FLYING HIGH WITH “FALCON”

Caffe: Falcon (Godo, 197?)

Speaking of mysteries, I know next to nothing about this salsa 45 but full credit for its discovery goes to Michael Barnes who played it for me last year and I was instantly hooked.

First, I love Afro-Latin dance music that makes use of the electric piano. If you have ever sat with the glory that is Ray Barretto’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” you know how good the instrument can sound […]

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PHASE III MYSTERY

Richard Ryder and the Eighth Wonder: Phase III (Y’Blood, 1972)

This is a very curious 7″ EP I’ve had for years but it wasn’t until earlier today that I was thunderstruck by something about it — and specifically the song “Phase III” — that I should have picked up on a long time ago: the song is intertwined with Amanda Ambrose’s “(I Ain’t Singing No More) Sad Songs”. Fans of my Soul Sides Vol. 1 comp (or of […]

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MY FAVORITE THINGS – 2019

2019 was a good balance between new music I discovered/enjoyed vs. old tunes I’m continually finding via records. I find that raising a teenager helps with the former and while I would never try to pass myself off – these days – as having a finger of the musical zeitgeist, I think it’s valuable to stay engaged with new music coming out. Anyways…I’m going to flip this from the round-ups of the last few years and start with the old tracks I gave heavy run to last year. (Not in ranked order)

1. The Rascals: My World (1968)

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THE TUBA FATS RIFF: A COMPANION POST

Back in spring 2011, I visited New Orleans and came back with a handful of records. Amongst them was a single by Floyd Anckle and the Majestic Brass Band, performing what I expected to be a cover of The Meters’ mid-70s hit, “Hey Pocky-Way.” However, the one thing I noticed right away is that it opened with a big tuba riff that wasn’t like anything in The Meters’ song at all.

That song stayed with me for a long time but it was hard to find much on Anckle or the Majestic and at the time, […]

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CLOUD: BLAME IT ON THE SUN (1976)

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Cloud: Blame It On the Sun (Chapman, 1976)

I heard this one in a tiny story in Orange County when a friend and I were cruising through and I loved it from jump: it clearly has some “Sunny” vibes but that massive brass section brings into full into the ’70s. Plus, I dig the low-key (high-key?) corny lyrics such as: “Like a song without an ending, like a sea without a tide…” Kansas City, MO, represent.

TRINIDAD TRIPOLI STEELBAND: I WANT YOU BACK (1971)

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Trinidad Tripoli Steelband: Want You Back (Warner Bros, 1971)

I don’t always listen to steel band…but when I do, I listen to steel band covers of Jackson 5 hits.

THE MAJESTIC ARROWS: ANOTHER DAY (1973)

The majestic arrows doing it for us

The Majestic Arrows: Another Day (Bandit, 1973)

On production alone, I would have been into this sweet soul side but I love the combo of the male falsetto + female vocal duet.

STRATUS: GIRL (1976)

Girl stratus

Stratus: Girl (Wyldwood, 1976)

Straight outta Rhinelander, WI. This one reminds me of something that Larry T and the Family might have cooked up. Lovely vibe that throws together a lil folk, soul and funk in the blender.

AARON NEVILLE: OVER YOU (1960)

Overyou

Aaron Neville: Over You (Minit, 1960)

I’m not 100% positive about this but doesn’t it seem like Biggie got his lines on “Warning” from “Over You”? And then, of course, that influenced Erykah to crib off Big.

It’s also interesting to hear Neville early in his career, before his voice turned into that crackling falsetto he became so known for.

BYRON DAUGHERTY: GOLDEN LADY (1972)

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Byron Daugherty: Golden Lady (Gatsby, 1972)

Shout out to Lake Elsinore’s finest aka “the back door man.” I scooped this off the recent Craig Moerer pop-up at Rapp Cats and it was impossible for me to resist.

Stevie Wonder cover? Check.
Heavy electric piano? Check.
Countrified soul vocals? Check.

Damn cool cover and “Gatsby” is a pretty good label name to boot.