December 23, 2007

Peace And Funk - More Seasonal Lagniappe

Peace Brother Peace (Mac Rebennack)
Dr. John, from In the Right Place, ATCO, 1973
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Just a couple of more tunz in the spirit of the season, more or less.

I've posted this photo before, snapped by yours truly while strolling through the French Quarter a few Christmas seasons past. Seeing it again reminded me of this Dr. John song, which was the theme song of my radio show on WEVL Memphis for 16 years. Having come of age in the 1960s, I actually spent over a month in and around (and high above!) Haight-Asbury in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, 1967, before going off to my freshman year of college in Columbia, Missouri, draft-deferred, taking time out to get bussed over to Washington, DC by Students For a Democratic Society sympathizers for the huge anti-war rally that October. Before I knew it, I had marched through the streets of the capitol and crashed onto the green lawns of the Pentagon itself along with thousands of others, serenaded by the Fugs playing on a flatbed truck in the parking lot, only to barely escape arrest later that night by climbing through a hole in the back fence. But, maybe that's a story for another blog. What I am getting around to is that Mac Rebennack's hippy-dippy "peace and love is something everybody needs" lyrics and general thrust that great music has healing power and can change the world, pretty much sums up at least part of my mindset and modus operandi for doing a radio show and, later, a blog on New Orleans music. The music changed my life, several times so far; and I'm hoping for similar results in at least a few of you - in a less overtly obsessed, negative cash flow kinda way. Know what I'm sayin'?

"Sandy Claw Stole My Woman" (Bobby Parker)
Bobby Parker, from Blues, Mistletoe, & Santa's Little Helper, Black Top, 1995

Oh, man. I just ran across this tune by accident. My wife asked me to put on some Christmas music while we trimmed the tree; and I went and dug up this CD that the now defunct New Orleans label, Black Top, put out in the mid-1990s. I was actually thinking of it for an Earl King blues song, "Santa, Don't Let Me Down", I remembered being on it. So, I put it on and about halfway in, well past Earl's fairly straight ahead number, I suddenly noticed things getting funky in the backfield as I'm trying to get the electric star stuck up on the tree top. Who dat? So, I pull out the notes to see that it's Bobby Parker, backed up by Lee Allen Zeno on bass, and Raymond Webber on drums. And, lo, did it thus appear abiding on the lagniappe list.

I have the two Bobby Parker CDs that Black Top put out in 1993 and 1995, Bent Out Of Shape and Shine Me Up (this cut is not on those - just on the Xmas sampler of numerous of the label's roster); but I had not listened to them for years. So, I reviewed them. Parker has a great, gritty, soulful voice, is a prolific writer and hot guitar player to boot. A lot of his stuff is the blues; but he can throw down on some soul, and funk, especially with Webber and Zeno in the house. Webber, a New Orleans powerhouse, later played behind Henry Butler, was one of Jon Cleary's Absolute Monster Gentlemen, became a member of New Orleans Social Club, and now lays it down with Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk. Zeno, an all around versatile player from my current abode, the Lafayette, Louisiana area, has made many session dates and played on the road for years backing Buckwheat Zydeco. I see him regularly around here playing with bluesman Paul "Lil' Buck" Sinegal, too. During all this quick research, I recalled that Funky 16 Corners had featured Parker's famous, influential 1961 single "Watch Your Step". So you can read more about it and him there. Come to find out, Bobby Parker was born right here in Lafayette, grew up in East Los Angeles, and eventually settled in Washington, DC. I hope to feature something else by him later. For now, let this just be a funny, funky stocking stuffer.

Peace and love, y'all,

December 21, 2007

Fess-tivities And Booker Keeps On Gwine

Were he still with us, Henry Roeland Byrd, a/k/a Professor Longhair, would have turned 89 just a few days ago, on the 19th. It's been a while since I posted anything by Fess, so I thought I would do one from way back that mentions Christmas, and something from one of his better live recordings. I'm also throwing in one of James Booker's festive, razzled-dazzle numbers for holiday lagniappe. Enjoy.

"Curly Haired Baby"
Roy 'Baldhead' Byrd, Federal 12061, 1952

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I actually posted this one within the first few months of starting HOTG; but only a few die hards will remember that, yet alone still have the cut. In 1951, Fess recorded "Curly Haired Baby", sort of a thematic counterpoint to his ever-popular "Bald Head/She Ain't Got No Hair", along with three other sides, in New Orleans, during a brief fling he had with Federal Records. The liaison resulted in two singles being issued around the start of 1952. The first (12061) had our featured tune, with "K. C. Blues" on the flip, while 12073 paired "Gone So Long" and "Rockin' Wth Fess". The singles were credited to Roy 'Baldhead' Byrd to capitalize on the Mecury recordings he made in 1949. One of those sides was "Bald Head" (shown as by Roy Byrd and the Blues Jumpers), which rose into the R&B top 10 in 1950, becoming Fess' only national hit. But, of the four Federal sides, only "Gone So Long" made any noise, selling fairly well regionally.

Since the Professor continually recycled his material over the course of a career in excess of 30 years, "Curly Haired Baby" is interesting in that he never recorded it again, nor did he play it live, as far as I can tell. Strange, since this is a compelling song and a fantastic performance. The lyrics are good; and Fess' vocal is strong and in control. Then there's that catchy up and down again riff going on in the verses, played by Fess' left hand, and doubled and tripled by the guitar and sax, lending an exotic boogie-woogie feel. On the instrumental breaks, things shift into a rockin' jump blues mode, with the piano pushing and shoving the song along. Holding it all together, the drummer plays a subtly syncopated shuffle underneath, using brushes! An effective New Orleans hybrid, it's a bit more musically sophisticated than some other of Fess' recordings of the era - and even later - with less of that raw, off-kilter edge. I don't know why he left "Curly Haired Baby" behind; but it's a shame it got away for so long. It was re-mastered from a 78 rpm disc by Nighthawk for their 1981 Mardi Gras In New Orleans LP and CD sampler compilation of Longhair's sides from 1949 - 1957.

"Her Mind Is Gone" (Roy Byrd)
Professor Longhair, from The Last Mardi Gras, Atlantic, 1982
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Speaking of recycled tunes, "Her Mind Is Gone" initially appeared in 1949, as the flip side of Fess' first and only hit, "Bald Head", on Mercury 8175. It resurfaced again in 1972, when he recorded it in Memphis at Ardent Studios for a project produced by Quint Davis that was not released at the time but later appeared on the Rhino CD, Mardi Gras In Baton Rouge. From then on, at least, it was a regular part of the Professor Longhair gig repertoire. The final recording of the song appeared on his LP (and later CD), Crawfish Fiesta, released in 1980 by Alligator Records, which Fess did not live to see released, passing away the day before it went on sale.

Today's version is from the 1982 Atlantic LP, The Last Mardi Gras, recorded in 1978 on the Friday and Saturday nights before Mardi Gras (February 3rd and 4th) at Tipitina's, the New Orleans club named after Longhair's well-known song. The last Mardi Gras? Well, the album's producer, British writer Albert Goldman, figured later that it was technically Fess' last Mardi Gras, because a police strike cancelled the celebration in 1979, and Fess died shortly before Mardi Gras the next year. Goldman, then the music critic for Esquire magazine, wrote an article on Longhair pointing out his greatness and the travesty that he was still living and performing in New Orleans, but ignored by record companies and forgotten by the rest of the world. As a result, Atlantic offered Goldman the chance to produce a live recording on Fess. How strange the record business can be. Of course, Goldman knew next to nothing about doing something like that, but was given the green light and a big budget for the project anyway. A large 16 track mobile recording facility was trucked down from Nashville to document the gigs. In the spirit of giving Fess what he wanted to help make it a memorable performance, a baby grand piano was rented; and some fine local musicians* of his choosing were secured to play. Goldman recorded two sets each night and ended up with over four hours of tracks, which were winnowed down to 18 songs for the double LP (later released by Rhino/Tomato on two CDs, Big Chief and Rum And Coke, with additional tracks).

To Goldman's credit, he got Cosimo Matassa to come in and mix down the raw tracks at Sea-Saint Studios for the finished product, the result being that this is a great sounding live recording, definitely the best ever rendered on Professor Longhair with a band. So, despite his being in uncharted waters, Goldman achieved his goal spectacularly well, documenting some priceless performances with Fess in top form on his home turf with a band that could pretty much keep up with him.

On this reiteration of "Her Mind Is Gone", you can feel that distinctly New Orleans funk-sway thing going on. The drums are subdued, and yet work well in interplay with the congas and Fess' always funky keyboard hand jive, as he is provides the main rhythmic drive of any song. He had such a strong, unique sense of groove and mastery of it that anyone who played with Fess successfully just found a way to support and complement him - he didn't need to have anything laid down for him. A follower he was not. From his beginnings, he intuitively brought the Afro-Caribbean feel into his style and kept the always implied funk of his hometown second line street beats alive in his grooves, inspiring generations of musicians to do it, too. At the end of most of his songs, Fess could be heard saying "thank you" very humbly. I wish I could have been at just one of his shows to shout back, "No, Fess, thank YOU!"

*George Davis (THE George Davis!) - bass
'Big Will' Harvey - guitar
David Lee - drums
Alfred 'Uganda' Roberts - conga drums
Anhony 'Tony' Dagradi - tenor sax (solo)
Andrew Kaslow - tenor sax

"Keep On Gwine" (Melvin Lastie)
James Booker, live in Germany

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For a little icing on the cake, I thought I'd toss in this James Booker tune, recorded live at a club in Germany while he was on tour in the late 1970s. Titled several ways at various times on live recordings, "Keep On Gwine" (written by New Orleans cornetist Melvin Lastie), I believe to be correct for this one. I chose it simply to demonstrate and marvel at Booker's strikingly inventive keyboard dexterity. On may songs, he would throw in some flourishes here and there; but 90 per cent of the time, he held back much of what he had. You have to listen to a lot of Booker to begin to appreciate what he could really do, enduring at times his verbal rants, many playful musical trivialities and noodlings, and other idiosyncrasies of his personalty and style. But, when he would let it it rip, his amazing technique could just pour out and wrap you in rapture.

As you can hear even in this brief piece, Booker's piano stylings stand in sharp contrast to what Professor Longhair was about. Compared to Fess, Booker at times can seem almost frivolous, not because he wasn't a monstrous master of the keyboards, but because he was not at all concerned it seems with the groove in service to a fundamental blues/R&B/funk idiom. He left hand rhythm can often seem to have a childlike simplicity as he makes his explorations, sometimes tortured, sometimes ecstatic, of a multi-verse of musics, threading together classical, ragtime, blues, rock, pop, schlock, latin, and certainly more I am forgetting, into a stream of consciousness (make that a torrent of consciousness) spew that flowed whenever he would sit at a piano as a solo performer (as a session player and sideman, and on organ, he was much more controlled). Like Longhair, he played a fairly stable repertoire of tunes during his solo career. Those songs were just starting points for his spontaneous performance art. Neither he, and certainly not his audience, had any idea where a song or a gig would lead or where it would end up. Would he be dazzlingly brilliant, distracted and erratic, or stop in the middle of a song and leave the stage, perhaps to go cop some dope, or all of the above? That was the show. As I said in another post on the man, I only got to see him perform live one time, at the Maple Leaf Bar, where he had a regular gig for years. It was within a year of his death. There were just a few people in the place; and he aborted more songs in midstream than he completed. He would just get up and wander off muttering to himself, returning in few minutes, longer at times, to start another one. It was fascinating to watch, if you like entertainment train wrecks. My girlfriend at the time thought I was nearly as crazy as Booker for sitting there enduring it. But, having missed Fess live, I just somehow knew that I needed to be there to try to find out what he was about. Of course, I'm still trying to do that.

"Keep On Gwine" is from a good night, a very good night by the sound of it. All the European performances he recorded seem to be that way. If you're intrigued, try to find some of that; and check out the YouTube videos of Booker, too, for a few glimpses of him in action. Before I forget, his birthday was on the 17th. He would have been 68.

December 12, 2007

A Tale Of Two Meters Gigs

Earlier this year, the always amazing An Aquarium Drunkard had two rare Meters shows up for the download. As Justin said when he posted the Bottom Line show, live vintage recordings of the original Meters are hard to come by. These were the first I'd heard other than the gig they did at Paul and Linda McCartney's party out on the Left Coast in 1975, which was released commercially on CD by Rhino as Uptown Rulers! The Meters Live on the Queen Mary. The only other one I know of is a long lost LP called At Rozy's, featuring the band gigging back in the day at that New Orleans club. Many years ago, I passed on the only copy of that record I've ever seen, because it was going for $100.00 - put it down and walked away, because I thought that was ridiculously expensive (what do you suppose it would fetch now?), not to mention I didn't have the cash. I don't recall much else about that record other than I think it had kind of a cartoon cover. Anybody out there got a copy? I also have previously featured two songs from shows the Meters did with Dr. John around 1973, one from a Lake Charles (?) concert recording and one from the video of a Soundstage TV concert which also included Professor Longhair and Earl King. The Meters were essentially the backing band on those, though.

With three group members' birthdays this month, Art turning 70 on the 16th, George hittin' 60 on the 26th, and Zig 59 years young on the 28th, let's continue to celebrate with a couple of live cuts, both probably recorded in 1977.

Quality time: Leo, Cyril, Zig, Art, and George


"Hey Pocky Way" (Nocentelli, Porter, Neville, Modeliste)
The Meters, live at the Showboat Lounge, 1/22/1977

If you just happen to be in the area, come out and see us. We're gettin' down funky. - Zigaboo Modeliste

First up is what seems to be the earlier of the two shows, recorded in January, 1977 at the Showboat Lounge, in the Fat City entertainment district of Metairie, the suburb just West of New Orleans. This was a live WNOE radio broadcast during Carnival season; and on the set list were several of the band's classic Mardi Gras faves, including this serving of supreme second line funk, based on a Mardi Gras Indian chant. The Meters called it "Hey Pocky A-Way" on their
Rejuvenation LP (and Reprise 45); but it's shown here as it is sung, "Hey Pocky Way". They made this gig as a four-piece, even though Cyril Neville had been singing some leads and playing congas with them on albums starting with Fire On The Bayou, and on the big Rolling Stones tour they did. Even with that, some of the band still did not consider Cyril an official member; so it is not really surprising that he wasn't there, even as late as 1977. With the Meters, there were many bones of contention at play behind the scenes.

I guess it says a lot about where the Meters were in their career that, a decade in, after hit singles, numerous album releases - four on a major label at that point - and a tour fronting the Stones under their big buckle belts, they were playing a lounge in Fat City at Carnival time shoutng out to radio listeners to come by. There's something wrong with this picture. A gig is a gig and all; but I am a positive that this would not have been on their list of dream bookings this far into the game.

Still, there's always the music. Art and Zig shared the vocals on this one. Its insistent funk-sway groove, that Zig plays with a light touch, quickly gets into your system and induces rhythmic movement. Also, listen for the cool, unusual vamp they do at the end. Nice touch. [Sorry 'bout those digital hiccups on the back end, too. That's the way it came down the pipe.] To me, "Hey Pocky Way" epitomizes the feel good music it speaks of in the lyrics. Most definitely good for the body and soul. As Art says in the intro, "It's Mardi Gras time all the time, as far as we're concerned." Amen to dat.


"Africa" (Nocentelli, Porter, Neville, Modeliste)
The Meters,live at the Bottom Line, New York City, 1977

Then again, here they are playing the much more prestigious NYC Bottom Line later that same year. Talk about a disparity in venue quality*. This show, which has Cyril back in the ensemble, was full of monster grooves; and "Africa" is just a brief example. The added congas make Zig's jungle beats even more dense and motivational. They were truly channeling the Motherland all night, with Zig on lead vocal here. I don't know when in 1977 it was recorded, but obviously it was before they cut New Directions, their final LP, as they refer to the "current album" as Trick Bag (an album they pretty much detested, by the way, as Toussaint and Sehorn cobbled it together from out-takes and scratch vocals just to have something to sell while the band was touring in Europe). "Africa" was also on Rejuvenation, such a killer album, and was the B-side of their "Hey Pocky A-Way" single from 1974.

Although the grooves could obviously still be awesome, 1977 was the end of the road for the Meters, or at least the start of a very long break in the road. After years of ups and downs, being a revered cult band (= financially destitute) that never quite broke out to a wider audience took its toll. Conflicts within the band itself and with their management and producers robbed them of focus, energy, and the simple joy of performing. That year in San Francisco, they recorded what would turn out to be their swan song album, titled
New Directions, with unintentional irony. Warner Brothers brought in soul and rock producer David Rubinson to oversee the project after Tousssaint and Sehron had lost the band's trust. Rubinson enlisted the Tower Of Power horn section for some added punch. But the Meters were not on good terms among themselves and went through a lot of turmoil just to decide to allow Cyril to add his vocal chops and percussion to the effort. The ultimate quality of the LP they left behind we'll leave to assess another day. But, right after the thing was released, on the eve of a big promotional TV appearance on Saturday Night Live, Art bailed on the band, taking Cyril with him to start the Neville Brothers with his other siblings, Aaron and Charles. Dropped by the label soon thereafter, the Meters dispersed, building a legendary status over the years as more and more people finally caught on to their innovative brilliance, through word of mouth, record collecting, and CD re-issues of their catalogue. Their official reunion at Jazzfest in 2005 and some subsequent concerts fulfilled the lifelong wish of many (yours truly included) to see and hear them again, or for the first time, live. For those of you who still never have had the pleasure, I hope these couple of tracks are an enticing taste of what it was like. May we all get another chance.

* The Showboat could have been a nice club. I never was in it. If anybody else was, let me know. Still. . . .

December 04, 2007

Art Neville and Two Guys Named Bo

By my calculations, Art Neville, whose musical career spans over 50 years, will turn 70 on the 17th of this month. Way to go, Poppa Funk. Long may you groove. In honor of that and the fact that two other Meters members (George and Zig) celebrate birthdays in December, too, I thought I would do some random posting related to them for a while. So, let's start with two 1960s vintage numbers from Art, each having in common really only the singer himself and the fact that they were written by these two guys named Bo.

"Hook, Line and Sinker" (E. Bocage)
Art Neville, Instant 3276, 1966
(Tune into HOTG Internet Radio)

By 1966, when "Hook, Line and Sinker" came out, singer/pianist Art Neville had been recording with various labels* for over a decade, but never had a hit outside of his hometown. "Mardi Gras Mambo", a perennial local favorite of Carnival season, was his first record in 1954, credited to the band he would lead for many years, the Hawketts. He was just 17 at the time. By 1956, he was a Specialty Records artist, cutting numerous sides ("Cha Dooky Doo" and "What's Going On" were stand-outs) over the next three years, interrupted by a stint in the US Navy. Many of those sessions were under the direction of Harold Battiste, who was the local producer and A&R man for the Los Angeles based label. Art Rupe, Specialty's owner, had set up a production operation for Battiste in the Crescent City after having huge success with home-boy Lloyd Price ("Lawdy Miss Clawdy", 1952), and Little Richard's monumental sessions there at Cosimo Matassa's studio, using the A-list players who were defining the sound of rock 'n roll on so many records in the 1950s.

But, by the early 1960s, Specialty's run was over; and Neville hooked up with entrepreneur Joe Banashak, who had started several new local labels, generating fresh hits by employing Allen Toussaint to write and arrange songs, find and develop artists, and produce recording sessions. Toussaint had already helped Art's younger brother, Aaron, make his first single on Banasahk's Minit label; and the A-side,
"Over You", had gotten up to #21 in the national R&B charts in 1960. Art seemed set to follow suit, when his second single for Instant (another Banashak imprint), the soulfully delivered, Toussaint-penned ballad, "All These Things", became a substantial hit in New Orleans and much of the Deep South in 1962; but it never broke nationally to become the major record it should have been. Paid no royalties on the sales of his hit, Art had to take a day job to support his family, temporarily sidetracking his music career. He managed to make a follow-up single ** for Instant in 1963; but it didn't do much anywhere. By then, Toussaint was going into the service himself; so, Art moved on to the small Cinderella label, owned by Irving Smith, who had co-founded Instant with Banashak, but parted ways with him. Smith issued three ultimately unproductive singles on him, the best being a big band take on Toussaint's "Lover of Love". Then, for the next few years, Art's only appearances on record were as a session musician.

1966 found him back with Instant, this time working with producer, writer, arranger, and pianist Eddie Bo. Art's great take on Bo's pounding dancer, "Hook, Line And Sinker", backed with "Buy Me A Rainbow", a ballad written by Skip Easterling, were released as Instant 3276. I'm featuring the top side, because it's such a strong song, with an outstanding arrangement by Bo that puts the horn section to good use - listen to that bari sax pumping under the second verse and chorus. The groove is insistent, strongly attacking every beat to drive everybody out onto the dancefloor. To match that feel, Art roughed up his vocal and brought plenty of energy to bear, making this rocker definitely one of his best studio performances; but, for whatever reasons, it failed to connect with the public.

One more Instant single for Art followed in 1967, "House On the Hill (Rock 'n' Roll Hootenanny)" with a great funked up popeye dance groove, but lyrics about as lame as the title, and "Darling, Don't Leave Me This Way", another nice ballad. But Art's efforts were suddenly completely overshadowed by the huge success of brother Aaron's Parlo single, "Tell It Like It Is", which had come out in late 1966 and quickly climbed to the top of the charts. Although the small label could not handle the demand for the record and folded, never paying Aaron anywhere near the royalties he was due, the gifted singer was deservedly thrust into the national spotlight, allowing him to tour nationally while the record was hot. Art became the bandleader for the tours, supporting his brother during his all too brief fling with stardom; but it wouldn't be long until Art would finally come into his own.

"Bo Diddley - Part 1" (Ellis McDaniels[sic])
"Bo Diddley - Part 2"
Art Neville, Sansu 481, 1968

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After running Aaron's road band during 1967, Art came home with the determination to start a new group that would include Aaron and their youngest bother, Cyril, on vocals and have a new sound with Art playing the Hammond B-3 organ. While he got it going, the band, Art Neville and the Neville Sounds, had a revolving rhythm section backing the brothers, plus Gary Brown on sax. They played around their home base, the Uptown New Orleans area, frequently at the Nite Cap; and soon the backing musicians solidified, Art giving the nod to three strong, young players: bassist George Porter, Jr, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, and drummer Josepth 'Zigaboo' Modeliste. Barely out of their teens, they already had master chops and quickly displayed an intuitive and uniquely rhythmic feel as a unit that lifted the whole group to higher ground. The make-up and concept of the Neville Sounds changed, though, when Art was offered a steady, well-paying house band gig at the Ivanhoe on Bourbon Street, with the provision that the unit must be a four-piece. The small club did not have room for more; so, suddenly, Aaron, Cyril and Gary were out (they soon started the Soul Machine with keyboardist Sam Henry); and Art and his already tight rhythm section went on to become a popular nightly attraction at the French Quarter bar, packing in the crowds and developing their own lean, mean, funkified signature sound based on improvisation and intense focus on the groove above all.

When Allen Toussaint and his business partner, Mashall Sehorn, heard them there, they quickly decided to hire them not just as recording artists but as the studio band for all of the Sansu Productions sessions. And in short order, the group was at Cosimo's new studio location backing the likes of Lee Dorsey and Betty Harris and beginning to bring to the forefront the funk that had always percolated within New Orleans R&B.

It was during this time that the quartet, who had yet to change their name to the Meters, cut tracks for their own first two singles, leading off with "Bo Diddley, Part 1 & Part 2", written and originally recorded by
the great Mr. Diddley himself. Released on Sansu under Art's name only, this single grants a chance to hear what the band sounded like after just a year, more or less, of playing together: high- energy, fine-tuned and relentlessly funky. [Excuse, if you will, the occasionally harsh, slightly distorted sound on this single, which is a near mint promo copy. I think the fault is with the pressing] Taking on a song of iconic proportions, covered by countless bar bands (it may be easy to play, but not easy to play well!), they boldly upped the ante on Diddley's own proto-funk groove and made it their own, thanks in large part to Zig's driving, inventively sliced and diced beats, Porter's propulsive bottom end syncopation, and Nocentelli's playful riff-running and locked-in rhythmic chops. In other words, this was definitely already a Meters record in all but name. No B-3 here, though - just a piano, I think, way down in the mix. Usually very hands-on as a producer, Toussaint wisely gave this group a free hand to create and arrange the music on their own records, essentially allowing them to produce themselves, even if he and Sehorn got the credit. Probably what he contributed here were the effective, complementary horn charts.

And, by the way, Art's vocal is just way cool. His brother Aaron's one-of-a-kind pipes have always been so remarkable that Art's seemed lesser by comparison, which is unfortunate, because Art is a great R&B singer, who can deliver hard edged rock, sinewy funk, or heartfelt soul.

Neither "Bo Diddley" or its Sansu successor, "I'm Gonna Put Some Hurt on You", originally done for Toussaint by Raymond Lewis in 1962, got much attention from the public. But shortly thereafter, Toussaint would capture the band jamming in the studio like they had regularly done on stage at the Ivanhoe, and start releasing their fresh, funky exploits nationally through a deal with Josie Records and, later, Warner Brothers, creating hits and a legacy still resonating through the music of Sugar Town and beyond.

* NOTE: For a full rundown on the details of Art's recordings, plus discographies for all of the recording Neville family, Jon Tyler's nevilletracks is essential, offering the "Complete" Neville Recording Chronology. It's exceptional work by a devoted fan.

** ONE MO' THING: For a great overview of Art's career and a chance to hear one side of that 1963 Instant single, check out this entry from the B-Side. Thanks to Red Kelly for reminding us about it.