26 January 2011
Carol Kaye 'Bass Catch'
Just recently discovered a killer little EP of recordings by bass ace Carol Kaye called 'Picking Up The E-String'. The force was strong with Carol, out-funking pretty much the entire field of players and clocking up an incredible 10,000 recording sessions during her 55 year career. Responsible for laying down the low-end on hits like 'Good Vibrations' for the Beach Boys and Ray Charles' dancefloor burner 'I Don't Need No Doctor,' she was and still is the ultimate electric bass goddess.
25 January 2011
Peter Green 'Funky Chunky'
Poor old P.G. Arguably the most naturally gifted guitarist the UK has ever produced, he never realised his full potential due to a number of setbacks in the mental health department. Having played with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and founded Fleetwood Mac, Green took a turn for the worse in the early 70's and spent the rest of the decade well and truly in the wilderness. He returned in 1979 to record 'In The Skies,' an album full of beguiling majesty, religious overtones and trademark laid-back guitar styles. Check out 'Just For You', 'In The Skies' and 'Apostle' for more outstanding fret work.
24 January 2011
Allen Toussaint 'Last Train'
Allen 'The Southern Knight' Toussaint has gotten his nimble fingers into more musical pies than most people have had hot dinners. A towering figure on the New Orleans circuit, his compositions and writing have influenced musicians the world over. 'Last Train' is off his best solo album 'Southern Nights' from 1975, a mellow blend of soul, funk, rock and country styles that just gets better with each listen. Check out his official website for more info.
22 January 2011
Howard Tate 'How Come My Bulldog Don't Bark'
Bafflingly underrated singer Howard Tate released an album of taut, fat-free soul tunes back in the mid-60s that definitely deserve wider recognition. Why he isn't better known is anyone's guess (his barnet alone was surely enough) but you can get an insight into his life by reading an excellent interview with the man here.
21 January 2011
Crosby, Stills & Nash 'Dark Star'
Stand out track on CSN's album of the same name from 1977. Stills was the driving force behind this one. Voyage rock with a seam of understated organ and guitar parts that compliment the evocative vocal delivery like pickle does to cheese.
20 January 2011
Thai Orchestra 'Unknown (track 1)'
Hypnotic, mantra-funk from the East with strong psychedelic folk undercurrents. Released on the superior vinyl outlet Mississippi Records with not so much as a single (comprehensible) liner note, this album is a bomb wrapped in an enigma.
19 January 2011
Steve Miller Band 'Sacrifice'
Following yesterday's post, here's more Frisco Bay action - this time from the other end of the '70s. Sporting one of the more ludicrously proggy covers, 'Book Of Dreams' is mostly a load of bilge but 'Sacrifice' rises just far enough above the fumbling, cod fantasy to warrant a posting.
18 January 2011
The Sopwith Camel 'Orange Peel'
Named after the British World War 1 fighter plane, this San Francisco band's music is anything but confrontational. In fact it's all about the love, free love, humping if you will. Their fantastically named album from 1973 has been quite recently re-released on CD - you can get it here.
17 January 2011
The UK group Cymande defined their sound as 'Nyah Rock' - a fusion of rastafarian rhythms, soul, funk and rock, best exemplified by their self-titled first album from 1971. As well as this 10 minute jam the album also contains the hits Bra and The Message, making it an essential piece of black British musical history.
13 January 2011
Lee Oskar 'Haunted House'
Famed for his prominent role alongside Eric Burdon in the line-up of funk rock fusion group WAR, Danish born harpist Lee Oskar went on to make three solo albums and also manufacture high-quality harmonicas. This track is off his 1978 LP 'Before The Rain', which is a hit and miss affair but also contains a languid jam called 'Steppin' with a bag-piped intro thats worth checking out.
11 January 2011
J.J. Cale 'Ride Me High' (Mischief Brew edit)
King of the chillers J.J. Cale had a style so laid back its hard to imagine him changing out of his Wranglers and doing anything other than riffing away on a chaise-long made of cow skins. 'High Ride' - a live favourite and album highlight [sorry] off 'Troubadour' from 1976, is here given a dancefloor-friendly re-rub by Mischief Brew for your boot-stomping pleasure. "How high can you go?"
10 January 2011
Studio 'West Coast'
Quality business from Studio - a Swedish outfit who released 'West Coast' in 2006 to almost unanimous critical acclaim. Coming on like some long lost Madchester band way ahead of their time, the album draws on a wide array of styles from balearic beats, to psychedelia, pop and dub, whilst maintaining a unique and coherent set of production values throughout its duration. If the Happy Mondays had holidayed in Scandinavia, had more hot tubs and taken less drugs, they may have sounded more like this.
07 January 2011
06 January 2011
Creedence Clearwater Revival 'Graveyard Train'
Brothers Fogerty et al. come over all doom and gloom on this murky album ender from Bayou Country (1969). This swamp blues gives a chance for John Fogerty's voice to reach its rasping best, with the tempo lowered from the usual CCR repertoir. You get the sense that this train might barrel on indefinitely, tracks leading into the belly of the earth itself.
04 January 2011
Headhunters 'If You've Got It, You'll Get It'
Inhabiting the more palatable reaches of the jazz-funk spectrum (if such a place exists in your life), Headhunters were formed from the band that backed Herbie Hancock on his hit album of the same name. This track is from their first album without Hancock, released in 1975 and also featuring the hit 'God Make Me Funky'. They've been a useful source for many an Akai-wielding, sample hunter in the years since.