The Nite-Liters: Valdez in the Country
From Analysis (RCA, 1973)
New Birth: Honeybee
From Ain’t No Big Thing But It’s Growing (RCA, 1971)
To get the background on The Nite-Liters, start here.
Like most of the Nite-Liters LPs, it’s hard to pick just one song to highlight off of Analysis. The really bombastic cut is “Damn” but I’m not going to pass up the opportunity to show love for a Nite-Liters song that covers Donny Hathaway. “Valdez in the Country” is such a great composition – I’ve yet to hear a bad version of the song. Seriously, how great is this track? So soulful…
Speaking of which, I’d describe “Valdez in the Country” “soulful funk,” and the inverse (funky soul) applies to “Honeybee,” a song from the New Birth’s 1971 album. As noted before, Harvey Fuqua created the New Birth using members of the Nite-Liters but their sound was closer to conventional soul music of the era (not that this is a bad thing). The song is incredible, especially with how it opens with the bee buzzes and that deep, dark bassline (Rza, holla).
Hope everyone enjoyed this taste of the Nite-Liters – luckily, all of their albums (and most of the New Birth LPs) are all available on reissue these days. Start your collection today.