November 22, 2014

FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE #12 - 10/23/2014

The weekly show: Thursdays at 1:00 PM and Fridays at 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 episodes on the station’s website under “Programs” anytime (scroll down to "Funkify Your Life" and click title to see the latest playlist and, below that, a list of all earlier shows by date. Click on the title of the show you want to hear and you'll open the podcast player).

This was the second of my shows for the station’s successful Fall Fundraiser. I featured vintage funk and rare groove cuts from or connected to the Lafayette/Lake Charles areas, and points in between. Nearly all were sourced from vinyl.

“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters

“Keep On Lovin’ Me” (L. A. Zeno-S. Billington-D. Reed) - Dalton Reed - from his Bullseye Blues CD, Louisiana Soul Man, 1992.
Lafayette's own late, great soul singer, Dalton Reed, never got to record much, but should have had more national attention for his two Bullseye Blues releases. Unfortunately, he died soon after the second one came out. These sessions were done in New Orleans with Lafayette bassist Lee Allen Zeno and Rounder’s Scott Billington co-producing.

“I Wanna Dance” (G. Graeff-D. Graeff) - Po’Boy - from their 1973 Jin single #274, ca 1973.
This band from the Lafayette area morphed from Rufus Jagneaux to Po’Boy Rufus and the Sostan Band, and later just Rufus (the LA version rather than the L.A. one), swapping out some members along the way; but the core of the group were the Graeff brothers, bassist and leader Benny and drummer Gary - both sang.They had a couple of singles on Jin, plus an LP, Po’Boy Rufus and the Sostan Band, produced by Benny at the label’s studio in Ville Platte in 1974. Other members on this track included Dana Breaux, guitar and vocal; Leroy Evans, harmonica, percussion, and vocals, and Baco Latour, vocals. Versions of the group still play gigs around here from time to time.

“Slap It to Me” (B. Babineaux) - Billy John & the Continentals - a Tramp 45 reissue of this side, taken from their original Jin single #214, 1966.
Also from the Lafayette area, the band was fronted by drummer/vocalist Billy Babineaux and also featured his brother, Bobby, on guitar. They had two singles on Jin and two on the N-Joy label. One of their songs was covered by Robert Plant and his Band of Joy in 2010.

“I Can’t Lose” (L. Williams) - Phillip Walker - from his original Playboy single #50032, 1973.
As I said on the show, Phillip Walker is originally from Welsh, LA, just East of Lake Charles, but moved out to the West Coast in the late 1950s to pursue his career in music, after working in Clifton Chenier’s band for a few years. This song also appeared on his Playboy LP, Bottom of the Top.

“That’s Right” (W. P. Guidry-C. S. Williams) - Danny James - from his original Goldband single #1176, 1967.
Originally from Sulphur, LA, near Lake Charless, guitarist Danny James (Sonnier) played in area bands and did session work for Goldband, recording a couple of his own singles for the label, as well. For more background, see the post I did on those.

“Hell Or High Water” (H. Broussard-E. Shuler) - Katie Webster - from the BGP CD compilation, Southern Funkin’, 2005, originally.on Goldband #1290, 1979.
I have several of Katie’s Goldband singles, including the one with this funky side, but was unable to locate it in the current disorder of my South Louisiana holdings - another long-term reclamation project on my list. Read Bill Dahl’s overview of Katie’s career for more details on this talented session pianist/vocalist and feature artist.

“Sick and Tired” (Kenner-Bartholomew) - Elton Anderson - from his original Lanor single #509, 1962.
Elton Anderson was from Lake Charles, while the Lanor label was based in Church Point. See my post on another of his Lanor singles for more information on him and the label, with a discography. Note: this session was recorded at Cosimo’s on New Orleans, likely with Katie Webster on piano.

“My Babe” (W; Dixon) - Wayne Deville - from his original Drew-Blan single #1012, 1964.
The late Wayne Deville (Devillier), a great keyboardist and vocalist, was from Morgan City, where Drew-Blan Records was located. In the 1960s, he played a lot in New Orleans on the live scene before heading for the Left Coast later in the decade and getting tangled up in the music bidniz out there. Back in 2005, I posted on an album he did with Sweet Salvation, a group of mostly expatriate Louisiana musicians, in the early 1970s. A bit later, he also played in Three Dog Night’s band out there, and an offshoot group, S. S. Fools. In his later days, he did some recording with Luther Kent & Trickbag in New Orleans.

“Rooty Tooty” (L. Prevost) - Lionel Torrence - from his original Zynn single #1023, 1962.
Lionel Torrance was actually Lionel Prevost, an exceptional R&B sax player, born in Franklin, LA and raised in Port Arthur, TX. Read the great feature on him at Sax on the Web. I wrote about this tune here, also.

“Superior Funk” (Simon-Guillory-Fontenot-Guillory-Green) - Superior Elevation - from the Funky Delicacies 2006 reissue of their 1982 Black Satin LP, Get It Don’t Stop.
The Lake Charles area’s answer to Earth, Wind & Fire, Chocolate Milk, and the Bar-Kays, Superior elevation didn’t seem to last long - as record-makers, anyway. A few weeks back, I played a cut from the Black Satin 45 that preceded this LP. Looks like the same sides on that single had first been released nationally in 1981 by Phil-L.A. of Soul (#386), at the very end of that label’s run. There were also several other singles on Black Satin and Lake City that were spun-off from the album.

“Soul Brothers Testify, Part 1” (C. Randle-S.Simien) - Chester Randle’s Soul Senders - from the BGP CD compilation, Southern Funkin’, 2005
This raw soul-funk rarity originally was released on Eddie Shuler’s Goldband subsidiary, Anla (#102), 1968. According to Dean Rudland’s helpful notes with the CD, guitarist Chester Randle also played in the band of another Anla artist, Bill Parker. The players on this session were Randle, plus Parker on drums, and Scotty Milford (a/k/a Milford Scott) on piano. This two-parter was the label’s initial release.. A wilder second take of the song was also released on Anla (#115) showing the group as Original Soul Senders.

“Mama Told Me Not To Come” (Randy Newman) - Bobby King and the Relation - from their original Lunar single #201, early 1970s.
Real-deal soul singer Bobby King is from Lake Charles, though he moved out to the the Left Coast in the late 60s or early 70s, where he cut this one-off single. He then teamed up with another great soul man, Terry Evans.. In the mid-70s, they began a long association with Ry Cooder on record and stage, and later worked with John Fogerty, Boz Scaggs and Bob Dylan, making their own albums, as well. King has also toured with Bruce Springsteen.

“Brother Brown” (Camille Bob) - Camille Bob - from his original Soul Unlimited single #102, 1972.
I played the other side, “2 Weeks, 2 Days, Too Long”, in the first few weeks of the show. As noted on that playlist, I featured this and other Camille Bob tracks back in 2010, when crude oil was flowing into the Gulf unabated. . . .

“Cat Scream” (P. Senegal) - Lil Buck and the Top Cats - from the Kent CD compilation, Lafayette Soul Show, 1993.
The quite rare original single came out on La Louisianne (#8133) in 1969, with another get-down instrumental, “Monkey In A Sack”, on top. Both sides are k-i-l-l-e-r hunks of hard-driving R&B funk.

“MIss Hard To Get” (D. Landry) - Dennis Landry - from his original Soul Unlimited single #101, 1972.
Dennis Landry sang with keyboardist Stanley ‘Buckwheat’ Dural’s band, the Hitchhikers, who backed him on this single and another he cut for the label. They also backed Camille Bob on his ultra-funky Soul Unlimited release. Dural later joined Clifton Chenier’s great zydeco band and then struck out on his own in that genre with great success as Buckwheat Zydeco.

“You Gotta Be Motivated” (M. Scott-J. Wilson) - Moody - from his original Soul Unlimited single #106, 1975.
Lawrence ‘Moody’ Scott is from Hammond, LA. Prior to making this 45, he recorded a single for Leiber & Stoller's Daisy label in 1964, as Moody and the Deltas. Between 1969 and 1970 he had five more releases over several labels, Kapp, Seventy 7 and Sound Stage 7, with the cuts on the latter two labels being predominantly funk. I’ll be playing some of those along the way. His only other single appeared on Straight Ahead in the early 1980s.

* * * * *

Hey, I’ve got another rather big feature artist post in the cooker [with yet others on various back burners] and hope to get it served up within the next couple of months, just in case you thought I’d given that up. . . .

November 01, 2014

FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE #11 - 10/16/2014

Air dates: Thursday, October 16, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, October 17, 2014, 9:00 PM, on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at the website. You can hear a podcast of this show and previous editions on the website under “Programs” anytime.

Since the KRVS Fall Fundraiser - nine days of intensive on-air fundraising to sustain our station operations - started on the 17th, this was essentially my kick-off for the drive. So I chose some songs about money, giving, taking, help, and winning.

It’s never too late to support KRVS. There’s a red “Support This Station” button on the station’s home page. Hit it, why don’t cha, before or after you stream a podcast.

“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters

“Give It Up” (Allen Toussaint) - Lee Dorsey - from his original Amy single #11057, 1969
A great track, with backing by the Meters, As I noted in my HOTG feature on this one back in 2005, the 45 was not only Lee’s last for the Amy label, where he had the majority of his hits working with Toussaint, it was the last record Amy released before going under. The lack of radio play and chart action for Lee’s later records for the label was due the inability of Amy and its owner, Bell Records, to promote what he put out. Sansu Enterprises soon got Lee a deal with Polydor that resulted in the classic Yes We Can album, but no real resurgence of his career, sad to say.

“Give It What You Can” (S. Cropper-J. Tarbutton-C. Marsh) - The Meters - from their Warner Bros. LP, New Directions, 1977.
The original version of this song appeared on Sam & Dave’s 1974/75 LP, Back At ‘Cha, produced by Steve Cropper, mainly at his Trans Maximus Studios on Poplar Avenue, in the Mid-Town section of Memphis, my old stomping grounds. Steve co-wrote the song with two other Memphis musicians, Jimmy Tarbutton and Carl Marsh. Apropos of not much, I used to hang out out at Pop Tunes record shop in Memphis every day after school and most weekends in the mid-1960s, and Jimmy Tarbutton stopped by from time to time to shoot the...breeze. Great guitar player.

That Sam & Dave album, by the way, had covers of two Toussaint tunes on it, too, that are great. I featured them here and here, and I’ll get them onto the show in due course. For me, the Meters; cover of “Give It” outshines S&D’s.

“Lay It On Me, Part 2” (W. Quezergue-C. Simmons-E. Small) - Chuck Simmons - from his F.C.W. single #1001, 1976.
This was recorded at Sea-Saint with some of the great session regulars on-board. The drumming is just sick. For more details on this 45 and Simmon’s other record-making exploits, mainly with Big Q, check out my feature on him.

“Hold On Help Is On The Way” (Davis-Tyler-Parker) - G. Davis & R. Tyler - from their original Parlo single #102, 1966.
Guitarist George Davis and saxophonist Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler, were regular session players in New Orleans and also outstanding jazz musicians. I featured this cut here back in 2008 as a tribute to George’s passing. As I said there, I consider this to be one of the all-time great R&B instrumentals. It was not heard at the time, having been completely eclipsed by Parlo #101, Aaron Neville’s hit, “Tell It Like It Is”, which George arranged, played on, and co-wrote with Lee Diamond. Parlo folded soon thereafter, as it was too small to keep up with the demand for what became Aaron’s signature song.

“A Dollar Ninety Eight” (Diamond-Davis) - Johnny Moore - from his original Wand single #1165, 1967.
Another Lee Diamond-George Davis composition. The Johnny Moore named on this rather obscure 45, was and is better known in New Orleans as ‘Deacon John’ Moore, guitarist, vocalist and leader of numerous bands over the years, including the Ivories who have played tons of high school proms, fraternity parties, and weddings. Deacon John’s vocal talent alone should have landed him a lot more recording opportunities back in the day than the few he got. For more on his career, see my 2008 feature.

“Every Dog Got His Day” (Johnson-Douglas) - Eddie Bo - from his original Ric single #969, 1960.
A classic Bo side - years ahead of its time. For more details on it and Bo’s work for the Ric label in New Orleans, see Part 2 of my series on his career.

“Take What I Can Get” (C. Yellen-M. Rebennack) - Dr John - from his Blue Note CD, Creole Moon, 2001.
Recorded at Dockside Studios in Maurice, LA, this track features Sonny Landreth’s always impressive slide guitar.

“Save A Little Bit For Me” (M. Galore-D. Ervin-M. Higgins) - Irma Thomas - from her original Canyon single #21, 1969.
Irma was living in Los Angeles when she was approached by Wally Roker to record for his new Canyon label. This track is from her first single for Canyon, produced by Monk Higgins. When it failed to get any radio action, Roker paired Irma with a new producer who had recently come on-board, Jerry Williams, a/k/a Swamp Dogg. For more on the story of their collaboration, read my post from last year.

“A Little Bit Of Something” (R. Parker) - Robert Parker - from his original Island single #074, 1976.
I covered this single in Part 5.1 of my Big Q series just about a year ago.

“I Want Some Money, Baby” (Bocage-Terry) - Tommy Ridgley - from his original Johen single #9200, 1964.
Another classic New Orleans R&B collectable, written by Eddie Bo and arranged by Big Q. I discussed it in Part 4 of my Eddie Bo series.

“Money Money” (B. MacDonald) - Joy Ride - from their original Chippewa single, 1980.
This track, written by guitarist Bruce MacDonald, appeared on the only record released by Joy Ride. He and George Porter, Jr. formed the band in 1979; and, while they were popular on the local Uptown club scene in New Orleans, things fell apart after just a couple of years. I featured the flip side and some of the backstory in 2011.

“Little Old Money Maker” (Neville-Nocentelli, Porter-Modeliste) - The Meters - from the Sundazed reissue of their original 1969-1970 Josie album, Look-Ka Py Py, 1999.

“Somebody’s Always Winning” (L. Hopkins-L. Meyers) - Linda Hopkins - from her RCA album, Linda Hopkins, 1972.
One of the great female vocalists from New Orleans, Linda has had a long career, starting in the gospel realm. She left the city around 1950 to pursue music,and, as far as I know, never made any records there. I just recently picked up this LP, recorded in New York City, which contains a number of funky tracks, including this one.

“You Will Not Lose” (Allen Toussaint) - Allen Toussaint - from his original Reprise album, Southern Nights, 1975.
While certainly not a funk tune, even though all the Meters participated on the track, the syncopated intricacies of this unique hybrid-pop gem are fascinating and enjoyable music-making at its finest, written, arranged, produced and performed by Toussaint on arguably the best album of his career. For more on his albums in the 1970s, see my 2011 post.

“Take Some Mambo Time” (E. Baytos) - Eddie Baytos & the Nervis Bros - from their CD of the same name, 1990s.
I only had time for a few minutes of this one, so will get back to it in whole later. I wrote about this seldom seen CD back pre-Katrina.

October 29, 2014

FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE #10 - 10/9/2014

Original air date: Thursday, October 9, 2014, 1:00 PM on KRVS 88.7 FM Lafayette/Lake Charles, and online at krvs.org, with a rebroadcast Friday nights at 9:00. You can hear a podcast of this show and all the others I’ve produced so far on the website under “Programs”, anytime. They are archived by date there, down below the most recent playlist.

Speaking of which, you’ll also find basic playlists for all FYL shows there on the KRVS site. Meanwhile, these annotated playlists are now running about three weeks behind. Once again, tempus fergeddaboudit!

“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters

“Making It Better” (W. Querzergue-M. Adams-A. Savoy) - The Barons, Ltd - from their original Chimneyville single #436, 1971.
For details about the two singles the Barons did for Chimneyville as part of their lengthy association with Wardell ‘Big Q’ Quezergue, see my 2011 post.

“Making Love To Funky Music” (R. Bell-J. Strickland) - Reuben Bell - from his original Alarm single #2118, 1977.
I’ve been cooking up a post for over a year on Big Q’s association with Alarm Records, based in Shreveport, LA, but am trying to snag a few more singles - the harder ones to get, of course. This cut by Reuben Bell, one of the principal artists on the label, is not one of those, but still not all that common.

You can learn as much as I know about Alarm by getting hold of the 2007 soulscape CD,Sound City Soul Brothers, which collects some of the best sides by Bell, Ted Taylor, and Eddie Giles, and includes great notes by Paul Mooney. From them I learned that Alarm regularly imported the Malaco Studio house musicians and backing singers for their sessions. So they are likely backing Bell on this Big Q produced/arranged track.

“Woman Don’t Go Astray” (King Floyd) - King Floyd - from his original Chimneyville single #443, 1972.
I put this single in context in Part 3 of my Big Q series.

“Before I Met You” (Marc Adams) - Marva Wright - from her Sky Ranch CD, Born With The Blues, 1993.
I wrote about Marva and this album, which I still consider her best, shortly after her death back in 2010. As I mentioned on the show, Sonny Landreth played slide guitar on this cut, and songwriter Marc Adams was on piano, along with an impressive cast of other supporting players, such as Wilbert ‘Junkyard Dog’ Arnold on drums.

“Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” (Marc Adams) - The Adams-Griffin Project .- from their Sound of New Orleans CD, Choices, 1994.
Speaking of Marc Adams, here he is singing and playing piano on another original tune. This one-off album featured the band he put together with trumpeter, Tracy Griffin.

“The Mouse” (Smilin’ Myron) - Smilin’ Myron - from their CD, What About The People, 1997.
An insidiously funky little number from one of the many short-lived New Orleans funk bands of the 1990s.

“99 44/100 Pure Love” (A. Reed) - Al Reed - from his original Axe single #103, 1967.
Both sides of this record, arranged by Big Q, are keepers. Reed was more of a songwriter than a performer, though he did make a few 45 between the mid-1950s and mid 1960s. Probably his best known song is “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye”, originally cut by Danny White for Frisco Records.

“Satisfied With Your Love” (Joan Parker) - Barbara George - for her original Seven B single #7019, 1968.
I did a brief tribute to Ms George shortly after her passing in 2006, and included this track, written by Eddie Bo, under one of his many aliases, who also produced and arranged it.

:Getting The Corners” (Leroy Lewis) - The T.S.U. Tornadoes - from their original Atlantic single #2579, 1968.
As I said on the air, this Houston funk ‘n’ soul band came up with an original instrumental tune that became “Tighten Up”, when Archie Bell and the Drells recorded their vocals over it. This track sounds a lot like that hit, but never took off. For more on the band, see this article from the Houston Press.

“Cocodrie” (Z. Richard) - Zachary Richard - from his Rounder CD, Mardi Gras Mambo, 1989.
Some local color from back when Lafayette’s own rootsman, ZR, was gettin’ down funky onstage and in the studio.

‘Easy Days” (C.J. Chenier) - C. J. Chenier - from his Slash CD, I Ain’t No Playboy, 1992.
A rarely heard instrumental cut featuring C. J. (son of Clifton) on flute, backed by his fine band.
I picked this song and the previous one since Festival Acadiens et Creoles was going on the weekend the show aired and both these guys were there..

“Soulful Woman” (J. Hill-M. Rebennack-A. Robinson) - Al Robinson - from his original Pulsar single #2417, 1969.
For background on Alvin ‘Shine’ Robinson’s collaborations with Mac Rebennack, Jessie Hill and Harold Battiste out on the Left Coast in the late 1960s, see my post from 2010.

“Light My Fire” (The Doors) - Tami Lynn - a track recorded in 1969/1970 for Pulsar but not issued until the Ace CD, More Gumbo Stew, 1993.
This compilation from the UK was the second of an authorized three CD series of recordings overseen by Harold Battiste, during the 1960s. He recorded Tami Lynn, who he had worked with when the AFO label was active in New Orleans, backed by the same crew of players who worked on other Pulsar projects, many of them NO expatriates. For some backstory on Tami, see my 2008 post on one of her later records.

“Bayou Cadillac” (B. Holley-E. McDaniel…...) - Beausoleil - from their Rounder CD, Bayou Cadillac, 1989.
A true hybrid of rock-blues-R&B-second-line funk-cajun-zydeco that only Michael Doucet and the ultra-fine Beausoleil could pull off so well. They, too, played Festival Acadiens this year.

October 10, 2014

FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE - SHOW #9 - PLAYLIST

Air dates: Thursday, October 2, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, October 3, 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.

This was a mostly vinyl episode, with a couple of choice CD cuts. I’m officially a week behind on these annotated playlists. So, from here on out, they will be briefer with links to more info.

“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters

“Move Your Body” (D. Tabb-D. Shezbie-C. Honore) - Rebirth Brass Band - from their Basin Street LP, Move Your Body, 2014.

“Bring It” (Shane Theriot) - Shane Theriot - from his Shose CD, Dirty Power, 2009.

“Boogie The Blues” (Ray Johnson) - Ray Johnson - from his original Mercury single #7023, 1954.
My 1/4/2014 post included this side.

“Still My Little Angel Child” (A. Mondy) - Alma Mondy - from Mercury Blues & Rhythm Story CD set, 1996.
Originally recorded for Mercury in New Orleans in 1949, backed by George Miller & his Mid-Driffs. Alma was called ‘The Lollipop Mama’ or ‘Miss Lollipop’.

“Cat Walk” (L. Allen-A. Toussaint) - Lee Allen - from his original Ember single #1057.
Toussaint likely arranged this session, too. From the sound of it, James Booker played organ, with Charles ‘Hungry’ Williams on drums. A recording with sonic problems that were on the master tape.

“Then I’ll Believe” (D. Johnson) - Martha Carter - from her original Ron single #346, 1962.
This single came up in Part 3 of my In Pursuit Of Bo Consciousness series.

“Keep The Fire Burning” (Edwin Bocage) - Skip Easterling - from his original Alon single #9033, 1966.
For some background on Skip and this single, see Part 7 of that Bo series.

“I’ve Got Reasons” (E. Bocage-J. Scramuzza) - Mary Jane Hooper - from her original Power single #105-4051, 1968.
I featured Ms Hooper (a/k/a Sena Fetcher) and her Eddie Bo produced tracks from this 45 and another back in 2008.

“Do What You Wanna Do” (Isaac Bolden) - Tony Owens - from his original Island single #069, 1976.
A few days after Katrina hit, and the seriousness of the subsequent Federal Flood hadn’t quite sunk in, I did a post on the singer and this tune. I was admittedly late to the Tony Owens bandwagon, but have since gotten more of this recordings and seen him perform live quite a few times, becoming a fan. Still, since much of his output has been on the deeper soul end of the spectrum, I haven’t written much more about his work, but hope to slip in some other tunes on the show.

“Humpin’ To Please” (James Canes) - Jean Knight - from her original Ola single #1-102, 1977.
This track was discussed on the blog back in 2007.

“Don’t Turn Your Back On Me” (Terry Manuel) - Louisiana Purchase - from their original LP, Louisiana Purchase, ca 1982.
Despite the synthesizers and that slick “aural exciter” sound of the 80s, I dig this track and others on this LP. I wrote about it and this tune in 2007.

“Why You Wanna Do It” (W. Harper-T. Royal) - Willie Harper - from the Charly compilation LP, Sehorn’s Soul Farm, 1982.
This album has two Willie Harper tunes, both co-written with guitarist Teddy Royal, that were probably recorded in the early mid-1970s, since Royal did not relocate to New Orleans until 1971, when he was hired on to King Floyd’s road band, the Rhythm Masters. From the sound of the backing musicians and arrangement, I would suspect this was recorded after Sea-Saint Studios opened in 1973, when Wardell Quezergue had returned from Malaco to work there. Early on, Smokey Johnson was drumming on sessions at Sea-Saint: and, in my 2005 post on this tune, I hazarded a guess he played on this tune.

“The Devil Gives Me Everything” (M. West-L. Laudenbach-The High Society Brothers) - Willie West - from his forthcoming Timmion LP/CD, Lost Soul.
This track was first released five years back by Timmion, based on Norway, on a 45 issued in Europe, with good results. The new album will come out across the pond first, with later release in the US.

“Country Road” (James Taylor) - Merry Clayton - from her Ode 70 LP, Gimme Shelter, 1970.
A great, funked-up version of the JT classic from this outstanding vocalist most famous for her background work, but who has always deserved to be up front. Check out this detailed summary of her recording career.

“Running Man” (B. Ellman- T. DeCouet-Galactic) - Galactic - from their Capricorn CD, Late For The Future, 2000.
Vocal by Theryl DeClouet, who sang with the band for several years.

October 04, 2014

FUNKIFY YOUR LIFE - SHOW #8 - PLAYLIST

Air dates: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 1:00 PM, and Friday, September 26, 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.

“Funkify Your Life” [Intro] - The Meters

“Ride Your Pony” (Naomi Neville) - Betty Harris - from the Charly LP compilation of Betty’s Sansu material, In the Saddle, 1980.
My original 45 (Sansu #480), is a bit worse for wear on this side, so I went with this re-issue track. I played the flip side of the single, “Trouble With My Lover”, on show #1. For more thoughts on this tune, which is a Toussaint-written/produced cover that beats Lee Dorsey’s 1965 original, see my post from 2010. And for some background on how Ms Betty came to record in New Orleans, check this one.

“Love, I Can’t Seem To Find It” (Larry Williams) - Larry Williams - from his original Venture single #622, 1968.
For some background on Williams’ music career, his gangster lifestyle, and this single in particular, check out my post from 2006, where I featured the other side, “Shake Your Body Girl”.

“Don’t Stop Now” (Tony Bryce) - Lloyd Price - from his original JAD single #212, 1968.
I featured this single back in 2006; and the post is chock full of interesting factoids, most of which I’d since forgotten. Glad I wrote it down, and caught back up.

“Chasing Rainbows” (Teddy Royal) - Johnny Adams - from his original Ariola single #7701, 1978.
This single was featured in the first of my two-part post on the career of Teddy Royal, who got the writing credit on this single, which had its initial release on Hep’ Me. Later, when I did a feature on soul singer Willie West, he told me that he had co-written (uncredited) the song with Royal, contributing the lyrics. Adams only did a handful of true funk songs; and his voice classed up all of ‘em.

“Freddie’s Walking” (Chuck Mangione) - C. P. Love - from his original Stone single #201, 1973.
C. P. Love is one of the many fine soul singers who were signed to Elijah Walker’s artist management company in New Orleans, Skyline Productions, and the A&R company he ran with Wardell ‘Big Q’ Quezergue, Pelican Productions, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That got Love a chance to record at Malaco in Jackson, Ms, when Big Q and Walker worked with the studio; but the one single that resulted did not sell. Walker died around 1973, and Love moved on, recording this one-off single for Stone, a Baton Rouge label, that year. [See my post from the Big Q series, for more on Love’s story.]

While his take on the gospel flavored “Freddie’s Walking” (anybody know what this song, written by pop-jazz flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione, is about?) showed off his vocal chops, the record was another commercial non-starter. Love later recorded for Orleans records and recently has joined the band Fo’Reel, about which see below.

“What I Can Do” (M. Domizio-C. P. Love) - Fo’Real - from their independently released CD, Heavy Water, 2014.
An impressive aggregation of veteran players, Fo’Real greatly benefits from the participation of C. P. Love, one of New Orleans’ best unsung vocalists, whose career stretches back to the 1960s. The other members are guitarist and songwriter, Mark Domizio, bassist David Hyde [since replaced by another great, David Barard], and Johnny Neel on keyboards. On this track, Allyn Robinson played drums. Other tracks also feature a fine horn section. I’m sure I’ll get to other tracks as time goes by.

“New Orleans Twist” (P. King-D. Bartholomew-W. Quezergue) - Blazer Boy - from his original Imperial single #5801, 1961.
At the time of this recording, producer Dave Bartholomew was nearing the end of his long association with Imperial Records, which started in the late 1940s and brought about the huge success of Fats Domino. Wardell Quezergue was doing a lot of the arrangements for these later Imperial sides. The young Smokey Johnson was likely drumming on this standard issue dance song, featuring the not often recorded George Stevens, dubbed Blazer Boy, on vocal.

“Olde Wine” (James Black) - Red Tyler - from his original At Last single #1003, 1963.
The At Last label was a subsidiary of AFO (All For One) Records, started by producer/musician Harold Battiste and a group of like-minded black studio musicians who wanted to get more financial rewards from the records they played on, arranged, and helped make hits. Saxophonist Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler, who played on countless R&B records starting in the late 1940s, was a founding member of AFO and the featured artist on this track, written by drummer/composer, James Black. Like the majority of the AFO associates, Black was primarily a jazz musician who played R&B to make a living, making a lot of music history in the process.

“You Ain’t Hittin’ On Nothing” (Naomi Neville) - Irma Thomas - from her original Minit single #666, 1963.
Among Irma’s best and most remembered recordings were the tracks she cut for the Minit label in the early 1960s, with Allen Toussaint writing, arranging and producing. This funky, sassy little number ,written by Toussaint under his nom de plume, was the flip side of her classic, “Ruler Of My Heart”, with backing by a stripped down rhythm section headed by Roy Montrell on guitar. He was also one of AFO’s founders, many of whom Toussaint used at the time, such as bassist Chuck Badie and drummer John Boudreaux, who very likely are on this, too.

“Love Slip Up On Ya” (Neville-Nocentelli-Porter-Modeliste) - The Meters - from their original Reprise LP, Fire On the Bayou, 1975.
I wrote a short tribute to this funk-sway groove monster back in 2006.

“Hear The Words, Feel the Feeling” (L. Dozier-M. Jackson) - Margie Joseph - from her original Cotillion LP, Hear The Words, Feel the Feeling, 1976.
While I think she did her best records and funkiest tunes with producer/arranger Arif Mardin for Atlantic a bit earlier, this album on Atlantic’s subsidiary, Cotillion, has its moments even though disco tendencies were evident. After all, it was produced by the great Lamont Dozier on out the Left Coast. The distinctive, stylized funk of the title track is far from the New Orleans feel [She recorded next to nothing in her hometown.], but still mighty effective. Read David Nathan's thorough overview of Margie’s career at SoulMusic.com.

“Mojo Hannah” (A. Williams-C. Paul-B. Paul) - Aaron Neville - from his original Mercury single #73310, 1972.
I wrote-up Aaron’s hot take of this tune, backed by the Meters, back in 2010.

“Junk” (Fantoms) - The Fantoms - from their original Power Funksion single #10002, 1972.
Covered this single and some of the band’s backstory in a 2007 post.

“I Want Somebody (To Show Me The Way Back Home)” [W. Turbinton] - Willie Tee - from his original Atlantic single #2302, 1965.
Just pre-Katrina, during the first year of HOTG, I discussed this side, one of my absolute faves by Mr. Turbinton.

“We’ll Figure It Out” (S. Allen-J. Butler- and band) - Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs - from their POME/Threadhead Records CD, Box Who In?, 2009.
As the title of the CD implies, it’s hard to box in Shamarr and his band, as their musical adventures range from jazz to funk, hip-hop to hard rock, and tosses in some rap from Dee-1 for good measure. Check Shamarr’s website for more details.

September 21, 2014

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.