Archive for the ‘4th & Kingsley Soul Club’ Category

Running the Meters

July 12, 2009

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The Meters –

Joseph ‘Zigaboo’ Modeliste (left), George Porter (second from left)

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Listen -George Porter’s Joyride – Cissy Strut – MP3″

Listen -George Porter’s Joyride – Sneaky Freaky – MP3″

Listen -Zig and Gaboon’s Gang – Let’s Get Fired Up – MP3″

Greetings all.

I hope everyone had a groovy weekend.
My medical procedure on Friday was actually not quite as bad as I thought it would be. Not exactly a hoot either, but grading on the curve, nothing I’ll have nightmares about.
The tunes I bring you today fell into my crates many years apart, but thanks to an obvious (and meaningful) connection it behooves me to present them to you in tandem.
Now… show of hands…who among you isn’t familiar with the Meters?
OK…those of you with your hands up, back away from the interwebs, slip on your digging shoes and head out into the field until you acquire any and all of their extremely easy to find 45s (the LPs not so much, but if you can find them cheap, good on you). Once you are in possession of some of the unfuckwithably funkiest music ever crafted in New Orleans, nay the world, and you’ve had a suitable time in which to restore the smooth contours to your brains, feel free to return to the discussion.
For the rest of you, we’ll just go ahead and rap.
The Meters, as stated above (and several times in this very space over the course of the history of Funky16Corners) were one of the greatest of classic era funk bands, laying down a few of what are undisputably (to any sane listener) the greatest grooves ever committed to vinyl.
If you’ve ever heard ‘Cardova’, and not had your spine rattle and shift (along with your general musical sensibility), then you are probably deaf.
That said, after several years – including a few before the Meters during which they were pretty much Art Neville’s band, recording on a wide variety of New Orleans records – and a number of albums for Josie and then Warner Brothers, they dissolved in 1978.
It was, coincidentally, two years further on up the road when bassist George Porter, and drummer Zig Modeliste got their own things together (separately), creating post-Meters bands.
Porter’s group, Joyride included guitarist Bruce McDonald, drummer Ricky Sebastian and keyboardist Sam Henry. They recorded one 45 for Deesu, and one for their own Chippewa label, as well as an albums worth of unreleased material.
Zig Modeliste formed Zig and Gaboon’s Gang around the same time with a band that included the young Ivan Neville on keyboards. Their actual vinyl output was limited to a single 45 for the Orleans International label (rumored to have been bankrolled/commissioned by a fried chicken chain), a New Orleans Saints “fight song” of sorts entitled ‘Let’s Get Fired Up’. They also recorded a live set that saw release many years later.
The recorded results of both of these 45s are evidence that while both of these musicians was crucial to the sound of the Meters, having gone their separate ways they took their music in new directions.
The George Porter’s Joyride record (though some comments over at the Home of the Groove blog suggest that the Deesu 45 is actually Porter backed by studio musicians) sees an updated (and less groove heavy) version of the Meters chestnut ‘Cissy Strut’, which employs some decidedly 1980-ish keyboard sounds and production. By no means is it a bad record, but laid side to side with the OG it tends to suffer in comparison. The flipside, ‘Sneak Freaky’ also bears a time-appropriate sound, but since it is a group original, the sound works much better in a funky synth bag with some great drumming. In retrospect the feel aspires to some of the un-loose looseness so indicative of great New Orleans records, especially the sounds of the Meters.
‘Let’s Get Fired Up’ by Zig and Gaboon’s Gang is an aggressive slice of commercial funk that sounds like it could have been created in New York or LA. The production and playing are tight, and the football-related lyrics manage not to overpower the proceedings. I wouldn’t hesitate to drop the needle on this one at a funk night.
As it is, neither of these bands appears to have survived more than a few years, with Porter working steadily as a studio musician, eventually reuiniting with Art Neville in the Funky Meters. Zig Modeliste also had a serious career as a hired gun, and is currently playing and recording with Zigaboo Modeliste and the New Aahkesstra.
I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Peace

Larry

PS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg .

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too.

PSSS Don’t forget to hit up Funky16Corners on Facebook

Funky16Corners Radio v.41 – 2007 Year In Review

December 30, 2007

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Yours truly massaging the wheels of steel…

Funky16Corners Radio v.41 – 2007 Year In Review

Playlist

Joe Tex – You’re Right Ray Charles (Dial)
Edwin Starr – Headline News (Ric Tic)
Lorraine Ellison – Call me Anytime You Need Some Loving (Mercury)
Superlatives – I don’t Know How (To Say I Love You) Don’t Walk Away (Westbound)
JJ Barnes – Chains of Love (Groovesville)
Tom Jones – Keep On Running (Parrot)
Big Al Downing – Gimme Good Loving (House of the Fox)
Banana Splits – Doin’ the Banana Split (Kelloggs)
Earl King – Street Parade Pt1 (Kansu)
Marva Whitney – Things Got To Get Better (Get Together) (King)
Gene Waiters – Shake & Shingaling Pt1 (Fairmount)
AABB – Pick Up the Pieces One By One (Identify)
Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman (Alston)
Mongo Santamaria – Lady Marmalade (Vaya)
Little Richard – Nuki Suki (Reprise)

To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

 

Greetings all.
I know I said that I probably wouldn’t be back prior to the New Year, but you know how these things go. I swear I won’t go near the interwebs and I wind up pulling a podcast out of my ass (figuratively of course) at the last minute, yadda yadda yadda, so on and so forth ad infinitum.
In the spirit of all things green this podcast is created (like Pamela Anderson) using 100% recycled materials. I was scanning the old server last week and I thought that it might be a nice idea to gather a bunch of my favorite individual tracks from the past year and assemble them as a sort of ‘year in review’ edition of Funky16Corners Radio. This way, if you missed these gems the first time out, you get to dig them now, and if you are already familiar, you get this nice little party mix to use as the soundtrack for your Cold Duck and cocktail weenie extravaganza on New Years Eve.
What you get (feel free to Google-ize all the original posts) is a high quality mix of Northern Soul, funk and a couple of slices of funky disco. The connecting factor is – as always – that they’re all kickass and ought to provide enough heat to inspire even the most lackadaisical house guest to hop up off of the davenport and cut themselves a slice of rug.
This has been an excellent year here at the blog, with new attendance records set each month, lots of enthusiastic feedback from the readership, and last but hardly least, lots of fun for yours truly.
In other news, last week’s inaugural 4th & Kingsley Soul Club was a blast, with a steaming live set from the Budos Band (has it ever been any other way?) and lots of hot wax from DJ’s Prestige, Bluewater and of course your pal Funky16Corners (see Fleamarket Funk for set lists).
So, Happy New Year to you and yours. I’ll see you all in ought-eight with a grip of new records, podcasts and of course lots and lots of words.

Peace
Larry

PS Head on over to Iron Leg for a new Psych Podcast!

Funky16Corners Christmas 2007

December 21, 2007

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The Magic of Christmas

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Richard Evans
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Miss Doroth Ashby

Listen – Soulful Strings – Jingle Bells”
Listen – Soulful Strings – Merry Christmas Baby”

Greetings all .
It’s time for the third annual* Funky16Corners Christmas post.
Christmas is nearing rapidly, and I couldn’t very well let it go by without dropping some soulful goodness of a holiday variety.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’re familiar with my ongoing trials and tribulations (some would say too much so, but that’s just the way things are around here).
Two thousand and ought seven has been a real yin yang of a year, with the duality of trouble and good fortune engaged in a perpetual tug of war. All thing considered, however, I’ve got it pretty good.
On the personal side I have a wonderful wife and two incredible children. I took a long time to get started on the family thing, but it’s worth every bit of time and energy one might invest in it. That, in the end, is what it’s all about.
On the creative side things have been banging. I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Asbury Park 45 Sessions alongside a great bunch of people (shout outs to Connie T Empress and Bob Shannon, Jack the Ripper, DJ Prime, MFasis, DJ Bluewater, Vincent the Soul Chef, Devil Dick and all the other guest selectors that have spun in the past year), with special thanks going out to my man DJ Prestige, who started it all and has been a good friend and an inspiration. His blog – Flea Market Funk – has grown into one of the best funk and soul blogs out there and if you haven’t checked it out, you ought to do so post haste. I’ll be joining him tomorrow night (12/21) at the World Famous Asbury Lanes for a new night, the 4th and Kingsley Soul Club, which with the addition of live bands (this time out it’s the mighty Budos Band, straight outta Shaolin!) to the mix should be a gas.
Keep in mind that the 4th and Kingsley Soul Club DJ sets will also be broadcast live on the interwebs over at JamNow, so if you can’t join us in person, you can dig the sounds at home (starting just after 8PM).

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Things here at Funky16Corners – as well as over at Iron Leg, the blog I started this summer – have never been better. I couldn’t ask for a better creative outlet, and special thanks go out to all of you that stop by here on the reg and engage in the conversation. I couldn’t do it without you.
As I’ve stated repeatedly in the past, I’ve never been much of a holiday music collector. However, once in a while a personal obsession of mine also happens to have a Christmas record. In the case of Richard Evans and the Soulful Strings, their 1968 LP ‘The Magic of Christmas’ is a real gem.
The first tune I selected was the obvious choice (at least for me) because I can’t think of another version of ‘Jingle Bells’ that opens up with an honest to goodness drum break. I’m not sure who’s laying it down here (though it sounds like the same drummer that Evans used on Marlena Shaw’s ‘California Soul’, which I’ll be blogging in the next few weeks).
The second selection is a lush, sublime reading of Charles Brown’s classic ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ which features the brilliant Dorothy Ashby on harp. If you aren’t familiar with Ashby – I included her ‘Soul Vibrations’ on my collab with DJ Prestige ‘Beat Combination Pt2’ (check out the Flea Market Funk Mixes page)– she was one of the few harpists who could actually play jazz on the instrument, and the three albums she recorded for Cadet between 1968 and 1970 (in collaboration with Evans) are brilliant.
If your nerves are frayed (like mine) and the consumerist madness of the holiday season has you down, give this version of ‘Merry Christmas Baby’ a listen and all will (at least for a few minutes) be well.
I’ll be taking the next week off to enjoy the holiday with my family and do a little visiting. I will most definitely be back with something for New Years Eve, so hang tight, enjoy your Christmas and I’ll see you all soon.
Peace
Larry

*Though this is the blogs fouth Christmas, for some reason I didn’t do a holiday post in 2004

PS Head over to Iron Leg for some Christmas garage action.

Funky16Corners Christmas (Redux) Pt1

December 19, 2007

Greetings one and all.
I hope you’re all digging the mix.
I found out that the most excellent ‘I’m Learning To Share’ blog has the entire George Conedy Christmas LP up for the download, so I figured in anticipation of the all new, all fabulous Funky16Corners Christmas post I have planned for the end of the week that I’d repost the tunes from last Christmas to tide you all over.
So, head on over to ‘I’m Learning To Share’, and I’ll be back later in the week with some cool, freshly digi-ma-tized grooves for your delectation.
Peace
Larry

PS I just realized that I forgot to include the Funky16Corners 45 Beats Mix in the Podcast Archive, so I just added it. How’s that for service?

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Clarence Carter

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Listen – Clarence Carter – Back Door Santa ”

Listen – George Conedy – El Nino del Tambor”

Greetings all (and Ho Ho Ho).
It’s time for the second annual* Funky16Corners Christmas post.
As I’ve gone over a few different times, I’ve never been a big collector of (any) holiday themed funk and soul. I may pick up a piece here and there – when it turns up – but I don’t generally seek it out. This is the main reason it may take a decade or so before you see me post a Christmas edition of Funky16Corners Radio. I just don’t have the raw material at my disposal.
That is not to say that I would ever let the time of year go by unnoticed, and this time out I have a couple of excellent funky yule logs for ye, one you may have heard, and another that you almost certainly haven’t.
The former may very well be my all time favorite funk/soul Christmas record, by one of the truly great voices of 60’s and 70’s soul. The singer, Mr. Clarence Carter, the song, ‘Back Door Santa’.
First off, I suspect that someone, somewhere in the funky blog-o-sphere will be dropping this chestnut, and I don’t care, on account of I love this record, and you should too, and much like spinach and yams, more than one serving will only serve to improve your overall well being.
That said, Clarence rips it up here, whipping every last bit of funk they had hidden at Fame studios on you (as well as jingle bells and egg nog), with all the good Santa-related double (hardly) entendres money can buy. Get this on thy-Pod post haste, so that over the weekend, when some wet blanket tries to throw ‘Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer’ (or, God forbid that thing where the dogs bark out ‘Jingle Bells’) on at the Christmas gathering, you can parry (and thrust) with this big, jangling set of Christmas balls and really get the party started.
I mean, seriously…how can your ears suck up this groovy gravy, and your butt fail to respond– in the words of the great Lee Dorsey (without whom everything you do can’t be funky) – with the make-a-shake-a-make-a-hula, or however it is you likes to shake it (but don’t break it).
By the way, if some youngster starts tugging on your scarf when this starts playing, it’s because he heard this songs very essence sampled by none other than Run DMC (It’s Christmas in Hollis Queens! Etc etc).
On the flippity flop, I bring you the result of a happy accident (referring not to the recording of the record, but rather the circumstances by which it landed in my Crate du Hammonde).
The record in question popped up a while back on the sale list of a pal of mine, who’s taste in music I hold in very high regard (howdy Agent 45…).
So, on this list I see a record with the brief (but wholly sufficient description of “funky Hammond version”), directly adjacent to a very reasonable price, which was at the end of a line that began with a Spanish song title (which I didn’t bother to translate). So, I pay my money, some time elapses and the record in question pops through the mail slot at Funky16Corners headquarters. I whipped it on the turntable, and in a few short seconds (about as long as I suspect it will take you) it became apparent that the title was in fact ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ en Espanol.
I have to say that even as a tike, when they still showed the animated special of the same title, this was far from my favorite Christmas tune, certainly not the kind of thing I thought capable of funk-a-fi-zation. Little did I know that sometime in the late 60’s or early 70’s an organist named George Conedy laid down an LP of Christmas tunes for the gospel subsidiary of the Kent label, which I am assuming was the source of the music on this very 45**.

All I have to say is that George took an overly solemn carol and turned it into a slow, funky jam that sounds like it dropped out of the long lost (so long lost as to never have existed..) Santa-sploitation classic “Superfly Santa the Hard Way” aka “Hell Up in the North Pole”, in which our hero, Saint Nicky, wearing a red (of course) velvet suit, and driving a red and white Caddy brings Christmas joy to all the poor kids (and a few of the better looking women) on his route.
I’ve gone a-Googling, and as far as I can tell Mr. Conedy has vanished into the ether.
Well, wherever you be I say Huzzah! And Merry Christmas to you George!

And the same to all of you readers.

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, go out and suck up some of that Christmas cheer. It’s good for the soul.
I may not post until the middle of next week (days off, visiting with the family and all that) but I promise you some excellent pre-New Years grooves.

*Though this is the blogs third Christmas, for some reason I didn’t do a holiday post in 2004

**For some strange reason the flip side of the Conedy 45 is a recording of Billie Holiday singing ‘God Bless the Child’. I get the thematic connection, just not why thelong deceased BH ended up on the b-side of a George Conedy 45.

PS Don’t forget the 4th & Kingsley Soul Club, this Friday 12/21 at the World Famous Asbury Lanes.

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Funky16Corners Radio v.40 – Is It Funky Enough?

December 17, 2007

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Rufus Thomas and his Funky Penguin…

Funky16Corners Radio v.40 – Is It Funky Enough?

Playlist

Communicators & Black Experiences Band – Is It Funky Enough? (Duplex)
Tender Joe Richardson – Hip Huggin’ Mini (Hot Biscuit)
Jackie Moore – Singin’ Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On (Kayvette)
Emperors – Mumble Shingaling (Brunswick)
Willie & the Mighty Magnificents – Funky 8 Corners (All Platinum)
Billy Sha Rae – Do It (Spectrum)
Rufus Thomas – Do the Funky Penguin (Stax)
Maceo & All the Kings Men – Got To Getcha (House of the Fox)
Rimshots – Save That Thing (All Platinum)
Deacons – Sock It To Me Pt 1 (Shama)

To hear this mix, head on over to the Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive

 

Greetings all.
I hope the dawning of a new week, and the onrush of the holiday season doesn’t have you cowering in terror under your couch. As far as the “Christmas Spirit” goes – even with two wonderful children – I’m not feeling it this year. Nothing against Christmas in and of itself but as Robert Johnson once said, I got (metaphoric) stones in my passway, which I rather weren’t and life is hectic where it really oughtn’t be and I’d just like a day or two to catch my breath and engage in a little peaceful meditation.
We took a ride down to the beach today to check out the (relatively) massive waves brought on by the most recent Nor’Easter. It’s truly a thing to behold. As any Jersey Shore surfer will tell you, we don’t get too much in way of tidal pyrotechnics hereabouts and when a major storm rolls through all of a sudden it gets all Hawaii Five O and slackjawed goons (like myself of course) are standing on the boardwalk marveling at the roaring surf like a bunch of awed troglodytes. It is pretty cool, and unfortunately about as exciting as things get around here on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. I can’t very well whine about needing peace and then laugh in the face of the power of nature in the same breath (or can I), but I’m just not in a very positive frame of mind. Things seem to be on the upswing, though, so I’ll try to look on the bright(er) side of things.
On that note, it’s been a while since I dropped a good ol’ funk mix, so in the words of the old blues master, “Wanna hear it? Hear it is!”
Before I get too deep into things, it behooves me to mention that this coming Friday if the inaugural Fourth and Kingsley Soul Club at the World Famous Asbury Lanes. Your host DJ Prestige will be joined by yours truly spinning before and after a performance by the mighty Budos Band, who if you haven’t seen them (or heard either of their excellent albums) you’re missing out. I opened for the Budos this summer at Lucky Cat in Brooklyn, and it was – both literally and figuratively – HOT.
I can assure you that although the temperature outside is falling, Prestige and I will be bringing the heat this Friday, and the Budos – in the manner of the cover of their first album – will surely have the lava flowing.

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I can’t very well start rapping about the tunes in this mix without thanks to Prestige (as well as my man DJ Bluewater) from whose trade/sale crates I procured the lion’s share of the records in this mix. Though there are a couple of sides in this mix that I probably would rather have dropped on their own, giving them a little more TLC, I had so much fun putting this mix together that I can’t really complain.
Things get started with a bang with a record that haunted my want list for a long time. I only recently scored a copy (via Norway no less) so I figured it would do nicely as the lead off side (and title song) of this edition of Funky16Corners Radio.
The Communicators and the Black Experiences Band hailed from Durham, North Carolina, and the answer to the musical question ‘Is It Funky Enough’ is of course, ‘Hell yes.” I really dig the crazy, slightly off kilter horn fanfare that opens this record, and the groove laid down by the BEB is dead on the money, honey. Though some of my fave funk sides work off of a modified, heavy 4/4 groove, ‘Is It Funky Enough’ manages to take a little bit of the herky jerky and make it funky funky. I’m not sure I could dance to it, but then I’m not sure I ought to be seen dancing to anything…
I don’t know much about Tender Joe Richardson, other than he apparently worked as a guitar player for the Shirelles at one point, and recorded a few 45s under his own name for Veep and Hot Biscuit (a New York based label). I also know that I have another version of ‘Hip Huggin’ Mini’ by Sunny and the Sunliners, though I have no idea who did the song first. Either way it’s a cool tune, with a nice vocal by Richardson.
Jackie Moore was a journeyman(woman) soul singer who started out recording 45s for Shout, Wand and Atlantic in the late 60’s/early 70’s before making it to Kayvette in 1975 (though I’ve seen a discography that dates this record as 1981?!?) for ‘Singin’ Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On’. It should come as no surprise that Moore went on to have some success as a disco artist, as ‘Singin’…’ is one of those funky sides that seem to be edging up against a flashing dancefloor. I wouldn’t call it disco, but it sounds like the Funk moving into that neighborhood.
The Emperors were probably the greatest soul/funk band to come out of Central Pennsylvania in the 60’s. Their 45s for Mala, from their biggest hit ‘Karate’, their atmospheric version of Don Gardner’s ‘My Baby Likes To Boogaloo’ and their cover of the Coasters ‘Searchin’ are all excellent. Lesser known – but also very cool – is the one 45 they laid down for Brunswick, ‘Karate Boogaloo’ b/w ‘Mumble Shingaling’. ‘Mumble Shingaling’ has a rough sound with the same garagey edge as their Mala sides.
We take a moment out for a little home-grown New Jersey funk from Willie and the Mighty Magnificents. Led by guitarist Willie Feaster, the band released their first 45 in 1968 and dropped the very groovy ‘Funky 8 Corners’ – play it twice for a nice round Funky16 – in 1969. There’s a taste of ‘Tighten Up’ here, just like as in Lee Dorsey’s ‘Four Corners’, though Willie and the boys take things at a slightly more relaxed pace.
We head up to the Motor City for a gritty slice of funk from Billy Sha Rae. ‘Do It’, which has released on a couple of different labels rocks on a James Brown tip, with extra credit for repeated shout outs to do the ‘Iron Leg’. There’s also an instrumental version of this tune by Johnny Griffith on the Triple B label. If you drop by the Asbury Park 45 Sessions in January I might have to segue from one into the other.
If you recognize the sweet break at the beginning of Rufus Thomas’s ‘Do the Funky Penguin’ that’s because it’s been sampled a couple of dozen time by the likes of Public Enemy, Big Daddy Kane and a Tribe Called Quest. Though Rufus is best known for his earlier less funky sides, DO NOT SLEEP on his later stuff, as it is all funky and of an extremely high quality.
Maceo and all the Kings Men, are of course Mr. Parker and the rest of the JB’s working outside the purvey of the Godfather of Soul. ‘Got to Getcha’ was also sampled numerous times, and it’s not hard to see why. The only mystery is what Maceo and the boys plan to do with a turtle’s egg once they get their hands on one.
The Rimshots were another New Jersey funk outfit, working for a time as the house band for All Platinum and related labels. Their early 45s, like their note for note cover of the Ramrods ‘Soul Train’ were a lot funkier than their later stuff which is pretty much in a disco bag. ‘Save that Thing’ is a slow, but funky workout with some groovy electric piano in the beginning which sounds like the Rimshots were trying to mop up a little bit of that Isley Brothers gravy (if you know what I mean).
The mix closes out with one of my fave Chitown instro sides ‘Sock It To Me Pt1’ by the Deacons. Much like ‘Do It’ (but in reverse) this is an instrumental workout on a vocal side, that being Syl Johnson’s ‘Come On Sock It To Me’. The Deacons take the track and Hammond-i-fy it to groovy effect. I had a copy of this record for years but when offered the opportunity to “mint up” as they say, I could not resist.
So, that’s where it’s at brothers and sisters. I’ll probably be back with an individual track later in the week, and then something for Christmas.
Either way, I hope to see some of you on Friday, and as always, I hope you dig the sounds.
Peace
Larry

PS Head on over to Iron Leg for a cool Zombies cover!

PSS Oh, uh…this is for my wife: RIP Dan Fogelberg, we hardly knew ye…