Dwight checks in with more Soul Machine era info...
"Dwight here. Wow Dan! That was a great find. I know all these guys and didn't even know about this record! Yes, Sam was generally known around town in the 70s as a monster keyboard player. Sam could flat out play! He could play anything, jazz, classical and of course funk! He always looked very serious, but you could tell he enjoyed playing. and he made it look effortless! When he wasn't leading his own band, he played with everyone else. I had the pleasure of playing with Sam in one of Deacon John's bands. That particular incarnation featured Cyril Neville as well as Sam Henry ( I don't know how I got lucky enough to play in that lineup!). one of Deacon John's lineups even featured Art Neville on organ! yeah, in the late 60s to early 70s all the New Orleans bands kinda had that same groove. and also throughout much of the 70s many of the various bands lineups interchanged. I remember Art and Cyril playing with different bands. (Cyril played drums in some of these bands). You probably already know who's on the cover, but I can ID from left to right: Gary Brown, Eugene Synegal, Cyril Neville, Sam Henry, Don't know the bass man, and Joe Gunn. I've played on records with all except Gunn and the bass player. I would like to get a copy of that whole alblum. where did u find it. is it on CD? "
Regular readers will recognize another contribution from Dwight Richards, drummer for Chocolate Milk out of NOLA. If you're new here, Dwight has been playing in New Orleans, live and on sessions, since back in the day and lived this stuff we merely hear, discuss and attempt to preserve somehow. Anyway, thanks Dwight for the further enlightenment and confirmations.
And no, I did not know for certain who was in that photo, other than Sam and Cyril. I guess the bass player is Richard Amos, who played on the record and supposedly was in the Hawkettes with Art Neville in the '50's. So, I have put the names in a caption beneath that CD cover. As for your mention of the interchanging players in local bands at that time, hey, it's still that way in New Orleans, ain't it? And, yes, this is on CD. You can get it at the Louisiana Music Factory in the Quarter. If Barry Smith, the owner, is there, introduce yourself (if you don't know him, you should) and give him my regards. For the rest of you, another tidbit: Sam Henry also played on a number of Toussaint-produced sessions in the later '70's and has been in music education for many years.