whitewater recorded a second album for Cadet Concept but, for whatever reason, it was deaded before release. Nearly 40 years later, someone obviously decided to quit waiting and just put out a rough mix. I can’t say it’s better than his self-titled album – the submerged fidelity makes it a hard comparison – but I can say that it has enough stylistic similarities to warrant favorable comparison to the original.

Continuing our “unknown/unreleased” trip is a cut from Muscle Shoals, AL that our friend Andy Zax came upon and offered to share with us. Thanks Andy! An interesting cut to be sure; sounds a bit late ’70s to me, only because of certain aesthetic features but it’s hard to know since, when Andy found it in the vault archives, he had no info on it besides the Muscle Shoals connection. This isn’t a bad tune, especially with those lingering piano stabs but I also could have done without the rock guitar. If this sounds like anyone you can think of, let us know in the comments.

Lastly, I had to borrow a cut from my friend Justin Torres’ excellent The Break Up Letters mix (you better scoop that if you haven’t already). Justin’s pretty good at finding these unreleased-type tracks; he’s the guy responsible for finding the untitled recording by “Joe” that became DJ Shadow’s “This Time”. This unknown female funk song, from an untitled acetate, is a scorcher; sounds late ’60s to me (but could be easily early ’70s) and while it’s a bit rough from it being an acetate, you can imagine how awesome this would have been as an actual release.

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