Funky16Corners Radio v.26 – Lovin’ Machine!
Lewis Clark – Dog (Ain’t a Man’s Best Friend) (Brent)
Gate Wesley & Band feat. Billy LaMont – Zap! Pow! Do the Batman! (Atlantic)
Rodge Martin – Lovin’ Machine (Bragg)
Count Rockin’ Sidney – Dedie Dedie Da (Goldband)
Little Milton – Grits Ain’t Groceries (Checker)
Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham – Lover and a Friend (Capitol)
Lou Courtney – I’ve Got Just the Thing (Riverside)
Alvin Robinson – Baby Don’t You Do It (Atco)
Freddy King – Sen Sa Shun (Federal)
Eddie Bo – Every Dog Has His Day (Ric)
Billy Clark & his Orchestra – Hot Gravy (Dynamo)
James Brown & Vicki Anderson – Think (King)
Shells – Whiplash (Conlo)
Mighty Hannibal – Fishing Pole (Shurfine)
Chuck Edwards – Downtown Soulville (Punch)
Howdy doodies, and a somewhat sad end of the weekend, back to work to you all.
This past weekend was quite the rollercoaster ride, starting out with Friday night at the Asbury Park 45 Sessions, right on through to waking up (after about 4 hours of sleep) to a screaming baby (ear infections are a BITCH!), on again to fireworks in Asbury Park last night (beautiful) and ending up here on the couch, with the sick little guy sleeping next to me as I type.
This edition of Funky16Corners Radio is a distillation of a personal mix that I have been rocking in the ride (and on the Pod) for a long time now. It’s a hot and spicy stew (to borrow a metaphor from my man Vincent) with chunks of good rockin’ soul, spiced up with a dash of R&B and a pinch of blues.
I’m warning you now, soak your iPod in ice before you play this one…
Here in the summer, when the mercury pushes close to 100, and you become listless and sweaty, staring at the condensation roll down the side of your iced tea glass, what you need is not a burst of man made air conditioning, but rather an injection of high powered soul sounds. This dose of medicine carries with it a second wind, as well as the seeds of a spiritual reawakening to pull you from your figurative Sargasso Sea, slap some wind in your sails and set you back on the righteous path brothers and sisters.
Don’t get worried though. If I’m preaching it’s from the pulpit of the Church of the Funky Sepulchre, and instead of fire and brimstone I bring you grits and gravy with a side of dancing shoes.
It’s time to rip off your wig-hat, loosen your girdle and step lively because from the very first note (heavy drums those) to the very last you will feel compelled to shimmy, shake, wobble, hands on hips, backbone slipping wildly until a casual observer – unable to hear the music – might be forgiven for mistaking your soulful gyrations for some kind of a fit.
On the menu today, we start off with something gritty, that being Lewis Clark’s ‘Dog (Ain’t a Man’s best Friend)’ in which – thankfully – Lewis ses the light and chooses his woman over his Dachshund.
We move right on to an old Funky16Corners fave, Gate Wesley & Band (with Billy LaMont on vox) ripping into ‘Zap! Pow! Do the Batman!’, in which the drums they are tres heavy.
We then hear from the mighty, late great and never sedate Rodge Martin, whose killer diller ‘Lovin’ Machine’ gives this mix its title. Short form – I first heard this tune during my garage punk days back in the 80’s as a cover by the Easybeats. Though the Easybeats were great, they don’t come within a light year of the original, which is a slice of soul heaven.
Count Rockin’ Sidney was the be-turbaned wizard of the bayou, and over the course of his career recorded R&B, soul, funk and zydeco for a variety of Louisiana labels. ‘Dedee Dedee Da’ is a hot little party-in-a-disc that features the Count on combo organ and vocals, and sounds as if it were recorded over the phone.
Little Milton….sheeeyit….LITTLE MILTON??!?! That’s some live wire blues power right there, wherein the mighty one channels Little Willie John and greases the skillet for the Fleshtone’s cover years later. His is by far the funkiest version of ‘Grits Ain’t Groceries’ (aka ‘All Around the World’), and Milton really lays into those amazing lyrics.
What need I say about Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham’s ‘Lover and a Friend’, other than dig that break kids, and uhhhh….”WHOOOT!!!”
If you stop by here on the reg, you’ll know that Lou Courtney is a Funky16Corners favorite. ‘I’ve Got Just the Thing’ was the first LC 45 I ever found, and it’s still one of my faves. Why this guy was never a star is beyond me…
Another member of the F16C hall of fame is the mighty Alvin Robinson. One of New Orleans favorite sons, Alvin (also a slick guitarist) recorded the definitive version one of my all time fave tunes, ‘Down Home Girl’. His cover of Marvin Gaye’s Baby Don’t You Do It’ is one of his rarer post-Red Bird 45s, and is every bit a killer.
Freddy King! Good Gawd! Look at that big ole man wrassling that tiny little gee-tar into submission. King recorded a long string of hot instros for Federal in the 60’s, and he was a big influence on UK blues guitarists. ‘Sen Sa Shun’ is one of his finest.
What? More Eddie Bo? Yeah, what’s it to you??? ‘Every Dog His His Day’ is a great early R&B side that screams PARTY!
I don’t know much about Billy Clark (or his orchestra) other than there is some crossover with the Maskman & the Agents camp. ‘Hot Gravy’ bears by far the most self explanatory title in this mix. Nuff said.
We take a moment to stop in with the Godfather himself (and one of the Godmothers) with a great mid-60s soul stormer. Man that Vicki Anderson could wail!
Next up is one of my ALL TIME FAVES. Ever since my man Haim introduced me to the Shells Conlo 45 lo these many years ago (they had one other release as the Four Shells on Volt) it has been in my top ten. ‘Whiplash’ – and it’s flip ‘When I’m Blue’ – are both unique bits of Chicago soul, with some crazy guitar underneath. All you need to know about the dance, is that it took over when the Twine and Monkey died….
The Mighty Hannibal’s ‘Fishin’ Pole’ is a raver, and while it may not be the stunner that ‘Jerkin’ the Dog’ is (what record is???), it will surely get your knickers (and everything else) in a twist.
The mix closes out with another F16C top tenner, that being the mighty Chuck Edwards and ‘Downtown Soulville’. Brilliant record.
That all said, spend the week listening to this on your headphones, so when you whip it on your friends at next Friday’s ripple and potato chip soiree, you can look all cool like you know the words already.
Have a most excellent week.
Peace (and grits) be unto you…