Archive for the ‘Pass The Hatchet’ Category

Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk

December 27, 2009

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Funky16Corners Radio v.78 – Forbidden City Funk!

Playlist

Parliaments – Good Ole Music (Revilot)
Marlena Shaw – California Soul (Cadet)
Soulful Strings – Zambezi (Cadet)
Mystic Moods – Cosmic Sea (WB)
Bobby Byrd – I Know You Got Soul (King)
Willie Smith – I Got a New Thing (Genuine)
Louie Ramirez – Do It Any Way You Wanna (Cotique)
Willie Tell & The Overtures – Kick-Back (Chess)
Hoctor – Gold Coast (Hoctor)
La May – Free the Soul Man (SPQR)
Incredible Bongo Band – Apache (Mr Bongo reissue)
Melting Pot – Kool and the Gang (Ampex)
Danny Delaney – Stop and Think (Palmetto)
Cymande – Fug (Janus)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Louis Chachere – The Hen Pt1 (Paula)
David Batiste & the Gladiators – Funky Soul Pt1 (Instant)
Nanette Workman – Lady Marmalade (Pasha)
Laura Lee – Crumbs Off the Table (Hot Wax)
James Brown – Hot Pants Pt1 (People)
Lyn Collins – Think (About It) (People)
Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pt1 (Seven B)


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

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The view from behind the decks at Forbidden City

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Getting ready to pull the trigger on Hoctor’s ‘Gold Coast’.

Greetings all.

The end of another year is at hand, and I thought I’d try something different this year. The fam and I are hitting the road for some relative-related visitation, so this will be it until the New Year.
Last Wednesday I had the honor of sharing the decks with my Asbury Park 45 Sessions cohort DJ Bluewater at his new Master Groove night at Forbidden City in Manhattan (the evening’s other guest selector was none other than the mighty M-Fasis). Forbidden City is a chill venue with some very cool people, and despite the holiday traffic and huge heaps of snow in the street I had a great time.
A couple of folks (specifically members of the Funky16Corners group on Facebook) requested a set list for the night, and while I was recovering from the Christmas festivities I thought it might be a cool idea to record the evening’s selections in a new edition of the Funky16Corners Radio podcast. The only real difference between this and any other edition of  F16C Radio, is that the tracks herein were selected on the fly, as I DJ’d. Certainly there was a level of selection inherent in what went into my DJ box (which holds about 75 singles) but the set itself was assembled on the spot at Forbidden City.
What you’ll be listening to is just over an hour of hot funk 45s (many breaks within) including a couple of new arrivals that will most certainly be blogged about separately in the coming months.
The evening was marked by an interesting (thought certainly not unprecedented) incident toward the end of my set. While the bar wasn’t packed, there was a crowd, including a particularly lively group of young ladies who came in right before I started spinning and proceeded to whoop it up with several rounds of drinks. Nothing out of control, but they were clearly deep in the holiday spirit(s).
About 45 minutes into the proceedings, one young lass approached me and informed me that she had come from an entire table of flamenco dancers (I was worried for a minute that she was going to request actual flamenco music, a genre that I rarely carry with me). She then asked me – right in the middle of a set of tight, slamming funk (see above list for confirmation of same) if I might “play something dancey”?
Now, in situations like this, I always try to maintain my icy veneer of cool. I’m certainly not averse to taking requests, as long as they are – how do you say – of an ‘appropriate’ nature. I’ve seen some weird ones, i.e. a kid requesting anything by KISS during a set of Northern Soul, and I’ve also dealt (as almost any DJ has) with surly, drunken booth-monkeys who seem to feel that it’s OK to crawl on/into the DJ booth, bumping/placing their drink on the turntables, causing the tone arm to jump as they demand something specific (which I immediately counter with a demand that they remove themselves from my immediate vicinity with the greatest possible haste).
This particular girl was polite, but I couldn’t help but recoil slightly at the idea that a self-proclaimed dancer could not find it in themselves to move to any or all of the records listed above.
I mean, honest to god, funk is, by definition, funky, a state of being that gets its name by its ability to cause people to move in a rhythmic fashion, often described by observers as “dancing”. Not everyone who feels compelled to move by these records is a good dancer, but they are all dancing. Even those wallflowers who are prevented – by timidity, inebriation or physical infirmity (or a combination of any or all of the above) – from dancing usually react to the power of the music by some seated version of the dance, with the foot-tap, the head-bob, the seated-shimmy or something else along those lines. Anyone confronted by a 45 like Bobby Byrd’s ‘I Know You Got Soul’ who doesn’t move at all, should be checked for a pulse.
That said, I was in a festive mood, so I dipped into my DJ box and pulled out my number one slice of guaranteed Becky-bait, Nanette Workman’s French language version of LaBelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade’, which gives them all the easily recognizable Top 40 vibe they can handle while simultaneously allowing me to save face by offering quality funk to those in the know. I followed this with some James Brown (‘Hot Pants’), Lyn Collins (‘Think About It’) and since my time was just about up, I whipped a little Roger & the Gypsies on the assembled masses, figuring if that wasn’t “dancey” enough, there was nothing anyone of my powers could do, and HO HO HO, and what the fuck, and “Good evening ladies and gents!” and what not.
Happily, after I sort of/kind of answered her request, these people actually got up and danced, to four 45s that were in essence EXACTLY the same as the sixteen others that preceded them, proving once again that human nature is a funny thing, and sometime giving the people what they want is exactly the same as giving them what they need, and everyone walks away from a night at the pub with a wobble in their step and more importantly, a smile on their face.
It is in that spirit that I wish you all a Happy New Year, and the best of all things in Twenty-Oh-Ten (man, who saw that coming???).

Peace

Larry

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NOTE: The Funky16Corners Radio Podcast Archive has been updated (see link in sidebar) , and all seventy seven previous mixes are now represented.

Check out the Funky16Corners Store at Cafe Press

PPS – Make sure to fall by Iron Leg for a year-end wrap up mix.

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Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Eddie & His Heavy Friends

March 22, 2009

NOTE: This mix, featuring the wide range of work Eddie Bo did with other artists (as writer, producer, arranger and often all of the above) was originally featured here in May of 2008. It’s not complete but it does give a pretty good overview of this side of Eddie’s career.
As the week goes on I plan on featuring a few more individual tracks, as well as a new “odds and sods” mix featuring some of Eddies earlier work and a couple of tunes by others that didn’t make it into this mix.
I hope you dig it.
Peace
Larry

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Funky16Corners Radio v.49 – Eddie Bo Gets It Together Behind His Many Heavy Friends

Playlist

Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pts 1&2 (Seven B)
Art Neville – Hook Line and Sinker (Instant)
Candy Phillips – Timber Pt1 (Atlantic)
Chris Kenner – All Night Rambler (Instant)
Eddie Lang – Something Within Me (Seven B)
Little Buck – Little Boy Blue (Seven B)
Mary Jane Hooper – I’ve Got Reasons (Power Pac)
Oliver Morgan – Roll Call (Seven B)
Chuck Carbo – Can I Be Your Squeeze (Canyon)
Bobby Williams Group – Boogaloo Mardi Gras Pts 1&2 (Capitol)
Curley Moore & the Kool Ones – Shelley’s Rubber Band (House of the Fox)
Roy Ward – Horse With a Freeze Pt1 (Seven B)
Curly Moore & the Kool Ones – Funky Yeah (House of the Fox)
Oliver Morgan – The La La Man (Seven B)
Sonny Jones – Sissy Walk Pt1 (Scram)
The Explosions – Hip Drop Pt1 (Gold Cup)
James K Nine – Live It Up (Federal)
Doug Anderson – Hey Mama Here Comes the Preacher (Janus)

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

Greetings all.

The mix I bring you today – Funky16Corners Radio v.49 – is one that I’ve been thinking about since I started doing these podcasts two years ago. If you stop by here on the reg you already know that I ride for New Orleans legend Eddie Bo in a big way.

Bo, who’s career stretches from the late 40’s up until the present day made many a fine record under his own name (the biggest hit he was ever associated with was his own ‘Hook and Sling’, an R&B Top 10 hit in 1969) it is perhaps fair to say that his biggest mark was made behind the scenes. As composer, producer and arranger, Eddie Bo worked on some of the finest soul and funk records to come out of the Crescent City in the 60’s and 70’s.

Bo had the good fortune (and the smarts) to work with many a fantastic vocalist and perhaps the greatest of all the great New Orleans drummers, James Black.

Back in 2000 when I started the Funky16Corners web zine, I made the music of Eddie Bo a regular feature. When I moved into the blog-o-mos-phere four years later, I continued to salute the man and his work via write ups on individual tracks and inclusion of many of these records in New Orleans funk and soul mixes.

My discovery of Bo’s side projects has been itself a work in progress, digging up new records all the time. Through the years I’ve always wanted to put together a mix of these records that would show the breadth of Eddie Bo’s talents as a discoverer of talent, crafter of records and writer of great songs.

This past weekend, I was thinking about how I was going to lead up to Funky16Corners Radio v.50, which I plan on dropping during this year’s pledge drive, inspirado struck and I decided that in the spirit of keeping the funk flag flying, and the maintenance of forward motion, the time to collect these songs was nigh.

Though many of the records in this mix have appeared on the blog over the years, there are a few killers here that I’ve never shared. I won’t go into great detail, only because I have before, so if you have any specific questions (that can’t be answered via a “Funky16Corners _____________” Google search) ask them in the comments and I’ll do what I can to answer them.

One final note, in the spirit of full disclosure, the recording of ‘Little Boy Blue’ by Little Buck (which employs the same backing track as Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham’s ‘Lover and a Friend’ is lifted from a tape made for me years ago by a reader of the web zine. I’ve never been able to score a copy of my own, but it’s such a great record I couldn’t put this mix together without it.

That said, I hope you dig the sounds and I’ll be back later in the week with some new discoveries.

.Peace
Larry

Eddie Bo 1930-2009: Pass Out the Hatchets One Last Time…

March 21, 2009

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An Earlier Pic of Mr. Bocage

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Earl Stanley & the Stereos (pic borrowed from the Ponderosa Stomp site)

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Listen – Roger & the Gypsies – Pass the Hatchet Pts 1&2 – MP3″

Greetings all.

I woke up this morning and I had a song running through my fevered brain.
It wasn’t just any song either. It’s the record that in many ways is the cornerstone of my DJ box, and very likely my all time favorite 45 by any artist in any genre, AND it just happens to be an Eddie Bo record (sort of).
I can’t recall exactly when I first heard ‘Pass the Hatchet’ by Roger and the Gypsies, but I can say with absolute certainty that at that moment my mind was good and truly blown, its synapses snapped and rewired in such a way that going forth, all sound processed therein would be absorbed differently, judged against a new standard.
I’ve never gotten the story of how Bo became involved in ‘Pass the Hatchet’, but here’s a quick synopsis of what I do know…
The band playing on ‘Pass the Hatchet’, that actually composed the song was a group called Earl Stanley and the Stereos. Written by Earl Stanley (Oropeza), Roger Leon and Ray Theriot, ‘Pass the Hatchet’ was a super heavy bit of garage-hurtling-toward-funk that would have been enough – as an instrumental – to get any room up and dancing.
However…
At some point a certain journeyman musician by the name of Eddie Bo stepped in and was recruited (possibly by Seven B label owner Joe Banashak) to add vocals to the track, taking a great tune, and making into something else entirely. Adding Eddie Bo to the mix created a chemical reaction rendering an already volatile substance positively explosive.
The very second that Eddie calls out

“AWWWWWWW PASS OUT THE HATCHETS BABY!!”

It is immediately apparent that all that has gone before was mere prelude, and all that will come after irrevocably altered for all time.
This is – as the kids say – the shit.
Back in the day, when the Funky16Corners machine was still gestating in web zine form, I had a feature called the Eddie Bo Jam of the Month (no matter that it was never strictly monthly). The very first one was ‘Pass the Hatchet’ by Roger & the Gypsies.
Here’s some of what I wrote:

“Oooooohhhhhh MAMA!!! This is one of those records that when the needle hits the wax, if you ain’t dancin’ you’re DEAD! While Roger & The Gypsies were a real group (i.e. not a name dropped on an Eddie Bo studio creation) the “singing” here is Eddie, and the production SCREAMS Eddie Bo*. Opening with a super-solid bass drum beat – that feels like butts swinging in time, hands clapping and feet stomping – and Eddie’s order to “Pass out the hatchets baby!” this is a party starter of the first order. I cannot over-emphasize the power of the drums on this record. Though the beat is simple (compared to some of the mind-bending beats coming out of N.O.) – nobody….I mean NOBODY, recorded drums like New Orleans producers. They managed to capture a lot of the natural power of live drums on his records without sacrificing any of the clarity. The snares crack, the cymbals sizzle and the kick drum is DEEP. The bass comes in, followed by dual guitar lines. The first keeping a sub-beat (not unlike the multi-layered guitars in the J.B.’s) and the second soloing on top. The whole time Eddie keeps popping up with interjections of ‘Chop It!’, ‘Timber!’ and funky grunts (there is an ‘UNHH!’ on this record that manages to carry in it the weight of ALL recorded funk). The song breaks in the middle (just long enough for the dancers to catch their breath) and restarts: ‘The Bigger they come, the harder the fall! Let me chop it…let me chop it…LET ME CHOP IT!” and the drums begin again with renewed force, followed by the sinister rattle of maraccas. When it stops, it stops without a fade, leaving the dancers with their heads spinning. Powerful stuff.”

No matter what I wrote, you can’t really “get” ‘Pass the Hatchet’ without hearing it for your self (though I suspect many of you already kneel before it in awe). I’ve included both sides of the record, offering up almost six minutes of musical awesome-osity the likes of which have rarely ever been played, let alone held within the confines of a seven inch vinyl record.

‘The bigger they come the harder they fall!’, indeed.
The biggest of them all just fell in New Orleans.

Peace

Larry