Dyke and the Blazers + Frank Roberts Four: Sockin’ It To You

Dyke and the Blazers: It’s Your Thing
From Greatest Hits (Original Sound, 1968). Also on We Got More Soul.

Frank Roberts Four: It’s Your Thing
From In Canada (Westmount, 196?)

There are some songs where I never, ever, need to hear a cover of (starting with “Eleanor Rigby”). There are other songs where I’ll always lend an ear for – “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Cissy Strut,” and today’s selection, the Isley Bros.’ “It’s Your Thing.” It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of the song: I put Ann Peebles’ version on an older mixtape, Adventures in Rhythm; Deep Covers has a Lyman Woodard version, and now SSV2 rocks the Cold Grits’ version. Here’s two more:

Dyke and the Blazers’ is a tough one to beat – what I like about it is how it tweaks that familiar, signature bassline from the Isleys by flipping it almost double-time, basically making a funky riff even funkier. All praises due the Blazers on this one, aka the Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band.

The Frank Roberts Four version comes from a Canadian private press soul album and their take on the classic is with an interesting blend of harmonized vocals and B3 Hammond organ front and center. Random to be sure but that’s the beauty in cuts like “It’s Your Thing.” I’m sure, somewhere out there, some killer Polish or Maori or Vietnamese version lurks.