Based on the premise that the true Home of the Groove, at least on the North American landmass, is the irreplaceable musical and cultural nexus, New Orleans, Louisiana and environs, this audioblog features rare, hard to find, often forgotten, vintage New Orleans-related R&B and funk records with commentary. Some general knowledge of N.O. music is helpful here, but not required to get your groove on.
I currently host a weekly show, "Funkify Your Life", on KRVS 88.7 FM in Lafayette which includes music covered on HOTG and more. You can listen-in live Thursdays at 1:00 PM or to the rebroadcast Fridays at 9:00 PM, or via podcasts at the station website . I am a former resident of Memphis, TN, where I did a weekly radio show called "New Orleans: Under the Influence" from 1988 to 2004 on WEVL 89.9 FM. I've been collecting and researching this kind of music (& others) even longer.
Individual audio files are accessible for a limited time after posting. Link to access audio will be on the song title. No link? Audio's outa here.
When you hit a song link, a player streams it in a separate window. For other listening options, right click on the player when it comes up.
Note: Audio files on this blog are not high resolution (usually 128k) and are posted for reference purposes only. Please do not link directly to them. Use caution if booty shaking while operating vehicles or heavy machinery. Whenever possible, please buy music by these artists!!!
Until further notice, the separate streaming site, HOTG Internet Radio, is no longer operational, as the licensing provider went under. I hope to re-active streaming of my archives at the site at some point, and will post notice on the main page at the time.
EMAIL: hotgblog (AT) gmail (DOT) com
ARTISTS & LABELS (or reps thereof): Want to submit your New Orleans/Louisiana grooves for review or posting consideration,
or want an audio post discontinued? Email me.
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section is now moderated. Legitimate comments will be posted after review. Thanks for your understanding...and patience. NOTE:
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QUOTES OF NOTE:
"New Orleans is of such key importance to American music because historical factors combined to make it the strongest center of
African musical practice in the United States, and, cliches aside, that practice really did travel up the Mississippi and did
spread overland." - Ned Sublette, from Cuba And Its Music
"I heard a group called Huey Smith & the Clowns, out of New Orleans. Now this is where funk was really created! That's where funk originated....
I couldn't understand how to do it, so this drummer from Huey Smith's band [Hungry Williams] showed me how to play [it]." - Clayton Fillyau,
drummer for Etta James and James Brown, on the origins of the 'James Brown Beat', in The Great Drummers Of R&B, Funk & Soul, interviewed by Jim Payne.
"A lot of those New Orleans drummers would come through, and I got a lot of stuff from those guys....Tenoo [Coleman] was...as funky as any of them.....
I learned some of that funk by listening to Tenoo." - John 'Jabo'Starks, drummer for Bobby Bland and James Brown, to Jim Payne as above.
"At the risk of sounding egotistical, a lot of the broken up stuff that these guys are playing now stems from the stuff that I had started doing." -
Earl Palmer, on his early days drumming with Dave Bartholomew's band, to Jim Payne, as above.
"With funk, it's almost more what you don't play than what you do play. I like those long silences between riffs,
I like the empty spaces. Those empty spaces, when you stop and let the groove wash all over you, make the
difference between fake funk and real funk." -Art Neville in The Brothers Neville
"Thank the good Lord for the funk musicians." -Jon Cleary ("Pin Your Spin")
"Without New Orleans, there would be no America." -Keith Frazier, Rebirth Brass Band, 2005.
"....don't be fooled. This city is deeply wounded. I'd say it's like an amputee
with phantom memory." -David Freedman, WWOZ, post-Katrina.
"If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom."
-Judy Deck, in an e-mail to Chris Rose at the Times-Picayune
"I'm not finished!" - Wardell Quezergue's final comment of the night after accepting the 2008 Best of the Beat
Lifetime Achievement In Music Award from Offbeat
"I discovered New Orleans along the way, and that made a big difference - It loosened me up." - Richie Hayward, the late drummer for Little Feat.
"National Funk Congress Deadlocked On Get Up/Get Down Issue" -The Onion
"Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life" -ditto dat
Air dates: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, October 17, 2014, 9:00 PM, onKRVS 88.7 FMLafayette/Lake Charles, and online at the website. You can hear a podcast ofthis showand previous editions on the website under “Programs” anytime. Since the KRVS Fall Fundraiser - nine days of intensive on-air fundraising to sustain our station operations - started on the 17th, this was essentially my kick-off for the drive. So I chose some songs about money, giving, taking, help, and winning. It’s never too late to support KRVS. There’s a red “Support This Station” button on the station’s home page. Hit it, why don’t cha, before or after you stream a podcast. “Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters “Give It Up” (Allen Toussaint) - Lee Dorsey - from his original Amy single #11057, 1969 A great track, with backing by the Meters, As I noted in my HOTGfeatureon this one back in 2005, the 45 was not only Lee’s last for the Amy label, where he had the majority of his hits working with Toussaint, it was the last record Amy released before going under. The lack of radio play and chart action for Lee’s later records for the label was due the inability of Amy and its owner, Bell Records, to promote what he put out. Sansu Enterprises soon got Lee a deal with Polydor that resulted in the classic Yes We Can album, but no real resurgence of his career, sad to say. “Give It What You Can” (S. Cropper-J. Tarbutton-C. Marsh) - The Meters - from their Warner Bros. LP,New Directions, 1977. The original version of this song appeared on Sam & Dave’s 1974/75 LP,Back At ‘Cha, produced by Steve Cropper, mainly at his Trans Maximus Studios on Poplar Avenue, in the Mid-Town section of Memphis, my old stomping grounds. Steve co-wrote the song with two other Memphis musicians, Jimmy Tarbutton and Carl Marsh. Apropos of not much, I used to hang out out at Pop Tunes record shop in Memphis every day after school and most weekends in the mid-1960s, and Jimmy Tarbutton stopped by from time to time to shoot the...breeze. Great guitar player. That Sam & Dave album, by the way, had covers of two Toussaint tunes on it, too, that are great. I featured themhere andhere, and I’ll get them onto the show in due course. For me, the Meters; cover of “Give It” outshines S&D’s. “Lay It On Me, Part 2” (W. Quezergue-C. Simmons-E. Small) - Chuck Simmons - from his F.C.W. single #1001, 1976. This was recorded at Sea-Saint with some of the great session regulars on-board. The drumming is just sick. For more details on this 45 and Simmon’s other record-making exploits, mainly with Big Q, check out myfeatureon him. “Hold On Help Is On The Way” (Davis-Tyler-Parker) - G. Davis & R. Tyler - from their original Parlo single #102, 1966. Guitarist George Davis and saxophonist Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler, were regular session players in New Orleans and also outstanding jazz musicians. I featured this cuthereback in 2008 as a tribute to George’s passing. As I said there, I consider this to be one of the all-time great R&B instrumentals. It was not heard at the time, having been completely eclipsed by Parlo #101, Aaron Neville’s hit, “Tell It Like It Is”, which George arranged, played on, and co-wrote with Lee Diamond. Parlo folded soon thereafter, as it was too small to keep up with the demand for what became Aaron’s signature song. “A Dollar Ninety Eight” (Diamond-Davis) - Johnny Moore - from his original Wand single #1165, 1967. Another Lee Diamond-George Davis composition. The Johnny Moore named on this rather obscure 45, was and is better known in New Orleans as ‘Deacon John’ Moore, guitarist, vocalist and leader of numerous bands over the years, including the Ivories who have played tons of high school proms, fraternity parties, and weddings. Deacon John’s vocal talent alone should have landed him a lot more recording opportunities back in the day than the few he got. For more on his career, see my2008 feature. “Every Dog Got His Day” (Johnson-Douglas) - Eddie Bo - from his original Ric single #969, 1960. A classic Bo side - years ahead of its time. For more details on it and Bo’s work for the Ric label in New Orleans, seePart 2of my series on his career. “Take What I Can Get” (C. Yellen-M. Rebennack) - Dr John - from his Blue Note CD,Creole Moon, 2001. Recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, LA, this track features Sonny Landreth’s always impressive slide guitar. “Save A Little Bit For Me” (M. Galore-D. Ervin-M. Higgins) - Irma Thomas - from her original Canyon single #21, 1969. Irma was living in Los Angeles when she was approached by Wally Roker to record for his new Canyon label. This track is from her first single for Canyon, produced by Monk Higgins. When it failed to get any radio action, Roker paired Irma with a new producer who had recently come on-board, Jerry Williams, a/k/a Swamp Dogg. For more on the story of their collaboration, readmy postfrom last year. “A Little Bit Of Something” (R. Parker) - Robert Parker - from his original Island single #074, 1976. I covered this single inPart 5.1of my Big Q series just about a year ago. “I Want Some Money, Baby” (Bocage-Terry) - Tommy Ridgley - from his original Johen single #9200, 1964. Another classic New Orleans R&B collectable, written by Eddie Bo and arranged by Big Q. I discussed it inPart 4of my Eddie Bo series. “Money Money” (B. MacDonald) - Joy Ride - from their original Chippewa single, 1980. This track, written by guitarist Bruce MacDonald, appeared on the only record released by Joy Ride. He and George Porter, Jr. formed the band in 1979; and, while they were popular on the local Uptown club scene in New Orleans, things fell apart after just a couple of years. Ifeaturedthe flip side and some of the backstory in 2011. “Little Old Money Maker” (Neville-Nocentelli, Porter-Modeliste) - The Meters - from the Sundazed reissue of their original 1969-1970 Josie album,Look-Ka Py Py, 1999. “Somebody’s Always Winning” (L. Hopkins-L. Meyers) - Linda Hopkins - from her RCA album,Linda Hopkins, 1972. One of the great female vocalists from New Orleans, Linda has had a long career, starting in the gospel realm. She left the city around 1950 to pursue music,and, as far as I know, never made any records there. I just recently picked up this LP, recorded in New York City, which contains a number of funky tracks, including this one. “You Will Not Lose” (Allen Toussaint) - Allen Toussaint - from his original Reprise album,Southern Nights, 1975. While certainly not a funk tune, even though all the Meters participated on the track, the syncopated intricacies of this unique hybrid-pop gem are fascinating and enjoyable music-making at its finest, written, arranged, produced and performed by Toussaint on arguably the best album of his career. For more on his albums in the 1970s, see my2011 post. “Take Some Mambo Time” (E. Baytos) - Eddie Baytos & the Nervis Bros - from their CD of the same name, 1990s. I only had time for a few minutes of this one, so will get back to it in whole later. Iwrote aboutthis seldom seen CD back pre-Katrina.
Original air date: Thursday, October 9, 2014, 1:00 PM on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org, with a rebroadcast Friday nights at 9:00. You can hear a podcast of this showand all the others I’ve produced so far on the website under “Programs”, anytime. They are archived by date there, down below the most recent playlist. Speaking of which, you’ll also find basic playlists for all FYL shows there on the KRVS site. Meanwhile, these annotated playlists are now running about three weeks behind. Once again, tempus fergeddaboudit! “Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters “Making It Better” (W. Querzergue-M. Adams-A. Savoy) - The Barons, Ltd - from their original Chimneyville single #436, 1971. For details about the two singles the Barons did for Chimneyville as part of their lengthy association with Wardell ‘Big Q’ Quezergue, see my2011 post. “Making Love To Funky Music” (R. Bell-J. Strickland) - Reuben Bell - from his original Alarm single #2118, 1977. I’ve been cooking up a post for over a year on Big Q’s association with Alarm Records, based in Shreveport, LA, but am trying to snag a few more singles - the harder ones to get, of course. This cut by Reuben Bell, one of the principal artists on the label, is not one of those, but still not all that common. You can learn as much as I know about Alarm by getting hold of the 2007 soulscape CD,Sound City Soul Brothers, which collects some of the best sides by Bell, Ted Taylor, and Eddie Giles, and includes great notes by Paul Mooney. From them I learned that Alarm regularly imported the Malaco Studio house musicians and backing singers for their sessions. So they are likely backing Bell on this Big Q produced/arranged track. “Woman Don’t Go Astray” (King Floyd) - King Floyd - from his original Chimneyville single #443, 1972. I put this single in context inPart 3of my Big Q series. “Before I Met You” (Marc Adams) - Marva Wright - from her Sky Ranch CD,Born With The Blues, 1993. I wrote about Marva and this album, which I still consider her best, shortly after her death back in 2010. As I mentioned on the show, Sonny Landreth played slide guitar on this cut, and songwriter Marc Adams was on piano, along with an impressive cast of other supporting players, such as Wilbert ‘Junkyard Dog’ Arnold on drums. “Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” (Marc Adams) - The Adams-Griffin Project .- from their Sound of New Orleans CD,Choices, 1994. Speaking of Marc Adams, here he is singing and playing piano on another original tune. This one-off album featured the band he put together with trumpeter, Tracy Griffin. “The Mouse” (Smilin’ Myron) - Smilin’ Myron - from their CD,What About The People, 1997. An insidiously funky little number from one of the many short-lived New Orleans funk bands of the 1990s. “99 44/100 Pure Love” (A. Reed) - Al Reed - from his originalAxe single#103, 1967. Both sides of this record, arranged by Big Q, are keepers. Reed was more of a songwriter than a performer, though he did make a few 45 between the mid-1950s and mid 1960s. Probably his best known song is “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”, originally cut by Danny White for Frisco Records. “Satisfied With Your Love” (Joan Parker) - Barbara George - for her original Seven B single #7019, 1968. I did abrief tributeto Ms George shortly after her passing in 2006, and included this track, written by Eddie Bo, under one of his many aliases, who also produced and arranged it. :Getting The Corners” (Leroy Lewis) - The T.S.U. Tornadoes - from their original Atlantic single #2579, 1968. As I said on the air, this Houston funk ‘n’ soul band came up with an original instrumental tune that became “Tighten Up”, when Archie Bell and the Drells recorded their vocals over it. This track sounds a lot like that hit, but never took off. For more on the band, seethis articlefrom the Houston Press. “Cocodrie” (Z. Richard) - Zachary Richard - from his Rounder CD,Mardi Gras Mambo, 1989. Some local color from back when Lafayette’s own rootsman, ZR, was gettin’ down funky onstage and in the studio. ‘Easy Days” (C.J. Chenier) - C. J. Chenier - from his Slash CD,I Ain’t No Playboy, 1992. A rarely heard instrumental cut featuring C. J. (son of Clifton) on flute, backed by his fine band. I picked this song and the previous one since Festival Acadiens et Creoles was going on the weekend the show aired and both these guys were there.. “Soulful Woman” (J. Hill-M. Rebennack-A. Robinson) - Al Robinson - from his original Pulsar single #2417, 1969. For background on Alvin ‘Shine’ Robinson’s collaborations with Mac Rebennack, Jessie Hill and Harold Battiste out on the Left Coast in the late 1960s, seemy postfrom 2010. “Light My Fire” (The Doors) - Tami Lynn - a track recorded in 1969/1970 for Pulsar but not issued until the Ace CD,More Gumbo Stew, 1993. This compilation from the UK was the second of an authorized three CD series of recordings overseen by Harold Battiste, during the 1960s. He recorded Tami Lynn, who he had worked with when the AFO label was active in New Orleans, backed by the same crew of players who worked on other Pulsar projects, many of them NO expatriates. For somebackstoryon Tami, see my 2008 post on one of her later records. “Bayou Cadillac” (B. Holley-E. McDaniel…...) - Beausoleil - from their Rounder CD,Bayou Cadillac, 1989. A true hybrid of rock-blues-R&B-second-line funk-cajun-zydeco that only Michael Doucet and the ultra-fine Beausoleil could pull off so well. They, too, played Festival Acadiens this year.
Air dates: Thursday, October 2, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, October 3, 2014, 9:00 PM, onKRVS 88.7 FMLafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org. You can hear a podcast ofthis showand previous shows on the website under “Programs” anytime. This was a mostly vinyl episode, with a couple of choice CD cuts. I’m officially a week behind on these annotated playlists. So, from here on out, they will be briefer with links to more info. “Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters “Move Your Body” (D. Tabb-D. Shezbie-C. Honore) -Rebirth Brass Band- from their Basin Street LP,Move Your Body, 2014. “Bring It” (Shane Theriot) -Shane Theriot- from his Shose CD, Dirty Power, 2009. “Boogie The Blues” (Ray Johnson) - Ray Johnson - from his original Mercury single #7023, 1954. My 1/4/2014postincluded this side. “Still My Little Angel Child” (A. Mondy) - Alma Mondy - fromMercury Blues & Rhythm StoryCD set, 1996. Originally recorded for Mercury in New Orleans in 1949, backed by George Miller & his Mid-Driffs. Alma was called ‘The Lollipop Mama’ or ‘Miss Lollipop’. “Cat Walk” (L. Allen-A. Toussaint) -Lee Allen- from his original Ember single #1057. Toussaint likely arranged this session, too. From the sound of it, James Booker played organ, with Charles ‘Hungry’ Williams on drums. A recording with sonic problems that were on the master tape. “Then I’ll Believe” (D. Johnson) - Martha Carter - from her original Ron single #346, 1962. This single came up inPart 3of my In Pursuit Of Bo Consciousness series. “Keep The Fire Burning” (Edwin Bocage) - Skip Easterling - from his original Alon single #9033, 1966. For some background on Skip and this single, seePart 7of that Bo series. “I’ve Got Reasons” (E. Bocage-J. Scramuzza) - Mary Jane Hooper - from her original Power single #105-4051, 1968. IfeaturedMs Hooper (a/k/a Sena Fetcher) and her Eddie Bo produced tracks from this 45 and another back in 2008. “Do What You Wanna Do” (Isaac Bolden) - Tony Owens - from his original Island single #069, 1976. A few days after Katrina hit, and the seriousness of the subsequent Federal Flood hadn’t quite sunk in, I dida poston the singer and this tune. I was admittedly late to the Tony Owens bandwagon, but have since gotten more of this recordings and seen him perform live quite a few times, becoming a fan. Still, since much of his output has been on the deeper soul end of the spectrum, I haven’t written much more about his work, but hope to slip in some other tunes on the show. “Humpin’ To Please” (James Canes) - Jean Knight - from her original Ola single #1-102, 1977. This track wasdiscussedon the blog back in 2007. “Don’t Turn Your Back On Me” (Terry Manuel) - Louisiana Purchase - from their original LP, Louisiana Purchase, ca 1982. Despite the synthesizers and that slick “aural exciter” sound of the 80s, I dig this track and others on this LP. Iwrote aboutit and this tune in 2007. “Why You Wanna Do It” (W. Harper-T. Royal) - Willie Harper - from the Charly compilation LP,Sehorn’s Soul Farm, 1982. This album has two Willie Harper tunes, both co-written with guitarist Teddy Royal, that were probably recorded in the early mid-1970s, since Royal did not relocate to New Orleans until 1971, when he was hired on to King Floyd’s road band, the Rhythm Masters. From the sound of the backing musicians and arrangement, I would suspect this was recorded after Sea-Saint Studios opened in 1973, when Wardell Quezergue had returned from Malaco to work there. Early on, Smokey Johnson was drumming on sessions at Sea-Saint: and, in my2005 poston this tune, I hazarded a guess he played on this tune. “The Devil Gives Me Everything” (M. West-L. Laudenbach-The High Society Brothers) -Willie West- from his forthcomingTimmionLP/CD, Lost Soul. This track was first released five years back by Timmion, based on Norway, on a 45 issued in Europe, with good results. The new album will come out across the pond first, with later release in the US. “Country Road” (James Taylor) - Merry Clayton - from her Ode 70 LP,Gimme Shelter, 1970. A great, funked-up version of the JT classic from this outstanding vocalist most famous for her background work, but who has always deserved to be up front. Check out thisdetailed summaryof her recording career. “Running Man” (B. Ellman- T. DeCouet-Galactic) - Galactic - from their Capricorn CD,Late For The Future, 2000. Vocal by Theryl DeClouet, who sang with the band for several years.
Air dates: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, September 26, 2014, 9:00 PM, onKRVS 88.7 FMLafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org. You can hear a podcast ofthis showand previous shows on the website under “Programs” anytime. “Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters “Ride Your Pony” (Naomi Neville) - Betty Harris - from the Charly LP compilation of Betty’s Sansu material,In the Saddle, 1980. My original 45 (Sansu #480), is a bit worse for wear on this side, so I went with this re-issue track. I played the flip side of the single, “Trouble With My Lover”, on show #1. For more thoughts on this tune, which is a Toussaint-written/produced cover that beats Lee Dorsey’s 1965 original, seemy postfrom 2010. And for some background on how Ms Betty came to record in New Orleans, checkthis one. “Love, I Can’t Seem To Find It” (Larry Williams) - Larry Williams - from his original Venture single #622, 1968. For some background on Williams’ music career, his gangster lifestyle, and this single in particular, check outmy postfrom 2006, where I featured the other side, “Shake Your Body Girl”. “Don’t Stop Now” (Tony Bryce) - Lloyd Price - from his original JAD single #212, 1968. I featured this single back in 2006; andthe postis chock full of interesting factoids, most of which I’d since forgotten. Glad I wrote it down, and caught back up. “Chasing Rainbows” (Teddy Royal) -Johnny Adams- from his original Ariola single #7701, 1978. This single was featured in the first of my two-part post on the career of Teddy Royal, who got the writing credit on this single, which had its initial release on Hep’ Me. Later, when I did a feature on soul singer Willie West, he told me that he had co-written (uncredited) the song with Royal, contributing the lyrics. Adams only did a handful of true funk songs; and his voice classed up all of ‘em. “Freddie’s Walking” (Chuck Mangione) -C. P. Love- from his original Stone single #201, 1973. C. P. Love is one of the many fine soul singers who were signed to Elijah Walker’s artist management company in New Orleans, Skyline Productions, and the A&R company he ran with Wardell ‘Big Q’ Quezergue, Pelican Productions, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That got Love a chance to record at Malaco in Jackson, Ms, when Big Q and Walker worked with the studio; but the one single that resulted did not sell. Walker died around 1973, and Love moved on, recording this one-off single for Stone, a Baton Rouge label, that year. [See my post from the Big Q series, for more on Love’s story.] While his take on the gospel flavored “Freddie’s Walking” (anybody know what this song, written by pop-jazz flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, is about?) showed off his vocal chops, the record was another commercial non-starter. Love later recorded for Orleans records and recently has joined the band Fo’Reel, about which see below. “What I Can Do” (M. Domizio-C. P. Love) -Fo’Real- from their independently released CD, Heavy Water, 2014. An impressive aggregation of veteran players, Fo’Real greatly benefits from the participation of C. P. Love, one of New Orleans’ best unsung vocalists, whose career stretches back to the 1960s. The other members are guitarist and songwriter, Mark Domizio, bassist David Hyde [since replaced by another great, David Barard], and Johnny Neel on keyboards. On this track, Allyn Robinson played drums. Other tracks also feature a fine horn section. I’m sure I’ll get to other tracks as time goes by. “New Orleans Twist” (P. King-D. Bartholomew-W. Quezergue) - Blazer Boy - from his original Imperial single #5801, 1961. At the time of this recording, producer Dave Bartholomew was nearing the end of his long association with Imperial Records, which started in the late 1940s and brought about the huge success of Fats Domino. Wardell Quezergue was doing a lot of the arrangements for these later Imperial sides. The young Smokey Johnson was likely drumming on this standard issue dance song, featuring the not often recorded George Stevens, dubbed Blazer Boy, on vocal. “Olde Wine” (James Black) - Red Tyler - from his original At Last single #1003, 1963. The At Last label was a subsidiary ofAFO (All For One) Records, started by producer/musician Harold Battiste and a group of like-minded black studio musicians who wanted to get more financial rewards from the records they played on, arranged, and helped make hits. SaxophonistAlvin ‘Red’ Tyler, who played on countless R&B records starting in the late 1940s, was a founding member of AFO and the featured artist on this track, written by drummer/composer,James Black. Like the majority of the AFO associates, Black was primarily a jazz musician who played R&B to make a living, making a lot of music history in the process. “You Ain’t Hittin’ On Nothing” (Naomi Neville) -Irma Thomas- from her original Minit single #666, 1963. Among Irma’s best and most remembered recordings were the tracks she cut for the Minit label in the early 1960s, with Allen Toussaint writing, arranging and producing. This funky, sassy little number ,written by Toussaint under his nom de plume, was the flip side of her classic, “Ruler Of My Heart”, with backing by a stripped down rhythm section headed by Roy Montrell on guitar. He was also one of AFO’s founders, many of whom Toussaint used at the time, such as bassist Chuck Badie and drummer John Boudreaux, who very likely are on this, too. “Love Slip Up On Ya” (Neville-Nocentelli-Porter-Modeliste) - The Meters - from their original Reprise LP,Fire On the Bayou, 1975. I wrote a shorttributeto this funk-sway groove monster back in 2006. “Hear The Words, Feel the Feeling” (L. Dozier-M. Jackson) - Margie Joseph - from her original Cotillion LP,Hear The Words, Feel the Feeling, 1976. While I think she did her best records and funkiest tunes with producer/arranger Arif Mardin for Atlantic a bit earlier, this album on Atlantic’s subsidiary, Cotillion, has its moments even though disco tendencies were evident. After all, it was produced by the great Lamont Dozier on out the Left Coast. The distinctive, stylized funk of the title track is far from the New Orleans feel [She recorded next to nothing in her hometown.], but still mighty effective. Read David Nathan's thoroughoverviewof Margie’s career at SoulMusic.com. “Mojo Hannah” (A. Williams-C. Paul-B. Paul) - Aaron Neville - from his original Mercury single #73310, 1972. Iwrote-upAaron’s hot take of this tune, backed by the Meters, back in 2010. “Junk” (Fantoms) - The Fantoms - from their original Power Funksion single #10002, 1972. Covered this single and some of the band’sbackstoryin a 2007 post. “I Want Somebody (To Show Me The Way Back Home)” [W. Turbinton] - Willie Tee - from his original Atlantic single #2302, 1965. Just pre-Katrina, during the first year of HOTG, Idiscussedthis side, one of my absolute faves by Mr. Turbinton. “We’ll Figure It Out” (S. Allen-J. Butler- and band) - Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs - from their POME/Threadhead Records CD, Box Who In?, 2009. As the title of the CD implies, it’s hard to box in Shamarr and his band, as their musical adventures range from jazz to funk, hip-hop to hard rock, and tosses in some rap from Dee-1 for good measure. Check Shamarr’swebsitefor more details.
Air dates: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, September 19, 2014, 9:00 PM, onKRVS88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org. You can hear a podcast ofthis showand previous shows on the website under “Programs” anytime. As I noted on the show, I had planned to feature all recent releases and reissues - within the past couple of years - this week; but I learned thatLil’ Band o’ Goldwould be honoring a fellow band member, local songwriter, keyboardist, and singer,David Egan, with a tribute to his music at this week’s Downtown Alive concert series here in Lafayette. David, who has written and co-written songs recorded by such artists a Irma Thomas, Etta James, Johnny Adams and Solomon Burke, is recovering from serious illness and surgery and deserves all of our best wishes and positive vibes. There was a big turnout for the Friday night celebration, which lasted about three hours and had a large cast of guest musicians and vocalists joining LBoG. It was full of memorable moments, with Jon Cleary coming over from New Orleans to sit in for David on piano almost the entire time. I added five of David’s songs to the mix this week, as my own tribute to his talents. “Funkify Your Life” [Intro] (A. Neville-C, Neville-L. Nocentelli-G. Porter, Jr- J. Modeliste) - The Meters- from the Sudazed CD reissue of New Directions, 2002. “Call Your Children Home” (David Egan) - David Egan - from his eponymous Rhonda Sue Records CD, 2013. Taken from David’slatest album, this one definitely has some funk to the groove, courtesy of Mike Sipos on drums and Ron Eoff on bass. Mike’s from New Orleans, where broken-beat drumming is part of the DNA. I remember Ron from his days with the Cate Brothers, when they would grace Memphis a couple of times a year with their Arkansas soul and funk. The guitar players on this track are a mini-Louisiana hall of fame with Bruce MacDonald and Buddy Flett playing rhythm, and Paul ‘Lil’ Buck’ Senegal taking the lead. “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (Allen Toussaint) - Jon Cleary - from his FHQ CD,Occapella!, 2012. It seems from the YouTubevideoabout this album of Allen Toussaint songs and the Allmusic credits linked above that Jon played all the instruments on this track and most of the album. I think I said on the show that his band, the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, played on this one; but that was wrong. Only one song, “Let’s Get Low Down”, has other players, James Singleton on bass and Terrence Higgins on drums, from Jon’s trio, the Philthy Phew, whose membership varies. “Here It Is” (C. Neville-C, Wooten-M. Zito-Y. Scott) - The Royal Southern Brotherhood - from their Ruf CD,Heatsoulblood, 2014. The RSB membership - Mike Zito and Devon Allman on guitars and vocals, Charlie Wooton on bass, Cyril Neville on vocals and percussion, and Yonrico Scott on drums - are all established artists who came together to take their collective music exploits to a new place, and have succeeded. Readbackstoriesat their website. While their debut CD was mostly on the blues- rock side; they have brought some funk into the mix on this new one, as evidence by “Here It Is”, among others.. To me they are becoming a Southern rock band in the best sense of that label,, incorporating their musical influences into an effective hybrid that blurs the lines between rock, blues, R&B, soul, and funk. More power to ‘em. “Ooh Yeah” (?) - Flow Tribe - from their CD EP,Alligator White, 2014. I heard Flow Tribe in New Orleans a few years back, and found them to be a spunky young funk band. Recently, I was contacted through the blog by their promo people, alerting me to this new EP and their gig here in Lafayette. Since I am now doing the show, they sent along the CD; and I got stuck on “Ooh Yeah”, which is not funk like the other tracks, but a poly-rhythmic Carribean/Afro-Cuban change of pace that they pull off very convincingly. I’ll get into some of the other tunes at a later date. “Sassy” (Herbert Hardesty) - Herb Hardesty - from the Ace CD,The Domino Effect, 2012. This well-done CD compilation from the UK, covers all of New Orleans saxophone master Herb Hardesty’s solo recordings. Half of them were released by the Federal label around 1962, and recorded in New York City and Cincinnati with fellow members of Fats Domino’s band backing him, for the most part. The other numbers were recorded at the late great Cosimo’s Studio in New Orleans in 1958 for an album project to be released on Wing, as division of Mercury Records; but it was never issued, until being rediscovered several years ago, “Sassy” is one of those nearly lost Wing tracks. As on the Federal sides, Domino band members backed Herb up. I reviewed the CDherewhen it came out and have featured aFederal recordingor two of his, also. Should you wish to know more. “Did She Mention My Name” (Mac Rebennack) - from the Ace CD compilation,Cracking the Cosimo Code, 2014. This CD focuses on a some fine examples of the recording legacy of the late Cosimo Matassa, who operated a succession of studios in New Orleans from the late 1940s until around 1970, With its revealing notes and selection of songs Cos helped birth, the CD is a great place to start learning about Cos’ vital role in bringing New Orleans popular music to the public. If you are at all into collecting New Orleans music in any format and knowing about its origins, the Cosimo Code website, which inspired the CD, is the place to go for the arcane details of Cos’ extensive record-making and record-keeping, researched by a team of dedicated and obsessed audio archeologists. If you just want to hear the simple genius of Cos’ recording technique, feast your ears on “Did She Mention My Name”. It delivers Ronnie Barron’s amazing vocal and Mac Rebennack’s brilliant arrangement from 1964 with pristine clarity and fidelity. Awesome. “Lover And A Friend” (Edwin Bocage) - Eddie Bo & Inez Cheatham - from a Jazzman reissue 45, part of the 3 record set,The Essential Seven B Collection, 2012. Both the 1968 original 45 on the Seven B label (#7017) and the Capitol Records version, which was released nationally soon thereafter, are fairly hard to find in the wild, and expensive when you do. I’ve lost count of the auctions for a copy of this record I’ve been outbid on. So, I’ve made do with the various compilation appearances of “Lover And A Friend” over the years, now including this reissue from Jazzman. A very reasonable facsimile. Eddie Bo had been doing A&R (producing, songwriting, artist development) and his own releases for Joe Banashak’s Seven B label for a couple of years when he did this tune with Ms Cheatham, a member of the singing group, the Triple Souls. They did background singing on most of the R&B sessions at Cosimo’s, for productions by Bo, Wardell ‘Big Q’ Quezergue, and Allen Toussaint. As far as I know, she never did any solo recording, despite being a quite capable soul singer. Bobby Williams, who called his style of funk drumming “bounce” decades before local hip-hop artists appropriated the term, and his group were the rhythm section. They recorded the cult classic Mardi Gras Indian inspired rave-up, “Boogaloo Mardi Gras”, probably on the same session, appearing under the group’s name on Seven B and Capitol, also. "Slingshots And Boomerangs” (David Egan-C. C. Adcock) - David Egan - from his Louisiana Red Hot/Rhonda Sue CD,Twenty Years of Trouble, 2003. Guitar slinger, songwriter, and artist in his own right C. C. Adcock co-wrote this tune and co-produced the album with David. Clever lyrics, great groove. “Fess On Up” (David Egan) - A-Train - from their Sooto 45 (#4503), ca 1985. This tune also appeared on their final LP, River of People, from 1985. Miki Honeycutt took the lead vocal with David backing her on this South Louisiana swamp pop shuffle. “I Wish You Would” (N. Glaspie-A. Hall-N. Daniels III-I. Neville-I. Neville) - Dumpstaphunk - from their Louisiana Red Hot CD,Dirty Word, 2013 A heavy funk outfit who usually don’t have a horn section or player with them, Dumpstaphunk have versatile saxman Sherik and hometown hero Trombone Shorty joining in here to fine effect. “Be My Lady” (A. Neville-C. Neville-L. Nocentelli-G. Porter, Jr- J. Modeliste) - Trombone Shorty - from his Verve CD,Say That To Say This, 2013. Speaking of Trombone Shorty, Troy Andrews, here he is doing an impressive cover of a song originally on the Meters’ final LP, New Directions, and sung by Cyril Neville. It’s notable that he got all of the original Meters to play and sing back-up on the session, which is quite a feat in itself. “Hallelujah, I’m A Dreamer” (David Egan) - Papa Mali - from his Fog City CD,Do Your Thing, 2007. Malcolm ‘Papa Mali’ Welbourne’s decision to take on David Egan’s superbly written tune with just guitar and vocal was the perfect call, allowing the lyrics to shine. As I said on the show, this song is a standout example of why David should be considered one of the great American songwriters. “Sing It” (David Egan) - Marcia Ball, Tracy Nelson, Irma Thomas - from their Rounder CD,Sing It!, 1998. David had three songs on this well-received collaboration by these soul/blues divas, which significantly raised his profile. “Sing It” originally appeared on A-Train’s 1983 album, Live At Humpfree’s; but this version is definitive. Get well soon, Mr. Dave.
Air dates: Thursday, September 11, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, September 12, 2014, 9:00 PM, onKRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org. You can heara podcastof this show and previous shows on the website under “Programs” anytime. First off, R.I.P. Cosimo Matassa, who died Thursday, at 88. Since I recorded the show two days earlier, I could not mention it in on-air. I won’t be doing a specific special on Cos for the show or blog, since he was involved in at least 98% of the New Orleans music recorded between the late 1940s and early 1970s. When considering the real impact Cosimo and his three successive studios had on the city’s musical legacy, you realize that the world-changing popular music of New Orleans, be it R&B, rock ‘n’ roll, soul, funk or jazz might not have have flourished if he had not been there to document it and assist in making available to home turntables, neighborhood jukeboxes, and radio stations far and wide. It literally changed the world, and for the better. He always humbly credited the musicians he recorded for that; but, as the recording engineer (self-taught!!!), Cos was the man who captured the performances on magnetic tape as accurately as he could. In the 1960s, he began mastering and pressing many of those records, too, with the same care and professionalism. The sound he got, under primitive conditions by industry standards, was exceptional. So, every show and post featuring some of those records always has been and always will be a Cosimo special. Read Keith Spera’s fineobituary on Cosat nola.com and see the video there of author/historian Rick Coleman interviewing the man himself. There has long been a link (Secrets of Cosimo’s Studio) in my sidebar under Resources to anotherrevealing interviewwith Cos, covering the mainly technical aspects of his recording process. Even if you are not familiar with studio gear, it’s a fascinating glimpse into how he operated. Sadly, I also note the recent passing ofTim Green, one of New Orleans’ best sax players. He never sought the spotlight, but was highly valued on the scene. I always enjoyed hearing him live and as a contributor to various studio projects over the years. This week’s show was almost completely sourced from vinyl, with only the lead-off Dr. John cut coming from a CD re-issue, because I cannot locate the LP around here - in the wrong place at the wrong time! “Funkify Your Life” [Intro] (Neville-Neville-Nocentelli-Porter, Jr-Modeliste) - The Meters - from the Sundazed reissue of their Warner Bros album, New Directions, 2000 "Peace Brother Peace” (Mac Rebennack) - Dr. John - from a MFSL remastered reissue CD containing the original ATCO 1973 LP,In The Right Place, 1995. Still seeking my original LP copy. It’s around here somewhere. The album had the Meters as rhythm section, with Allen Toussaint producing, and contained the now well-known radio hits, “Right Place, Wrong Time” and “Such A Night”. Not a clinker on it. This tune started my “Peace” set this week, meant to help counteract (“doctorate your soul”, as the song says) the dire memories of this date,thirteen years ago. It also served as the theme song for my WEVL show back in Memphis, where my handle was ‘The Spin Doctor’. “Smoke My Peace Pipe” (Willie Tee) - The Wild Magnolias - from their Polydor single #14242, 1974. Written by funkmaster keyboardist, Wilson ‘Wille Tee’ Turbinton, who also arranged the music for the original album,The Wild Magnolias, this trippy track appeared in its full-length form there. The LP came out on Barclay in Europe and Polydor in the US that same year. Tee also put together the backing band, generically dubbed the New Orleans Project by the producer, with members of his own band, The Gaturs, plus his brother, Earl Turbinton on soprano sax, Snooks Eaglin on guitar, and various of the WM on percussion. The album was the first of two Philippe Rault produced for Barclay, the result of an historic jam session several years earlier between the Gaturs and WM at a music festival on the Tulane University campus. Quint Davis put on that event, and then produced two obscure singles featuring the Wild Magnolias backed by Tee and various other funk musicians, before Rault came to town. Lead vocals were by Theodore Emile ‘ Bo’ Dollis, Big Chief of the Mild Magnolias, who were (and still are) a part of the rich and once mysterious Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans. “Peace Begins Within” (LeFevre, et al) - Bobby Powell - from his original Whit single #6908, 1971. This is Bobby Powell’s cover version of the song originally recorded by Christian rocker Mylon LeFevre in 1970 on hisMylonalbum that was produced by Allen Toussaint. On this version, the great, ear-catching arrangement was by label-owner Lionel Whitfield. It was probably recorded in Baton Rouge, home of Powell and the label. “That’s All A Part Of Lovin’ Him” (Jerry Strickland-Bobby Patterson) - Tommie Young - from her original Soul Power single #114, 1972. As I said on the show, Bobby Patterson, soul singer, producer, arranger and writer, discovered the gifted singer, Tommie Young, in Dallas, where she was predominantly doing gospel, and brought her to Shreveport to record for the new Soul Power label he had started with producer/writer Jerry Strickland, who ran Sound City studio. Over the next two years, she sang material, much of it written by Patterson and Strickland, that was released on six singles and one album. Several of the songs charted, but didn’t really sell especially well or get much airplay outside the South. They probably could have done better had she toured to help promote them. With no breakout national hit, Young went back to Dallas and gospel after her run with Soul Power, but did get wider attention in 1978, when she sang on the soundtrack to Cicely Tyson’s movie, A Woman Called Moses. For more details, see what the intrepid crew atSoul Detectivehad to say about her. “Walking On A Tightrope” (Percy Mayfield) - Percy Mayfield - from his original Brunswick LP,Walking On A Tightrope, 1969. Often called “The Poet Of The Blues”, Mayfield started life in Minden, LA, located east of Shreveport, in the northwest part of the state. After high school, he began writing songs and pursued a singing career in Texas, then relocated to Los Angeles by the late 1940s, where he soon made a name for himself and had numerous hits as a featured artist. For more details on this incredibly prolific and talented man, check outhis bio. This particular album of all original material for Brunswick was probably recorded in Chicago, where the label was based. Being 1969, there was a lot of funkiness going in the playing and arrangements. “Gotta Be Funky” (Bobby Rush-Calvin Carter) - Bobby Rush - from his original On Top single #2000, 1972. Bobby Rush, grew up in Homer, LA, right up the road from Minden, not far from the Arkansas line. When he was a teenager, his family relocated to Arkansas, where he began his performing career; and, by the 1960s, he was active on the Chicago blues scene and started recording, having some success with upbeat boogaloo R&B. By the start of the next decade, his music had moved to the distinctly funky side, and his lyrics and stage act got raunchy. He recorded sporadically and stayed on the road, playing the southern “Chitlin; Circuit” for decades. But it wasn’t until the turn of the century that things took off, as he has recorded a series of well-received CDs, still highly funkified, and won numerous awards from the Blues Foundation. For some more info, see my posts from2006and2007on two of his singles released by the Jewel label. “Cha Dooky Doo” (M. Vince) - Art Neville - from his original Special single #637, 1958. Art Neville, oldest of the Neville brothers, one of New Orleans’ most well-known musical families, was a bandleader and solo recording artist long before he formed the Meters in the late 1960s, and brought his siblings together as a supergroup a decade later. At 17, he joined the Hawketts as pianist and singer, and the popular local band recorded the classic “Mardi Gras Mambo”, which came out on Chess Records. They remained active on the local scene; and in 1956, Harold Battiste, who was handling A&R for Specialty Records, offered Art a contract as a solo artist. Meanwhile, he and the Hawketts became the road band for another Specialty artist, Larry Williams. “Cha Dooky Doo” was released in 1958, and sold well, giving Art more exposure; but he was soon drafted and went into the Navy. Although Specialty released another single on him, his inability to tour to promote his records caused the label to cool on him. On his return, he moved on to work with Allen Toussaint at Instant Records in the early 1960s. Frequently noted on this track is the distorted guitar sound, that was very influential, but not done on purpose. I forget which, but the amp either had a cracked speaker or a loose tube. But that fuzz tone would become increasingly popular in rock music over the years. For more on two of Art’s solo sides from later in the 1960s, see my2007 post. “High Cotton” (Lloyd Lambert) - Lloyd Lambert and His Band - from their Specialty single #553, 1955. Lambert was a bassist and bandleader from New Orleans, who was the first in town to use the electric version of the instrument. When Guitar Slim signed with Specialty and started recording, he was backed by Lambert’s band in the studio and on the road. This mid-50s instrumental by the band featured the quirky piano work of Lawrence Cotton and some great growling sax work by Joe Tillman. “No Buts, No Maybes” (Roy Byrd) - Professor Longhair - from a 1980s reissue single of his original 1957 ebb 45 #101. The groove-wear on my ebb copy was just too noisy for good radio listening. So, I used the clean reissue instead - which is also why I kind of misspoke on-air about this set being all Specialty sides. You can hear the original version onmy postfrom earlier this year on cool piano tracks by Fess, Ray Johnson, and James Booker. “Baby Don’t You Do It” (Holland-Dozier-Holland) - Alvin Robinson - from his original ATCO single #6581, 1968. Known in musical circles as ‘Shine’, the late singer/guitarist Alvin Robinson remains a severely under-recognized New Orleans artist in the Ray Charles mold, who made some great records few have heard. For more details on this single and his activities in the late 1960s and early 1970s, check my2010 post. Marvin Gaye did the original version of this tune in 1964. “Chained” (F. Wilson) - The Sister and Brothers - from their Calla single #175, 1970. This 45, as did the Baton Rouge group’s first on Uni (I played a cut on show #3), featured Geri Richard on lead vocal. Here, she did a song originally recorded by Marvin Gaye for Tamla in 1968. For more details on Richard and this Calla single, see my2008 post. “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (N. Whitfield-B. Strong) - Ray Johnson - from his original In-Arts single #107, 1968, Another Marvin Gaye-related track, this time recorded by keyboard professor Ray Johnson, who I also featured on show #3. For more backstory on his incendiary instrumental version of the tune, see my2012 poston several of his singles. “Jump Into Your Love” (Ernie K-Doe) - Mr. Ernie K-Doe and the Olympia Music Co. - from his Syla single (no number), ca late 1980s. Speaking of incendiary. This track knocks you back as soon as the horns blast after the short drum countdown, grabs your backside, and shakes you around like a ragdoll. As I noted in my2008 poston this 45, it was his last vinyl release, as far as I can tell; and the fact of the medium employed meant that not all that many people could hear it, except maybe on some old club jukeboxes somewhere, and the turntables of WWOZ and WTUL, where surely it got some non-commercial airplay. Anyway, I can’t improve on what I said about the single there, so read it, if you dare. “Who’s Gettin; Your Love” (Willie Hutch) - Etta James - from her original T-Electric LP, Changes, 1980. The making of this album, produced/arranged by Allen Toussaint and recorded at Sea-Saint, was a saga that lasted several years on and off, as two different record labels were involved, then uninvolved in the process, before MCA stepped in to complete the sessions and release the LP on T-Electric. I discussed that backstory in a2011 post on the late great drummer, Herman Ernest. “Love Grows On Ya” (Ed Volker) - The Radiators - from their Epic LP, Zig-Zaggin’ Through Ghostland, 1989. About a decade after the Radiators got their start, they were signed to a major label, Epic, who released three albums on them in the late 1980s.Zig-Zaggin’was the second. Despite having some impressive material, it has been long overlooked and underheard. Their first for the label, Law Of The Fish, had their radio “hits”; but Epic pretty much stopped promoting them as soon as the initial buzz cooled off. Though definitely a rock band, the Rads were always too eccentric and eclectic in their influences and creative process to fit into any mainstream record company niche. They had a long and successful career doing their own thing on independent labels, their own and others, and, of course tearing it up on stage. They were meant to be experienced live. Hope you were around for some of that before they retired. If not, catch a reunion show - they still do ‘em occasionally. “The Point” (Mac Rebennack) - Mac Rebennack - from his original AFO single #309, 1962. Mac (a/k/a Dr John, later in the decade and beyond) had not been playing organ long when the recorded this 45 for AFO, with another great tune, “One Naughty Flat”, on the flip. Quick learner ain’t the half of it. I covered this record in my 2012 poston organ instrumentals. “Red Dress” (see notes) - Chosen Few Brass Band - from their original Syla LP,The Chosen Few Brass Band, 1985. During their brief run, the Chosen Few were led by tuba master Anthony ‘Tuba Fats’ Lacen, who had earlier helped the Dirty Dozen Brass Band get off the ground. This tune is actually an uncredited instrumental version of Tommy Tucker’s 1964 R&B classic, “High Heel Sneakers”, a worthy addition to the brass band repertoire. Since this was a ULL football weekend, it seemed a red dress was appropriate attire for the second line out. On yeah, and….WHO DAT!!!