The mighty Dynatones
Listen/Download – The Other Brothers – Hole In the Wall – MP3
Listen/Download – Dynatones – Hole In the Wall – MP3
How does the day find you?
I just came in from running some errands surprised at the unseasonably crisp air. Fall seems like an impatient drunk, elbowing its way to the front of the bathroom line as the rest of us stare with a mix of anger and incredulity as the month of post-tourist warmth fails to materialize.
That said, I’m here to let you know that 8:30 in the AM is really the best time to go out and get things done, as the rest of the world is either on their way to work, or sound asleep. The aisles of the grocery store are empty and spacious, the line at the bank is short. It’s not even 10AM and I’m sitting at the laptop, most of my to-do list to-done, with a tasty iced coffee within arms reach.
The tunes I bring you today are a continuation of sorts of my own Ahab-esque chase of the roots of a particular song, which – should you be unfamiliar – you can freshen your memory here and here.
The song in question is entitled ‘Hole In the Wall’, known to soulies the world round as performed by the Packers.
Some time back – and I can’t remember exactly how I came upon this information – I found out that this famous instrumental did indeed have a vocal version. Naturally, as soon as this info came my way I set out to score a copy and was able to do so in short order.
That version was performed by a group called the Other Brothers. Unfortunately, aside from the fact that the Other Brothers’ 45 was released on LA-based Modern Records, I haven’t been able to track down anything in the way of information about the group. I mention the LA connection, since the original ‘Hole In the Wall’, despite the involvement of many serious Memphis heads, was in fact created in the that city with the involvement of local radio star the Magnificent Montague.
The Other Brothers’ version of ‘Hole In the Wall’ is a raucous soul burner with a raunchy rhythm guitar line (given even more burn by a honking sax), and party-time vocals (with that fake “live audience” ambience you’ve come to know and love). There are shout outs to Batman and Robin (doing the Jerk) , Matt Dillon, Festus and Miss Kitty (doing the Watusi), the Lone Ranger and Tonto (doing the Duck), all of whom seem to be hitting the discotheque scene. It’s really a very groovy record, and would surely get the dancers moving once laid on the slipmat and placed under the needle.
The flipside, ‘It’s Been a Long Time Baby’ is a great Northern-style dancer that I’ll be sure to post up some time in the future.
The second version of ‘Hole In the Wall’ comes to us courtesy of the mighty Dynatones. Known to most for their minor hit ‘The Fife Piper’, the Dynatones, a West Virginia band who had their initial releases on Pitssburgh’s St. Clair label, were picked up by HBR (the musical wing of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon empire). Fortunately, HBR had enough success with the 45 that they had the band do an entire LP, which I was lucky enough to find earlier this year.
The album is actually pretty good, with a grip of soul covers, including ‘Hole In the Wall’. The arrangement isn’t too far removed from the Packers’ OG, and you get some of the groovy, low-rent electric piano vibe (Wurlitzer??) and since it’s the Dynatones, who were working the flute-y side of Soul Street you get some of that too.
That said, I can’t see anything wrong with dropping two more versions of what can only be considered a “soul standard”. If I find any more I’ll be sure to bring them your way.
I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I’ll be back on Monday.