WOLFMOON: IF HE WALKED TODAY (1973)

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Wolfmoon: If He Walked Today (Fungus, 1973)

David Ma of Nerdtorious put me up on this; Wolfmoon = Tyrone Thomas and he was taken under the wing by Swamp Dogg. Their collaboration only produced this one album, which has a small but enthusiastic following. “If He Walked Today,” which came out as a single as well, isn’t so much a classic gospel song as it is a social issues tune that uses the idea of a Second Coming to castigate the state of the world. {By the way, […]

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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.

SUNNY AND THE SUNLINERS: GRAZING IN THE GRASS (1970s)

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Sunny and the Sunliners: Grazing In the Grass (From This Is My Band, Key-Loc, 197?)

“Grazing in the Grass,” the mega-hit by Hugh Masakela, ends up on all manners of other people’s albums. It helps that, as an instrumental (originally), it “translates” easily to other genres. In some ways, I would have actually expected Sunny Ozuna’s S.A. peers, Latin Breed, to have tackled this instead (they’ve done some killer jazz-funk tunes) but regardless, fun to hear Masakela get a slight Tejano […]

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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)

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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)

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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.

LIVE AT THE CHINA ROYAL: A FUNKY ODE TO THE CHOW MEIN SANDWICH

This is a narrated slide show of a paper I presented at this year’s Asian American Studies conference in San Francisco. It’s a condensed version of an essay I’m writing for an anthology on Chinese restaurants in North America. I’ve had a lot of fun researching and prepping it; hope you enjoy!

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.

DENNIS AND LOS BEATS: PORQUE (196?)

Dennis & Los Yorks: Porque (Dicesa, 196?)

Don’t know much about this one except that it’s likely a garage pop single out of El Salvador. Los Beats were quite prolific but who Dennis is – besides, presumably, the lead singer on here – is unclear. “Porque” is a cover of the Dave Clark Band’s minor 1964 hit, “Because.”

LIVING FUNK – THE DOC

What’s extraordinary about this is how, not that long ago, a deep dive history such as this would have amounted to a blog post, at best. But these days, you can go out, shoot and edit a mini-doc about a lost record without having to break the bank.

You can find out more at Living Funk.