The Mighty Eddie Bo
“Listen – Eddie Bo – If It’s Good To You (It’s Good For You) Pt1 – MP3″
“Listen – Eddie Bo – If It’s Good To You (It’s Good For You) Pt2 – MP3″
Welcome back to the simultaneously sad and joyous vibe that comes along with a week dedicated to marking the passing of one of Funky16Corners musical heroes, Edwin Bocage aka Eddie Bo.
First off I was pleased this morning when I saw that Bo finally got his props on the New York Times obit page. Say what you want, but the NYT is still the paper of record (as long as papers exist, and that may not be all that long) and their obit age is really the last stop for all manner of interesting and important people on their way to Valhalla. I’ve discovered all kinds of people there, and hopefully someone will read about Bo, have their curiosity piqued and start digging.
The tune I bring you today is another Eddie Bo funk classic that like ‘Check Your Bucket’ somehow fell through the cracks. It’s entirely possible (likely) that I was holding it back for use in another NOLA funk mix, or it’s also possible that it got lost in my crates and I kept passing it by/forgetting about it when assembling said mixes.
Either way, it’s a moot point because today I bring you parts one and two of one of Bo’s serious funk burners ‘If It’s Good To You (It’s Good For You)’.
Released in 1969 (I believe the immediate follow up to ‘Hook and Sling’) ‘If It’s Good…’ is a machine running on two distinct layers. The first is mainly composed of Bo’s wild vocal and a simple three note (and two chord) guitar riff. The second – and this is where things do get all New Orleansy – is the frenetic drumming of the mighty James Black. If it is to be said that Bo ever had a “muse”, during the years when he was creating next level funk 45s it was none other than Black.
I spent a lot of years playing the drums (not at a high level of skill, but whatever) and the first time (and the second, ninth and seventy-fifth) I heard Black’s drumming on Chuck Carbo’s ‘Can I Be Your Squeeze’ my hair verily stood on end. The things he was able to do with his right foot on that bass drum, and the interplay between the snare – where Black brought the essence of New Orleans second lining to bear – and the rest of the kit (and the band) were absolutely remarkable. It was only years later that I found out (completely by accident) that James Black had also had a long and fruitful career as a jazz drummer.
That all said, both parts of ‘If It’s Good To You (It’s Good For You)’ are exceedingly groovy, and worth listen.
I’ll back tomorrow with a new Funky16Corners Radio mix.