Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Better Days / Shake! at The Buffalo Bar

So, I've finally got my act together and sorted out not one but TWO new Bi-monthly nights at the fantastic Buffalo Bar in Islington which will run alternatively across the first Saturday of every month!

First up is our old long running night Better Days with Gav, Noam & Fran. We've bugged you constantly about it over the years so you know the score by now. Disco, Soul and Funk classics with a few curve balls thrown in for good measure.

Better Days kicks off this Saturday 1st March! Unfortunately I can't be there for the launch due to family commitments but it's already shaping up to be a stormer. You're in good hands so like the FB page for info and get involved!


Next month will see Shake! kicking off at the same venue. This is a brand new collaboration with fellow collectors Jay & Alena.

We'll be bringing in some exciting guests for a non pretentious upfront party!

Expect Blistering party Funk, Soul & Disco tunes carefully selected for your dancing pleasure!

Don't sleep!

Marvin Gaye - Can I Get a Witness (The T.A.M.I. Show)

James Brown 45rpm Picture Sleeves

I'm a huge fan of collecting JB Productions and especially seven inch picture sleeves.

Here are a few from my collection!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Mo' Soul - Episode 8

Welcome back to Mo’ Soul Episode 8!

It’s been a while but I return here once again to my digital corner with a new selection for you. Things have been fairly busy over in the real world with the usual work/ life commitments getting in the way. Fortunately I’ve still managed to squeeze in some record digging at a few of my favourite spots over the last few weeks. This has seen a healthy influx of new records coming into my collection, some of which I’ve included here today for you!

First up is Lou Johnson with ‘The Beat’, a track some of you may recognise as providing the main hook to De La Soul’s 'Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)'. 'The Beat' was originally released on his 1971 LP ‘With You In Mind' which was produced by NoLa living legend Allen Toussaint. It’s a great little builder with a huge baseline which has recently been given a limited pressed issue on a boutique label 45 to coincide with its' inclusion on the amusing Southern Comfort commercials that have been doing the rounds recently.

Jimmy 'Preacher' Ellis hailed from Arkansas and this mid 60’s Northern Crossover record was released on accomplished songwriter, Ferdinand ‘Fats’ Washington’s Ride Record Label. After making a few waves amongst Soul collectors hungry to snap up a copy of this rarity, Tobais Kirmayer has done an excellent job getting this released again through Tramp Records. Sublime stuff!

Gene Chandler has released a wealth of hits including the Doo-Wop stormer ‘The Duke Of Earl' as well as turning his hand to producing several Northern Soul classics such as 'Backfield In Motion' by Mel & Tim. It’s his lesser known 1968 B-side on Brunswick, ‘Those Were The Good Days' which features here today. A nice mid-tempo two stepper produced by Carl Davis which is perfect for the dancefloor. The horn section on this 45 is seriously amazing!

Myron Glasper & Eric 'E de Boss' Cooke have been making several waves across the Soul scene with a series of fantastic 45s since hooking up together while on tour with Blackalicious. After crossing paths with Timmion Records producer Didier Selin, the duo teamed up with Timmion house band The Soul Investigators and the rest is history.

Myron & E

This Joe Tex 45 has been on my wants list for several years since appearing on a mix swap project I organised with a few fellow collectors several years back. It finally turned up in the field this week after a long overdue trip out to see a record dealer I'd not touched base with in a while! The guitar playing on this 45 is phenomenal and totally makes the record!

The Wilbert Harrison record came out of the same digging trip and the Hot Line records label artwork instantly caught my eye. A swift listen on an ageing turntable ensured this ended up in my collection and once again the percussive style chicken scratch guitar licks prove this swamp funk 45 to be a real winner!

This is a huge favourite of mine at the moment and it would appear a minor brain accident has caused me to include it again even though it appeared back in Episode 6! Nevermind, as they say "It's so nice we played it twice!".

Chris Kenner’s 1957 release was a minor local hit for Lew Chudd’s New Orleans Imperial Record label before being covered and released by Fats Domino just a year later. It hit #22 and #14 on the US Hot 100 and US R&B charts respectively and confirmed Fats Domino’s continuing rise to fame. Personally I prefer Chris Kenner’s version which has a real raw Nola vibe to it compared to the more polished Fats release. Top Stuff!

Most of you will recognise 'Got My Mo-Jo Working' due to Muddy Waters version from 1978 being included in the Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time at #359. Ann Cole's original recording on Baton records was released just one year previously! She'd been touring with Waters in 1956 across the Southern states.

Her take on the Preston Foster penned track had caught his ear so much so that he returned from the tour and recorded his own version with the now legendary Chess Record label. For me it's Ann Cole who takes the upper hand on this one every time!

'Hit, Git And Spit' is nothing short of an R&B monster. "Obie" Jessie had enjoyed brief stints in Doo-Wop outfits such as The Flairs and The Coasters before going solo as Young Jessie in 1954 with Modern Records at the tender age of 18! This is a huge favourite of mine and really does the business on the dance floor!

Ray Johnson's 'Calypso Blues' is yet another quality 45 that the guys from "JukeBox Jam Records have carefully put together. Originally released on Aladdin Records this Nat King Cole cover is a haunting rendition with an island feel to it. Sultry female backing vocals really lift this above the rest.

Whilst record digging a while ago in the deepest darkest South London backwaters I crossed paths with this Orquestra Los Cubanacans LP and bought it on the cover alone. Once I got it home I realised it contained an instrumental version of 'The Peanut Vendor'. It's a song which has seen in excess of 160 recorded versions and was the first million selling 78 and is a song I'm very fond of. This version sits next to the Ray Johnson track nicely and provides a nice little interlude.

'Didn't It Rain' is a Gospel standard which has also seen several versions put out since it's inception back in the 20's. The Clovertones version featured here is fronted by the Reverand Willie Green and features Esquerita holding it down and providing the back bone of the record on the piano.

Esquerita aside from having an awesome pompadour haircut was the man credited as being responsible for inspiring Little Richard. This is a great builder which reaches fever pitch and then some! Absolute quality!

Oakland guitarist Eugene Blacknell hits us with his 1973 Funk nugget on Seaside Records. This isn't as rare as 'The Trip' on Boola-Boola Records but that doesn't mean the music within the grooves doesn't hit the mark! Aside from being a first class musician, Eugene Blacknell was also some what of an activist and was instrumental in opening new doors as well as negotiating higher rates of pay for Afro-American musicians in the Bay Area. "We Know We Got live Together" was also sampled by Beck on his 2005 track, 'Black Tambourine'.

Eugene Blacknell & The New Breed

New Funk bands have been dropping in (and out) of the scene for a while now but one outfit that has stood fast and stayed consistent with releases and touring is Brighton based 10 piece, The Impellers.

After making waves with their first two LPs, 'Robot Legs' and 'This Is Not A Drill', the group have been hard at work and have almost finalised their third studio album, 'My Certainty' which will be launched on Saturday 17th May with a special show in Brighton at The Warren. Check their website HERE for ticket info!

The Impellers

The track that is included here today is from their first album and is an absolute Hammond organ behemoth featuring percussion maestro Snowboy. This is a dancefloor funk grenade that really needs a release on 45 (hint hint!)! Having had the pleasure of having The Impellers play at my old funk night, The Hook & Sling, I can highly recommend you catch them at one of their forthcoming live shows!

'Crackin' Up' is the opening track from Bo Diddley's 1959 second album, 'Go Bo Diddley'. The album was ranked #214 on The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. 'Crackin' Up' is a laid back guitar led affair and made #14 on The Billboard R&B charts

Sticking on the Bo Diddley vibe is Willie Cobb with his 1960 reworking of Bo's track 'She's fine, She's Mine' which features the line "Well you don't love me baby, you don't love me I know". The record went onto be covered and reworked again by Dawn Penn through Coxsone Records in 1967 (and again in 1994) which brings us onto the final offing of today.

Clement Seymour 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd was pivotal in bringing Ska and Reggae to a welcoming audience through the 50s & 60s with his Sound System and innovative record label. Keyboard aficionado, Richard Ace's version of 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' is for me THE version. So, so Soulful and the perfect way to close out this episode! Lovely!

Richard Ace

Thanks for taking the time to drop by here and listen to my new mix. Your ongoing support is a reason in itself to continue my small space here on the internet and I only hope you get half as much enjoyment from listening as I do from putting it together!

Stay safe and I'll be back here shortly with some more of 'The Good Stuff' for you


Track List

Lou Johnson - The Beat - Southern Soul

Jimmy Ellis - Baby I Love You - Ride Records

Gene Chandler - Those Were The Good Days - Brunswick Records

Myron & E With The Soul Investigators - If I Gave You My Love - Stones Throw

Joe Tex - You Better Believe It Baby - Atlantic

Wilbert Harrison - Get It While You Can - Hot Line Records

Chris Kenner - Sick And Tired - Imperial Records

Ann Cole With the Suburbans & Orchestra - Got My Mo-Jo Working - Baton

Young Jessie - Hit, Git And Spit - Modern Records

Ray Johnson - Calypso Blues - Jukebox Jam Records

Orquestra Los Cubanacans - The Peanut Vendor - MFP

The Clovertones - Didn't It Rain - Norton Records

Eugene Blacknell & The New Breed - We Know We Got live Together - Goldmine

The Impellers Featuring Snowboy - Tastes Like Chicken - Freestyle Records

Bo Diddley - Crackin' Up - Chess

Willie Cobb - You Don't Love Me - DeeJay Records

Richard Ace - Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying - Coxsone Records


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Marvin Gaye's Lost Passport Found In Record Sleeve

***NEW RELEASE*** Otis Redding - The King Of Soul (04/02/2014)


This new set features 92 songs and retraces the singer’s career from his meteoric rise to his untimely death in a 1967 plane crash

This new set features 92 songs and retraces the singer’s career from his meteoric rise to his untimely death in a 1967 plane crash.

The songs reveal the breadth of Redding’s talent, starting with his gift for songwriting: “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Ole Man Trouble” and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” his posthumous #1 hit.

His reputation as a magnetic and dynamic performer is well served by a selection of live performances recorded in 1966 at the Whisky a Go Go in L.A. (“These Arms of Mine” and “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”) and in 1967 during the legendary Stax/Volt Revue tour of Europe (“Shake” and “Try a Little Tenderness.”)

Redding was also an expert interpreter of other artist’s work, putting his distinct twist on everything from Solomon Burke’s “Down in the Valley” and William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” to the Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and Smokey Robinson’s “My Girl.”

'The King Of Soul' also spotlights his unforgettable collaborations with singer Carla Thomas like “Lovey Dovey” and “Tramp.”

Tracklist: The King Of Soul (2014)

Disc One

1. “These Arms Of Mine”
2. “Hey Hey Baby”
3. “That’s What My Heart Needs”
4. “Mary’s Little Lamb”
5. “Pain In My Heart”
6. “Something Is Worrying Me”
7. “Come To Me”
8. “Don’t Leave Me This Way”
9. “Security”
10. “Chained And Bound”
11. “Your One And Only Man”
12. “That’s How Strong My Love Is”
13. “Mr. Pitiful”
14. “A Woman, A Lover, A Friend”
15. “Nothing Can Change This Love”
16. “It’s Too Late”
17. “For Your Precious Love”
18. “Home In Your Heart”
19. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (Mono Version)
20. “I’m Depending On You”
21. “Respect” (Mono Version)
22. “Ole Man Trouble” (Mono Version)
23. “Change Gonna Come”

Disc Two

1. “Shake”
2. “Satisfaction”
3. “Down In The Valley”
4. “My Girl”
5. “Rock Me Baby”
6. “You Don’t Miss Your Water”
7. “I Can’t Turn You Loose”
8. “Just One More Day”
9. “Any Ole Way”
10. “It’s Growing”
11. “Cigarettes And Coffee”
12. “Chain Gang”
13. “Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)”
14. “Good To Me”
15. “Everybody Makes A Mistake”
16. “Just One More Day” (Live, 1966)
17. “Mr. Pitiful” (Live, 1966)
18. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (Live, 1966)
19. “These Arms Of Mine” (Live, 1966)
20. “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” (Live, 1966)
21. “Don’t Mess With Cupid”
22. “My Lover’s Prayer”

Disc Three

1. “Try A Little Tenderness”
2. “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)”
3. “I’m Sick Y’all”
4. “Tennessee Waltz”
5. “Sweet Lorene”
6. “Day Tripper”
7. “You’re Still My Baby”
8. “Hawg For You” (Mono Version)
9. “I Love You More Than Words Can Say”
10. “Let Me Come On Home”
11. “Open The Door”
12. “Tramp”
13. “Knock On Wood”
14. “Let Me Be Good To You”
15. “Lovey Dovey”
16. “New Year’s Resolution”
17. “Ooh Carla, Ooh Otis”
18. “White Christmas”
19. “Merry Christmas Baby”
20. “The Glory Of Love”
21. “The Huckle-Buck”
22. “Tell The Truth”

Disc Four

1. “Respect’ (Live, 1967)
2. “Can’t Turn You Loose” (Live, 1967)
3. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (Live, 1967)
4. “My Girl” (Live, 1967)
5. “Shake” (Live, 1967) (Stereo Mix Of Single Version)
6. “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)” (Live, 1967)
7. “Try A Little Tenderness” (Live, 1967)
8. “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”
9. “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”
10. “Hard To Handle”
11. “Thousand Miles Away”
12. “The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)”
13. “A Waste Of Time”
14. “Champagne And Wine”
15. “A Fool For You”
16. “I’m A Changed Man”
17. “Direct Me”
18. “Love Man”
19. “Look At The Girl”
20. “Free Me”
21. “The Match Game”
22. “A Little Time”
23. “Johnny’s Heartbreak”
24. “Amen”
25. “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”

Jr Walker & The Allstars - Shotgun (1966)

Rocksteady On The River - The London Ska Festival 2014 (18/04/2014)

Steve Riley And The Mamou Playboys - NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (2011)

Soulskank (07/02/2014)

Inner City Soul (15/03/2014)