Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You're Right, Ray Charles - Joe Tex

I first heard this crowd mover on the Mojo compilation Soul Riot years ago. Personally, I haven't the faintest idea why this funky 45 isn't sought out by more DJ collectors. "You're Right, Ray Charles" features classic Joe Tex at the peak of his unique rapping prowess. If this song is any indication, whatever dancefloor advice The High Priest of Soul bestowed to Tex was spot on. Enjoy.

You're Right, Ray Charles

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Snake - Al Wilson

Al Wilson's "The Snake" from 1968 is the king cobra of northern soul. It's one of the few records that managed to slither into nearly every mod playlist from the past decade. If you like songs with a little bit of bite then you'll definitely dig this cautionary tale.

Al Wilson performing the b-side on Soul Train.

This Lambrini advert helped reintroduce "The Snake" to a whole new generation and audience.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Heavy Music (Parts 1 & 2) - Bob Seger & The Last Heard

"Heavy Music" might be the hardest rocking song I've ever heard with a finger-snapping introduction. It was released back in 1967, almost ten years before Bob Seger broke into the national charts with radio friendly hits like "Katmandu" and "Night Moves". It's speculated that if his record label, Cameo-Parkway, hadn't folded shortly thereafter "Heavy Music" could have been the breakout hit that made him America's favorite blue-collared, jukebox hero.

Heavy Music Part 1

Heavy Music Part 2

Pre-facial hair Bob Seger with the newly formed Seger System in 1968.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

If I Were A Carpenter - Eldridge Holmes

Eldridge Holmes is arguably one of the greatest lost musicians of southern soul. He was one of Allen Toussaint's many gifted protégés, and possibly his best. However, despite Toussaint's everkeen production touch on records like"If I Were A Carpenter", Holmes remained largely unknown outside of New Orleans funk and soul circles. He released several quality singles, but never seemed to crack that elusive R&B chart. Truly, Holmes was a monumental loss of talent when he passed in 1998 making ends meet as a mechanic, bus driver, nursing assistant and, gulp, asbestos worker.

I never fancied Tim Hardin's original "If I Were A Carpenter" (or Bobby Darin's version, or The Four Tops version, or even the Cash & Carter duet). It was only after discovering this groovy rendition by Holmes that I really started appreciating the song. Enjoy.

If I Were A Carpenter