More Shreveport Funk
"A Girl In France" (Villery)
African Music Machine, Soul Power 111, 1973
Here's a weekend offering for ya, as I continue working on getting set up in our new abode. Back in November, I featured a cut from the African Music Machine, the house band at Sound City Studios in Shreveport, LA during the early to mid-1970’s. You can read about ‘em on that post, as I don’t really have any new information, other than what my buddy, Art Edmaiston, contributed about the bass player and leader of the group, Louis Villery. I added Art’s comments to that post; but, briefly, Villery is Tunisian (thus the African connection) and was in Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’s band prior to setting up shop in Shreveport. Later in his career, he rejoined Bland, which is where Art, who did a stint on the road in the BBB horn section, met him. Contrary to some information floating around the ‘net on Villery and the AMM, I don’t think they were ever based in New Orleans, as all but Villery were from the Shreveport area.
“A Girl In France”, a groove with a high funk quotient employing that familiar and somewhat Middle Eastern sounding riff, was the flip side of “Tropical”, from Soul Power 111, the second of the African Music Machine’s four singles for the label. As with that other side, which I posted previously, drummer Louis Acorn pulls off some particularly herky-jerky syncopations on this one; and Villery’s bass is prominent in the arrangement and the mix, as might be expected, since he produced and arranged all the tracks. To me, there's an afro-pop feel to the band's horn charts that I find seriously diggable. Anyway, nothing ground-breaking here; but, still, it’s a high-spirited, fun-loving number to shake some rump to as summer keeps comin’ on. Loose booty, y’all.