Thursday, November 27, 2008

Be Thankful

The Wailers: Thank You Lord

A classic bit of soul ska from Bob & the boys' early days. Find it on many compilations...I recommend the great Bob Marley box set Songs of Freedom.

Sly & The Family Stone: Thankful N' Thoughtful

Subtle funkiness from the legendary Sly Stone. Get it on 1973's Fresh.

Love: Be Thankful For What You Got

One of my all time favorites. Most well known by it's composer William DeVaughan, this version moves forward at a brisk pace but still manages to keep the laid back groove. Get it on 1974's Reel to Real.

One Blood: Be Thankful For What You Got

Get it on Hustle! Reggae Disco

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ain't No Sunshine

Bill Withers: Ain't No Sunshine

The original and arguably the most powerful, Bill Withers' 1971 classic still has the ability to send shivers. Stark and solitary the strings absolutely drip off the record. Here is proof that sometimes the simplest songs can be the most moving. Get it on Just As I Am.

Freddie King: Ain't No Sunshine

Freddie King is too often overlooked in my opinion. Super funky, a killer guitarist and a monster vocalist Mr. King makes you weep with his cover. The guitar break at 1:55 is as bad ass as anything you'll ever hear. Get it on 1972's Texas Cannonball.

Ken Boothe: Ain't No Sunshine

The bright reggae beat doesn't make this tune any less heartbreaking thanks to Ken Boothe pain fueled vocals. There's even a tinge of anger in his voice creating an altogether new interpretation of our hurt hero. Find this track on the stellar 2001 compilation Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown (1973-198o)

Buddy Guy: Ain't No Sunshine

Say what you will about Buddy Guy's output in recent years but you cannot fault his choice of covers especially on 2005's Bring 'Em In. Buddy's vocals are soulful as always and his punctuating guitar stabs are gold. Even Tracy Chapman manages some real emotion on her 'I know, I know, I knows'.

Stryke: Ain't No Sunshine

The jury's still out on this ambient cover. Dub rhythms make it a perfect late night track, but have we gone too far from the soul of the man? I'm not feeling his pain...I'm actually quite relaxed! Oh well, it sounds nice! Get it on the
Frequent Flyer: Kingston Jamaica compilation.

Kashmere Stage Band: Ain't No Sunshine (J. Rocc Remix)

Even further removed this funky remix definitely has the groove. Get it on
Now Again Re:Sounds Vol. 1

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Soothe Me

Here's a quick favorite by the amazing Sam & Dave.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cadillac Records

Let's hope this is decent....

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dig The Counts

etroit band The Counts (also known as The Fabulous Counts) are one of too many overlooked R&B acts that were lost in the sea of 70's soul music. Their output was spotty at best but they did create some real fine funky moments. Here are a few tracks from there stellar 1971 debut What's Up Front That Counts. Thanks to Peter McG for turning me on to this LP.

The Counts: What's Up Front That Counts

A great intro. What a way to introduce this band to the world. Once that organ hits it's all over.

The Counts: Rhythm Changes

Deep funk here. A little Bar-Kays a little Ohio Players. I love the horn break at 1:24. Solid.

The Counts: Why Not Start All Over Again

A bit smoother on this track with a jazzy vibe and some of the best vocals on the entire album.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Cymande: Changes

Taken from 1974's Promised Heights this track at once puts the listener at ease. Let the flutes wash over you.

Buddy Miles: Them Changes

On a much different track we have this Buddy Miles classic. Featuring the punctuating Memphis Horns Buddy's vocals rock with a raw energy. Get it on 1970's Them Changes.

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: Change It

I can't believe I've never posted any SRV. Taken from 1985's Soul to Soul, Change It features Stevie's usual brilliance on guitar along with some of his most soulful vocals. Recorded at a time when he had to make some serious changes in his lifestyle or else die, Stevie was at a low point physically but he still delivers big time on this track.