FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE - SHOW #1 - PLAYLIST
Air dates, Thursday, 8/7/2014, at 1:00 PM Central and Friday, 8/8/2014 at 9:00 PM, on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette, LA. A podcast and playlist are also available from the KRVS website under “Programs”, just scroll down the list to my show.
“Funkify Your Life” (A. Neville-C.Neville-L.Nocentelli-J. Modeliste-G. Porter, Jr) - The Meters - from Sundazed CD re-issue of New Directions, 2000.
Warner Bros originally released the album in 1977. Zigaboo Modeliste on lead vocal here. Recorded in San Francisco, it was their final LP for WB and as a band. Art Neville and brother, Cyril, left shortly after it came out. The remaining threesome recruited various keyboard players plus Willie West to help out on vocals; but they only lasted another year.
“Steppin’ Out” (Traci Borges) - Lionel Robinson - from original Knight 45 #3051A, 1971.
Produced by Traci Borges and recorded at his Knight Studio, Metairie, LA. Robinson did four singles for Knight in the early 1970s and deserved attention for this vocal talent, but got little more than a bit of local airplay.
“Action Speaks Louder Than Words” (Charles Brimmer-Louis Jones) - Lonnie Jones - from original Jenmark 45 #103A, 1972.
Produced and arranged by a fine soulman in his own right, Charles Brimmer. Jones (a/k/a Louis Jones), recorded just two singles, both on Jenmark.
“Action Time” (E. Batts-J. Ellison) - Labelle - from original Epic LP, Phoenix, 1975.
Produced and arranged by Allen Toussaint and recorded at Sea-Saint Studios with some great local players, including Herman Ernest on drums. This overlooked LP was their follow-up to Nightbrids, which had the big hit, “Lady Marmalade”. Sadly, no hits came out of this equally fine effort.
“Summertime” (Gershwin-Heyward) - Gatemouth Brown - from original Cue 45 #1050, 1964.
Produced by Jimmy Duncan for the tiny Cue label and probably recorded in Houston, TX. This is one of Gate’s rarest 45s, and surely the most unusual. Dig the very syncopated drumming, making it sound like a New Orleans record. His percussive, reverb-drenched, guitar-generated sound effects could have given a young Jimi Hendrix food for thought, had he or anybody else actually heard this obscure record. I featured this cut here back in July.
“Blues Cha Cha” (E. Blanchard) - Edgar Blanchard and the Gondoliers - new 45 #1004 from the 2012 Rounder vinyl box set, From the Vaults of Ric & Ron Records.
Originally recorded in 1959 for the Ric label, but unissued at the time. Rounder first re-issued this on the Troubles Troubles CD in 1988.
“Gotta Have More” (D. Johnson - E. Bocage - T. Terry) - Eddie Bo with the Barons - original Blue Jay 45 #154, 1964.
Produced, arranged and co-written by Eddie Bo for his own short-lived label. Maybe Smokey Johnson on the drums. This shows the high quality work Eddie was capable of.
“Bon Ton Roule” (Clarence Garlow) - Ronnie Barron - from Takoma LP Bon Ton Roulette, 1985.
Recorded in L.A., CA. The New Orleans connections were, of course, Ronnie on piano and vocal, and the horn section, three tenor sax heavy hitters, Lee Allen, Plas Johnson, and Jerry Jumonville, with Jumonville also playing baritone. I included this cut in my Mardi Gras post this year.
“Giving On Into Love” (D. Reed - A. Wright) - Dalton Reed & the Musical Journey Band - from original Sweet Daddy 45 #100, 1985.
From Lafayette, LA, Reed was an excellent soul singer who performed live for most of his musical career, while keeping-up his day job as a welder. I think this was his first commercial recording, self-produced and issued on his own label when he already was in his mid-30s. In the early 1990s, Scott Billington signed him to Rounder’s Bullseye Blues label and he made two well-received CDs, but died while on tour soon thereafter. [Forgot to back announce this one on the show.]
“Best Of Love Turned Blue” (David Egan) - A-Train - from their Sooto LP, Live at Humpfrees, 1983.
Recorded at a music club in their home-base of Shreveport, LA. The band was put together by guitarist Buddy Flett, his bassist brother, Bruce, and saxophonist John Howe. The great Miki Honeycutt sang lead here with the song’s gifted writer, David Egan, on keyboard and backing vocal. New Orleans-raised drummer, Paul Griffith, brought in-the-pocket funk.
“Tropical” (Louis Villery) - African Music Machine - from Soul Power EP, Black Water Gold, 1972.
Villery, a native of Tunisia who had played bass in Bobby Bland’s road band, was working as a studio musician at Sound City, a studio in Shreveport, when he put the group together with local players and cut four well-crafted funk singles in 1972-1974 for the new Soul Power label, none of which were commercial winners. The cut I played came from a later vinyl Soul Power EP compilation of the single sides, for its better quality audio. I featured the cut here on that same July post.
“Moonburn” (Jon Cleary) - form the Point Bank CD Moonburn, 1999.
From the UK, Jon moved to New Orleans in the 1970s and absorbed the city’s funky musical heritage. He is a soulful vocalist and mainly plays keyboards, but is also a fine guitarist. That’s him of most of the instruments on the track, backed by Jellybean Alexander on drums and Bill Summers on percussion. Ernie K-Doe does some of his patented vocal randomness in the background.
“Trouble With My Lover” (Allen Toussaint) - Betty Harris - from original Sansu 45 #480, 1968.
This is the flip side of her smokin’ version of “Ride Your Pony”, on her final Sansu single. She signed with the label, run by Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn, in 1965 and cut some great records, only a few of which were even minor hits. Starting in 1968, the studio band was the Meters. For more on Betty's career, see Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven.
“Do Something For Yourself” (B. Powell - L. Whitfield) - Bobby Powell - from Whit 45 # 715, 1966.
One of the South’s finest soul (and gospel) vocalists, the woefully under-appreciated Powell hails from Baton Rouge, where Whit Records was based. In the early days of the label, recording sessions were done at Cosimo’s Studio in New Orleans, including this one, I’m pretty sure. [Another one I neglected to identify on-air.]
“Steal Away” (J. Hughes) - Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington - from his Rounder LP, Out Of the Dark, 1988.
A Muscle Shoals classic soul tune originally done by Jimmy Hughes, funkfied New Orleans-style by the Wolfman and his band, the Roadmasters, with Jon Cleary sitting in on piano.
“Vieux Carre” (T. Andrews - J. Peebles) - Trombone Shorty - from the Verve CD, Say That To This, 2013.
Nicely understated funk from Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews and his fine band, on most cuts. The Meters sit in on another number. He co-produced the album with Raphael Saadiq.