Sunny and the Sunliners: Soul Pride + Cissy Strut
From The Missing Link (Key-Loc, 197?)

I wanted to thank everyone for their support in picking up one our CDs. As a gesture of my gratitude, I decided to slip out another of the “top shelf” records (though not from a fire crate record[1]) with two cuts off this Sunny and the Sunliners LP. The group was based around San Antonio and had a long, healthy career, releasing singles and albums on the Key-Loc label. (Later, group member Rudy Guerra would go onto found a similar band, The Latin Breed, who are equal legends in the Texas funk scene, especially with their releases on GCP.

Like most of Sunny and the Sunliners albums from this era, Missing Link is a mix of Tex-Mex ranchera songs with a few odd soul and funk tunes mixed in. Apart from the two songs included above, there’s also a slower, instrumental cut, “Boo Boo” and a midtempo funk tune, “Pressure Cooker” (good name). I appreciate that diversity and seeming eclecticism though I know, for the group, there likely was no contradiction in them playing a Norteño track one minute and a soul one the next.

Their cover of “Soul Pride” is pretty loyal – a good funk slammer, no doubt – but their version of “Cissy Strut” is something fierce, especially with their addition of the “Sing a Simple Song” horn bridge (nice). Is it my favorite cover of this Meters classic? Tough call – I do dig the new elements they throw in but I might have to stick with the Hoctor cover (and don’t sleep on the Trinidad Steel Drum Band’s either).

[1] Fire crate records = some DJs joke about keeping a crate of records that they’ll grab in case of a fire. It’s a good idea for a future post, no?