Thursday, August 30, 2007

Give Me Fever

·Sharon Cash: Fever
A very groovy and desperate cover of the Eddie Cooley standard from the early 70's. Find it on the Ace compilation Living in the Streets, Vol. 2.

·Horace Andy: Fever
Classic 1970 Studio One track. Find it on many best of's. Why not try 1997's

·Jingo: Fever

Relentless Afro Beat from the Last King of Scotland soundtrack.

·Toots & The Maytals: Fever

Toots at his soulful best on the 1976 gem In The Dark.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Keep a Thought for Bo

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ailing rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley suffered a heart attack while undergoing a medical check-up, and is in stable condition in a Florida hospital, his spokeswoman said on Tuesday. The 78-year-old musician, whose distinctive rhythms and guitar style influenced rockers from Buddy Holly to the Rolling Stones and U2, felt unwell during a check-up last Friday at North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Fla. He was transferred to the emergency room where he suffered the heart attack, spokeswoman Susan Clary said in a statement.
He underwent surgery so that a stent could be fitted to help blood flow to his heart. He was moved from intensive care to cardiac care on Tuesday morning, Clary said.
Diddley, whose real name is Ellas Bates [actually Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel:BWM], suffered a stroke in May. It left no physical disability, but it impaired his speech and speech recognition, his manager said at the time. In recent years he also lost some toes to diabetes.
Diddley helped lay the foundation for rock 'n' roll in the mid-1950s when he developed a syncopated "hambone" beat -- known as the "Bo Diddley" beat -- that was aped by Holly on "Not Fade Away," the Who on "Magic Bus," George Michael on "Faith" and U2 on "Desire."
He topped the charts in 1955 with the song "Bo Diddley" and went on to enjoy such hits as "Mona" (covered by the Rolling Stones), "Who Do You Love," and "I'm A Man."
He also cut an imposing figure on stage, sporting a pair of thick spectacles and playing a rectangular guitar. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, alongside bluesman Muddy Waters, and soul icons Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. But he never received the same sort of mainstream recognition as his peers, and frequently complained that he never received a royalty check.

·Bo Diddley: Gun Slinger

Monday, August 20, 2007

Black Moses' 65th

The most difficult part in celebrating Isaac Hayes' 65th birthday is having to pick just 2 or 3 tunes from his vast catalog to share. Isaac's influence on music in the 60's and 70's is unparalleled. The self taught musician started his career at Stax Records as a saxophone player for The Mar-Kays and a piano player for the Stax house band, but Isaac would truly shine as a songwriter. Along with his writing partner David Porter, Isaac Hayes penned over 200 songs for Stax including When Something's Wrong With My Baby, B-A-B-Y, Hold On I'm Coming, and Soul Man. With his 1967 release Presenting Isaac Hayes, he stepped out from the shadows launching his solo career that truly ignited with 1969's Hot Buttered Soul. With his clean shaven head (an oddity in 1967), omnipresent shades and gold chains Isaac became one of the most unique figures in all music. 1971 found Isaac Hayes at his peak winning the Oscar for his theme from Shaft which was a number one hit that year. Hayes never stopped making music and although he's probably more well known to many as Chef on South Park, the music he created is what makes him a legend.

·Isaac Hayes: Do Your Thing (edited version)
This is undeniably one of Isaac's baddest grooves from 1971's Shaft soundtrack. I'm presenting the radio edit but I advise you all to check the album version that clocks in at over 19 minutes long. Right on!

·Isaac Hayes: The Look of Love

I had to try to cram at least one epic love track in here so here's Isaac's rendition of Burt Bacharach's classic from 1970's ...To Be Continued. Sorry about the low bit rate, but at over 11 minutes and limited server space I had few options. I love the jam from 4:30 on.

·Isaac Hayes: Never Can Say Goodbye

It's a cliche to say "when someone sings a song they truly make it their own", but I think that expression was made just for Isaac Hayes. There's never a doubt who's performing this cover of my favorite Jackson 5 hit. Find it on 1971's Black Moses.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mmmmm...Fresh Tracks

There's hope for the future after all. Here's a few newly acquired nuggets I've recently been diggin'.

·Lyle Workman: Flashback Party Weekend

I know what you're saying..."who the heck is Lyle Workman?!" Well check out the soundtrack for the eagerly awaited film Superbad. Scoring a movie about two white suburban kids in the style of a Blaxpoltation film is comedy alone. But with the likes of Bootsy Collins, Clyde Stubblefield, Catfish Collins, and Bernie Worrell this is no laughing matter. Add classics from Curtis Mayfield, Rick James, Jean Knight & The Bar-Kays and you've got a rather solid soundtrack that's definitely worth a listen.

·Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators: If This Ain't Love (I Don't Know What Is)

Here's my new favorite retro soul queen. Do yourself a favor and buy Keep Reachin' Up. Amy Who-house.

·Prince: Chelsea Rodgers

The latest from an old favorite. Planet Earth is certainly not Prince's greatest album, but you can always count on at least one solid funky number. I dare you to sit still on this one.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

At The Dark End

Although James Carr never really became a household name, he is often condsidered to be in the same class as Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin & Sam & Dave when it comes to raw emotion and power in his vocals. His chronic depression became the main obstacle in his career derailing recording sessions as well as numerous comeback attempts. Carr hit his stride in 1966 with his now classic recording of Dark End of the Street. Despite his new found success, Carr couldn't handle the stress of touring where he would frequently wander off on his own. By 1968, his mental state had deteriorated greatly, making even recording sessions a challenge. He was able to complete a second LP, 1968's A Man Needs a Woman, but in Muscle Shoals for his last session for Goldwax Records in 1969, he simply sat at the microphone and stared into space, singing only one song (the Bee Gees' To Love Somebody). Not long afterward, Goldwax went bankrupt. Wary of the singer's instability, Capitol rescinded an offer to buy out his contract, and although Carr signed with Atlantic, he released only one single in 1971. James Carr released just a few more albums over the next 25 years including his 1994 effort Soul Survivor. He was soon after diagnosed with lung cancer to which he succumbed in 2001.

James Carr: Life Turned Her That Way

Released in 1968 on his A Man Needs a Woman LP, this track truly displays James Carr's vocal prowess. The song slowly builds to a masterful crescendo that echoes the Otis Redding classic Try a Little Tenderness.