FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE - SHOW #7 - PLAYLIST
Air dates: Thursday, September 18, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, September 19, 2014, 9:00 PM, on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org. You can hear a podcast of this show and 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 that Lil’ Band o’ Gold would 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’s latest 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 YouTube video about 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. Read backstories at 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 CD here when it came out and have featured a Federal recording or 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.