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, some seem to think this is the same Tyrone Thomas of The Whole Darn Family but I have yet to see definitive proof of that.)

DR. JOHN: RIGHT PLACE REMIXED

Drjohn

Dr. John: Right Place Wrong Time (Professor Shorthair Remix) (Superjock, 2014, 7″)

Oops, meant to mention these a few weeks back: New Orleans’s DJ Yamin has been remixing Crescent City classics and re-releasing them on 7″ as part of the “NOLA Breaks” series. Of the batch, I thought this one did the best in just adding enough little things to juice up the excellent original without overdoing it.

365 Days of Soul, #133

UMCS, CHARLES BRADLEY, AND OTHER QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Question from Nick: “I was wondering if you know what the beat is that the UMC’s freestyle over on Stretch and Bobbito’s radio show. I am pretty sure that Stretch put together beats, so it may be something he created. Regardless its classic case of how good stripped down drums and bass can sound.”

Answer: I don’t recognize it as an instrumental from an existing song from that era though it could certainly have been from a more independent release that would have flown under my radar then. I do think it’s more realistic that it was a Stretch exclusive though.

And yes, I absolutely agree about the how good stripped down drums and bass can sound. To wit, one of my favorites.


Question from Casey: “Just heard Oliver on NPR, but didn’t hear the first names of singers named Hunter & Bradley, I think both from London. Would love to learn more about them. Thanks!”

Answer: Casey is referring to this review of both Charles Bradley and the James Hunter Six. Hunter is from London but Bradley is from the States. Click either name above to go to their respective websites.

Bradley just played the Apollo and *whistle*, sick poster (click on thumbnail for bigger image):


Question from Matt: “”Hi, long time reader, first time emailer. I have a 45 that I cannot seem to find lot of information on and was hoping you might know. It is from the Rocky Mountain Recording label out of Cheyenne, WY. and the name of the group is The Soul Reflections. Track one is “”I Love You Baby”” and the other is “”Reflections’ Walk Groovin’ In The Basement.”” Both tracks feature Carroll Jones. It is also on red vinyl. It’s in pretty rough shape, but was just curious to know more about it and the label. The only other record I have seen from this label is a country and western tune, but I cannot remember the name of the group.”

Answer: Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with this 7″ at all. A quick scan of Popsike shows that there were at least a few releases on RMR (Rocky Mountain Records) attributed to Carroll Jones and the Soul Reflections; this looks like the single you have. I can’t tell if that single is less common or less in demand but the single by the group that sells more often is “Hey Girl” which has this stripped down, almost garage-y ballad on the b-side, “I Need You So Bad.” Good luck. If you turn up more, let us know.


Question from anonymous: “Who else used the melody from El Michels Affair’s “Detroit twice”?”

Answer: I’m not sure which melody you’re asking about specifically. If it’s the one carried on the horns, I have no idea; doesn’t sound familiar. However, the beginning of the song is clearly a riff on this Soul Sides favorite:

The El Michels Affair isn’t carrying the rhythm line in the exact same way, more like a vague interpolation of it. But the four note vocal cry at the beginning clearly nods to Young.


Quesiton from Richard: “Been a minute since I’ve stopped by (sorry, long time Soul Sider) but someone randomly sent me this video on youtube messages. Wanted to know if you were privy to this yet.

Answer: Nope, hadn’t heard this. Not that won over by it. As I try to suggest in that aforementioned review of Bradley and Hunter, there’s a fine line in being able to pull off a good retro-soul sound vs. sounding like you’re pandering. This track seems a little too far on the wrong side of that line. My .02.


Have a question? Ask us.

BRING THAT BARTER BACK! (5TH ANNIV. MIX)

First of all, Soul Sides is celebrating its 5th anniversary party in Los Angeles at the Shortstop next Thursday (May 14th). I’ll be spinning solo, trying to mix in as many “Soul Sides classics” (presuming such a thing exists) as possible. I would love to see my Southland posse roll out in full force.

That night, I’m also debuting the 5th Anniversary Special CD, which will include as many of the 20 “5 Year Rewind” songs as I can fit. Free to anyone who comes up and asks for one (while supplies last, of course). I’ll also try to tape the entire 4 hour set and I’ll make that available (via an email list) to anyone who rolls through.

For the rest of you not living in LA (or who actually have to work on Friday mornings), I decided to try a little experiment. Rather than sell these, I prefer to barter them – for goods or services. People can offer what they want; it obviously doesn’t have to be expensive but ideally, it’s something connected to you – your interests, your career, your hobbies, etc. To me, this is just an interesting way to learn more about the people who read the site.

(This said, I’ll be completely self-serving right now and say that I”m definitely down to barter one of these to anyone who can help me get some discount tickets to Disneyland. The Great Mouse is sticking me for my papers!)

Mull it over – this could turn out to be a complete failure of an idea but I’m hoping there’s folks out there who’d be game to swap something of theirs for something of mine. Drop your barter offer to here.

And hey, just so you don’t leave empty-handed right now, here’s a cover of Dennis Coffey’s “Scorpio” I recently came across, from some random exploitation LP. Overall, it’s not better than Coffey’s but the percussion breakdown in the middle is pretty massive.

The Sound Effects: Scorpio
From Summer ’72 (QMO, 1972)

5 YEAR REWIND: LIJADU SISTERS



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on April 23, 2006).

Lijadu Sisters: Life’s Gone Down Low
From Danger (Afrodisia, 1976)

(New comments:) Ok, so technically speaking, I actually have never posted this song before, at least, not on its own. I did post it (I think) as part of a snippet from DJs Matthew African and B-Cause excellent Soul Boulders mix-CD, probably the most influential mix I’ve heard in the last few years based on how many of its songs I’ve tried to hunt down after first hearing them on there.

“Life’s Gone Down Low” has been practically at the very top of that list; I just love the slow burning funkiness of the song and having twin female voices doing the vocals made it all the better. Alas, given that copies of this are really only to be found in Nigeria, it happens to be a legitimately tough LP to come by at any price.

Like the Mighty Voices of Wonder, I also scored this (finally!) on my NY trip and appropriately enough, I got it from JP over at Good Records which happens to be the same place Matthew originally scored his copy. (Moral: Good Records is one helluva spot to score African LPs of all stripes. You should hear the Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo de Cotonou album I got there too…hot damn!).


And with that…, so concludes our 5 year retrospective. What I plan on doing (if I can manage the time) is to bundle most (I won’t be able to do all) of the 20 songs I’ve run through and put it on a limited edition CD that I’ll give away at gigs and may make – in very limited quantities – available through the site. This whole spin back has just a way to say “thank you!” to everyone for supporting the blog over the years. It’s been my honor and continued pleasure to do so.

We’re going to throw a 5 year anniversary party in Los Angeles, probably the first Thursday of May – stay tuned for that!

5 YEAR REWIND: MIGHTY VOICES OF WONDER



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on August 28, 2006).

Mighty Voices of Wonder: I Thank the Lord
From 7″ (Revival, 197?). Also on Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal

(New comments:) On my recent NY trip, I picked this 7″ up at Big City and not only did it mean the end of a nearly three year wait, the timing couldn’t have been better.

To explain: this was the one single off the excellent Good God! compilation I really wanted; I just loved the sound of it and at the time, it didn’t even dawn on me that the Mighty Voices of Wonder were covering Sam and Dave’s big hit, “I Thank You.” I just thought it was a sick gospel funk tune with a bangin’ intro. Turns out…it’s a cover (so you know that’ll score bonus points with me).

But more recently, I also realized that this 7″ was recored at Double U Studios in Ecorse, MI, the focus of that incredible Downriver Revival comp I reviewed for NPR the other month. That just made the single all the more special and when I flipped through a stack of 45s at Big City and saw it sitting there, I just stared for a moment to make sure it really was it and then promptly said: I’ll take this.

5 YEAR REWIND: THE IMPRESSIONS



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on June 14, 2008).

The Impressions: I’m Loving Nothing
From This Is My Country (Curtom, 1968)

(From the original post:) “This LP is easily the best thing I’ve heard in months. I just cannot get enough of it and am marveling at its overall consistency and sheer sublimeness at times. I feel sheepish that it took me this long to get around to listening the Impressions’ solo albums but if they’re anywhere near this good, I’ll be copping the catalog soon.

I’ve been trying to figure out, in my own head, just what makes the sound of this album so incredible to me and so far, the best I can come up with is: everything. The vocals, the melodies, the rhythm section, the sense of drama, the sense of delicate lightness, the lilt in Mayfield’s voice, the hooks that haunt you; take your pick. I haven’t been this enamored by a soul album since…I don’t know…discovering Eddie Kendrick’s People…Hold On (and that’s one of my all-time favorites).

Bottomline: if you can’t feel “I’m Loving Nothing,” well, there’s just no hope for you. ;)”

5 YEAR REWIND: JOE BATAAN



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on May 2, 2008).

Joe Bataan: Ordinary Guy
From 7″ (Fania, 1967)

(From the original post:) “Joe Bataan’s “Ordinary Guy” is not just a fan favorite – he’s recorded it five times (and released it six) – but it’s also a song integral to his own sense of self; he may be a star but in his own mind, he’s still just a regular Joe (you saw that coming, right?) From the man himself: “While in prison, we did a lot of experimenting with songs. I had first heard the title “Ordinary Guy” in prison in Coxsackie, so I eventually rewrote the words, came back home, put ‘em to music. The song makes me cry sometimes when I see the reaction of people. In New York, it is so popular. People just love that song, and I guess the words mean a lot. “Hey, I’m just an ordinary guy, don’t expect anything else. That’s me” and I’ve always been that way. Having sung the song and how I have endeared a lot of people, how they felt about it, only influenced me more [to] give more of my heart than almost any other song. It describes me.”

“For reasons not entirely clear, Fania decided to re-record the song to release on single. For the most part, this 7” version isn’t wildly different from the LP except that Fania brought in pianist Richard Tee. Tee changes the opening to the song, giving it a stronger presence, especially with a striking arrangement that sounds very much like the beginning of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Precious Love.” This is probably my favorite version of the song, precisely for that intro which gives the tune such a rich, soulful feel to it.”

5 YEAR REWIND: THE INTRUDERS



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on April 16, 2007).

The Intruders: Together
From The Intruders Are Together (Gamble, 1967). Also on Cowboys to Girls: The Best Of.

(Original notes:) “Had a grand time at Bumpshop over last weekend. Here’s the thing you have to understand: Bumpshop might start up around the same time (10pm) but they go until 4am. As routine as this might be for any NYer, it’s damn near incredible for folks like me, stuck in cities like SF and LA where most nights begin winding down around 1:30am since the bar staff doesn’t want to stay there a minute past 2am if they help it.

Better yet, the last 30-40 minutes of Bumpshop winds down all the uptempo funk and just rides out on sweet soul and hand-clapping goodness; some tracks just leave you, head bowed, in reverent contemplation. As you’d expect, resident DJs Chairman Mao and Jared kilt it (you have to respect DJs hardcore enough to put a song – not otherwise available on vinyl – onto acetate, just so they can spin it out. CD lovers will no doubt shake their head at such things).

In any case, there’s nothing like listening to four straight hours of soul/funk/jazz/Latin to really 1) bring out the trainspotter in one (, I have no shame in admitting that I was giraffing over the DJ booth more than few times) and 2) make you realize how much insanely good music there is out there. Thus inspires today’s post.

I had more or less forgotten the Intruders’ classic “Together” until Jared played it last night (backed with a cover version that’s now parked at the top of my want (nay, need) list) and good god, what an insanely great song. The chorus, especially played loud, is incredible. On a related side note: for many years, I pushed this kind of soul to the background but in the last year or so, it’s all I really crave. Musical tastes are strange that way, no?”

5 YEAR REWIND: UGK + OUTKAST



(As part of our 5th year anniversary, we’re revisiting 20 key songs. This post was originally published on April 5, 2007).

UGK feat. Outkast: International Players Anthem
From Underground Kingz (2007)

(New notes:) Hands-down, one of the best hip-hop songs of the decade.

Andre 3000 kick off verse? Check.
Pimp C still here and kickin’ verses? Check.
Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You” loop? Check. [1]
Slick video? Check.

[1] When I was waiting for a delayed flight at JFK’s Terminal 7 on Sunday night, “I Choose You” came on over the terminal loudspeakers. So proper.