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Doin' It To DeathFor starters, this platter begins with one of the great intros of all time: "Ladies and gentlemen, there are seven acknowledged wonders of the
world. You are about to witness the eighth "
Lodged in a deep groove between the JB's' debut LP Food For Thought (1972) and the more complex and at-times political Damn Right, I Am
Somebody (from 1974) sits the ridiculously vampy and infectious classic, Doing It To Death. First moving hips and making heads nod in 1973,
the James Brown-produced, 5-song album is one big funk lick, broken up into many delicious moving parts.
As with pretty much everything produced by the JB's - led by Fred Wesley with heavy help from a supporting cast that included saxophonist
Maceo Parker, guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon "Cheese" Martin and drummer John "Jabo" Starks - all songs began and revolved around
a devastating riff. The title track is most certainly guilty-as-charged, as it starts strutting right out of the gate and continues for just over 10
minutes, driven by a guitar lick and MCed by the inimitable James Brown, with soloists stepping up and out while the song chugs on.
The other centerpiece of the album is the 8-minute "You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight," whose groove is
interestingly teased two times before it arrives in full form. The song title itself is provocative, and the music keeps a stone-cold groove despite
the less than cheery undertones. Again driven by an infectious guitar morsel, the breakdowns in this song gave sampling producers and DJs
sweet dreams in the '80s, and Fred Wesley's trombone solo rides beautifully over the group's cries of "We need some money."
Beyond the aforementioned sure-shots, the twitchy "More Peas," "La Di Da La Di Day" and the much jazzier, solo-heavy "Sucker" round out
this incredible album. It's just another perfect example of how James Brown's funk machine could stop the world when they hit a groove.1. Introduction To The J.B.'s
2. Doing It To Death - Part 1 & 2
3. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
4. More Peas
5. La Di Da La Di Day
6. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight
8. You Can Have Watergate Just Gimme Some Bucks And I'll Be Straight$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
With You In MindWith You In Mind: The Songs Of Allen Toussaint, a new release from Galactic-drummer Stanton Moore with David Torkanowsky (keyboards) and James Singleton (bass) features an all-star cast: Cyril Neville, Jolynda Kiki Chapman, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, Maceo Parker, and Wendell Pierce. The musicians on With You in Mind: The Songs of Allen Toussaint are present-generation masters of the unique musical style of the world-historic city of New Orleans. These singers and players felt the mission of the album, and delivered inspired, focused performances. Producers Torkanowsky and Moore sculpted it all into a great album that grows with every subsequent listen.1. Here Come the Girls (Feat. Cyril Neville & Trombone Shorty)
2. Life (Feat. Cyril Neville, Nicholas Payton & Skerik)
3. Java (Feat. Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison Jr. & Trombone Shorty)
4. All These Things (Feat. Jolynda Kiki Chapman)
5. Night People (Feat. Maceo Parker)
6. The Beat (Feat. Cyril Neville)
7. Riverboat (Feat. Nicholas Payton & Donald Harrison Jr.)
8. Everything I Do Gone Be Funky (Feat. Maceo Parker)
9. With You in My Mind
10. Southern Nights (Feat. Nicholas Payton & Wendell Pierce)$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
UsBundled With A 22"x 22" Poster Of The Cover Art
Maceo Parker was one of the most revered and loved members of James Brown's famed J.B.'s band from the late '60s to the mid-1970s. Alongside his instantly-recognizable alto saxophone solos, he occasionally performed as comedian before James Brown shows, in addition to playing MC.
He was a true renaissance man. And while other members of The Godfather of Soul's inner circle - most notably trombonist Fred Wesley - had solo albums at the advent of Brown's People Records, Maceo had to wait his turn for a couple years. By the time 1974 rolled around, this talented musician and personality could not be denied, and he burst onto the scene as a group leader with one of the most impressive albums in the People catalog: the simply titled, but deeply felt, Us.
Maceo's group (occasionally called The Macks) and Fred Wesley's J.B.'s were essentially the same unit - including guitarists Jimmy Nolen and Hearlon "Cheese" Martin, drummer John "Jabo" Starks, saxophonist St. Clair Pinckney and of course Fred Wesley on trombone. Unsurprisingly, the material here is never-endingly funky. But as shown in the song selection (presumably by Parker, with heavy-handy assistance from the
Godfather himself), there are as many ballads and soul groovers as there are straight-up funk workouts.
Cases in point include the mellow, Gamble & Huff-penned "Drowning In The Sea Of Love" (with organ, most likely played by James Brown, slithering in the background) and the syrupy "Show and Tell." The album's closer is also on the slower side, going very deep and striking a chord, as Maceo and Brown talk about conditions in the Black American landscape of the day over the course of 10-plus minutes.
And there is, of course, plenty of diesel funk here as well: singles like "Soul Power 74" and "Parrty" are downright nasty grooves, known well by James Brown fans old and new. "Soul Power 74" additionally features very early proto-sampling, with a baby's cry as well as Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have Been To The Mountain Top" speech. And Maceo's take on the J.B.'s classic "Doing It To Death" is a unique version, more muted and of course featuring Maceo's gorgeous horn front and center.
Appearing at the apex of both James Brown's and People Records' power, Us is a treasured jewel in the J.B. catalog, and rightfully so. This 150 gram vinyl LP comes in a Stoughton Jacket, housed in a custom People Records poly bag, and includes 24" x 24" poster.1. Soul Power '74
3. Show And Tell
4. Drowning In The Sea Of Love
5. I Can Play For (Just You & Me)
6. Doing It To Death
7. The Soul Of A Black Man$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Will Saul DJ-KicksHot on the heels of the DJ mix of 2013 from John Talabot and following luminaries such as Maya Jane Coles, Maceo Plex and Breach, next in line to mix it up for the esteemed !K7 DJ-Kicks series is Aus Music and Simple Records boss Will Saul.LP1
1. Axel Boman - Dubbel (dub)
2. Animal Hands - Beacon Island
3. Joe Gray - Tozai
4. Cottam - Healing Process
5. Lrusse - Presence
6. Walton - Birds
1. Will Saul & Komon - Two For One (DJ-Kicks)
2. October - KR-100 Dub
3. David Clement - Follow Me Home (Lee Jones Remix)
4. Legowelt - Etherial Techno Music Will Never Die
5. Gerry Read - Baseball
6. Second Storey - Oxygene$24.99Vinyl LP + CD - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
A Day In NashvilleFor his new album A Day In Nashville, guitarist Robben Ford and his band spent a day in the Music City studio Sound Kitchen, invited some friends and recorded seven new songs penned by Ford, along with his version of "Poor Kelly Blues" from Maceo Merriweather and "Cut You Loose", first recorded by James Cotton. The album is due out in 2014 via Mascot Label Group/Provogue.
The follow up to 2013's acclaimed Bringing It Back Home, A Day in Nashville was originally planned as a live album to be recorded during his 2013 European tour. Inspired to write some new music, Robben instead decided to challenge himself and his band by doing something he's never done before in his 40-plus year career: recording an album live in the studio, in one session."We had a great experience," says Robben, who was joined by guitarist Audley Freed, keyboardist Ricky Peterson, bassist Brian Allen, drummer Wes Little and trombonist Barry Green. "We decided to make the record in a controlled environment, but treat it like a live show."
- Jam Bands1. Green Grass, Rainwater
2. Midnight Comes Too Soon
3. Ain't Drinkin' Beer No More
4. Top Down Blues
5. Different People
6. Cut You Loose
7. Poor Kelly Blues
8. Thump And Bump
9. Just Another Country Road$18.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby!Produced by George Clinton
Following up on their debut Stretchin' Out In Bootsy's Rubber Band [MOVLP1375], Ahh The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! is the second album by American Funk act Bootsy's Rubber Band, originally released in 1977. The album was produced by Parliament Funkadelic's funk meister George Clinton and bass player & front man William Bootsy Collins. With the help of Clinton, the band has released four LPs in the '70s. This particular album reached number One on Billboard magazine's Top R&B/Soul albums chart.
The band features Bootsy's brother Phelps Catfish Collins, Jr on guitar, Frankie Kash on drums, Frederick Flintstone Allen on drums and James Brown regulars Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley on horns. Guest appearances include saxophonist Randy and trumpeter Michael Brecker, and keyboardist Bernie Worrell, amongst others.
Everything on the album is excellent, that is true of up-tempo smokers like The Pinocchio Theory and the title song as well as slow, moody, eerie offerings such as What's a Telephone Bill? and Munchies For Your Love. The lyrics are consistently humorous and clever, the grooves are consistently infectious. Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! bears that distinctive P-funk sound, and is essential listening for lovers of hard 1970s Funk.Side A - El Uno - A Friendly Boo
1. Ahh...the Name Is Bootsy, Baby
2. The Pinocchio Theory
3. Rubber Duckie
4. Preview Side Too
Side B - Un Dos - Geepieland Music
1. What's A Telephone Bill?
2. Munchies For Your Love
3. Can't Stay Away
4. Reprise: We Want Bootsy$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Lost VoiceToni Harper's two original albums Toni (1956) and Lady Lonely (1959).
Toni Harper's childhood was made of the magic any aspiring adult artist would kill for: a platinum record, a performance at Carnegie Hall, evenings spent sharing a stage with such performers as Cab Calloway, and invitations to appear on television with Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Milton Berle, and Ed Sullivan. And all of the magic unfolded before she'd turned 12 years old.
The jazz vocalist, who now goes by the name Toni Dunlap, got her big break in 1945 when she went up against a couple hundred other kids at an audition held by choreographer Nick Castle. Harper, who had been a dance student of Maceo Anderson, passed muster as far as her dancing, but when she sang Waitin' for the Train to Come In, she had the audition sewn up on the spot. Castle cast her in his production of Christmas Follies, which was staged at Los Angeles' Wilshire Ebell Theatre. Harper drew enthusiastic reviews and went on to earn a platinum record when she was eight years old with Candy Store Blues.
Harper paired with Herb Jeffries for You're Too Tall 'n' I'm Too Small, the number for which she later paired live with Calloway at Los Angeles' Million Dollar Theatre. Television beckoned the young singer and she was a guest on numerous programs, among them Sullivan's weekly variety show. When she wasn't appearing on television, she was singing at numerous New York hot spots that included the Apollo, the Strand, and the Paramount. At the age of 11, Harper topped it all off by singing at Carnegie Hall.
Like many child stars, Harper's career slowed down as she began to mature. As a teenager, she was too old for the childhood image that had given her a great start, but too young to effectively take on a more adult image. She attended high school in Los Angeles, involving herself in such extracurricular activities as drama, choir, and the glee club. She continued to take professional singing jobs during the school's summer break. Having completed high school in the mid-'50s, and still hampered by her youth, she sang for the teenaged record-buying public. For a young woman of her age, One Hamburger to Go was more acceptable in the public eye than any of the more sophisticated songs that she would record in later years, such as Love for Sale.
The vocalist got her chance to sing the more adult songs when she recorded for Verve. In addition to Love for Sale, Harper recorded such songs as I Could Write a Book and Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered. Backing Harper on her self-titled first recording for Verve were pianist Oscar Peterson, drummer Alvin Stoller, guitarist Herb Ellis, and bassist Ray Brown. The vocalist later signed with RCA Victor, recording for the label for about four years and ending in 1963. Harper quit the business in 1966 after devoting more than 20 years to her singing career.
- Linda Seida (All Music Guide)LP 1 - Toni:
1. Can't We Be Friends
2. I Could Write A Book
3. Gone With The Wind
4. Singin' In The Rain
5. Love For Sale
6. Just A Sittin' And A-Rockin'
7. A Foggy Day
8. You Don't Know Love Is
9. Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered
10. Little Girl Blue
11. You Took Advantage Of Me
12. Like Someone In Love
LP 2 - Lady Lonely:
1. Lady Lonely
2. In The Dark Of The Night
3. He Was A Man
4. My Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
5. The Lack Of Love
6. Blue It Grows
7. I Love The Blues
8. You Taught Me How To Cry
9. The Velvet Hammer
10. The Other Woman
11. Nobody Home But The Blues
12. Busy Blues
13. Love Has Come, Love Has Gone
14. River Weep$27.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Binary"My last record was very inward-looking," says Ani DiFranco. "I was pregnant and then raising a screaming infant. But now that kid is about to turn four, so I got out of the weeds of personal space and started looking outward again, being more engaged, more big 'P' Political. As an artist, I like to be out in the world, and what initially compelled me was to try to push society to a better place. So when I'm not in heartbreak or motherhood mode, that's where you'll naturally find me."
With her twentieth studio album, Binary, the iconic singer/songwriter/activist/poet/DIY trendsetter returns to territory that brought her to the world's attention more than twenty-five years ago. One of the first artists to create her own label in 1990, she has been recognized among the feminist pantheon for her entrepreneurship, social activism, and outspoken political lyrics. At a time of global chaos and confusion, DiFranco is kicking ass and taking names, with a set of songs offering a wide range of perspective and musical scope.
She describes a moment during the writing of "Play God," an unblinking pro-choice battle cry, as a particular breakthrough. (A live version of the song was included in the anti-Trump "30 Days, 30 Songs" campaign alongside tracks from Death Cab for Cutie, Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, and more.)
"When I wrote the line 'You don't get to play god, man/I do,' I paused and thought, 'Can I say that?,' " she says. "It's not the first time I've thought that, but it's been a while. And in that moment, I thought, 'I'm back, mothafuckas!'"
"When you make a record about family and relationships, people assume you're mommy now and you've lost your edge, and it's going to be all buttercups from here on. So that line had the feeling of 'Take that! My kid is sleeping right now and I want to talk about some shit!"
On Binary, DiFranco tackles the challenge and necessity of teaching non-violence with "Pacifist's Lament" and the need for empathy in "Terrifying Sight." Remarkably, though, these songs-recorded, in her usual fashion, in a couple of short full-sprint sessions spread across several years-were all written prior to the 2016 elections and attendant political turmoil.
"I'm not surprised," says DiFranco. "Over twenty-five years, I've found that my songwriting is often full of premonition. It shows me, in a deep and spooky way, how we know things on levels below consciousness. I write songs and then they happen, and later I realize what they're about. I'm just happy to have some good tools in my toolbox to address what's happening now-the feminist diatribes are turned up nice and high on this record!"
She notes that Binary's title track is key to her intention on this project. "I always title a record from the song that seems to be at its core," she says. "An underlying theme in the songs, and in the feminism I want to engage society with, is the idea that autonomy is a fallacy-nothing exists except in relationship to something else. We are, in some senses individuals with individual liberties and unique powers, but that's only a surface story."
Though this concept is closely tied up in our present-day obsession with technology ("Sitting alone at home, staring at a screen, you can't really know anything, because knowing is engaging," she says), DiFranco also reveals a growing connection to nature and the physical world.
"Every year on Goddess' Green Earth, I understand my relationship to it more," she says. "My early songs were all human drama. I don't think I noticed the bigger picture at all-I was transfixed by power dynamics between people. Now I see that it's largely the providence of women to really embody nature, so I do think I'm getting back to basics, and it's a shift for me."
The backbone of Binary's sound is DiFranco's long-time rhythm section of bassist Todd Sickafoose and drummer Terence Higgins, but on much of the album, the trio is augmented with some all-star guests. "I knew I wanted to involve some of my brilliant friends this time out," she says. "We made some calls and got a party going. That was the idea, to reach out and have some other spirits enter."
Virtuoso violinist Jenny Scheinman and keyboard wizard Ivan Neville both join in for more than half of the record; "they are so captivating and they elevate my shit whenever they come near it," says DiFranco. Other contributors include the legendary Maceo Parker, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and Gail Ann Dorsey, longtime bassist for David Bowie. New Orleans resident DiFranco takes special pride in the Crescent City funk spearheaded by natives Higgins and Neville on a number of the tunes. "Their souls are of this place," she says. "The feel they bring is something they got in utero."
For the better part of 2016, DiFranco beat the drum for voter turnout on her "Vote Dammit!" tour, focusing on registering and inspiring people to vote. In the days following the election, fans turned to her for guidance with renewed earnestness, anxious to hear music and wisdom from the longtime activist. Ani encouraged fans to take political action and did the same herself, participating in the Women's March on Washington and performing at the official Women's March after party benefitting Planned Parenthood with The National and Sleater-Kinney.
Binary, of course, is being released into a world in which music distribution and consumption have transformed rapidly and dramatically. For DiFranco, a true pioneer in the music industry with her Righteous Babe label, it's a time to reconsider the possibilities and ambitions of her business.
"While I was precedent-setting at one time with Righteous Babe and my indie crusade, I feel like, in the time it took me to nurse another baby into being, I've fallen behind," she says. "The universe and technology have continued to evolve, and the idea of harnessing technology and crowd-sourcing everything-money, knowledge, revolution-is a very powerful concept that I'm ready to get more involved with. Righteous Babe is starting to grow now into something that will hopefully become avant-garde once again- more of a collective, more dynamic."
"I'm trying to figure it out daily," says Ani DiFranco. "Just like always."1. Binary
2. Pacifist's Lament
4. Play God
7. Even More
10. Terrifying Sight
11. Deferred Gratification$24.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Far As I Can SeeMatt Schofield is a modern blues guitarist in the truest sense of the word. He takes the forms and themes from his heroes and screws with them. His latest album, Far As I Can See, is a fiercely individual collection of tunes that ranges from odd-time shuffles, to Hendrixian explorations, and even some NOLA funk. In order to capture the best guitar tone he could for this album, Schofield enlisted his guitar tech and FOH sound engineer Simon Law and Schofield's tone throughout is muscular and clear with just enough gain to give each note a bounce. On Getaway, a funky jam in 7/8, the rhythm section does a masterful job of making an odd-time groove actually groove.
The Maceo-meets-TOP feel that propels Hindsight pushes Schofield to play more jazz-inspired lines with a burning syncopation that drips with plenty of East Bay grease. The classic Neville Brothers track Yellow Moon gets an updated reading with a new arrangement (and some great rhythm guitar work) while the Texas rocker Tell Me Some Lies is straight out of the Vaughan family playbook. For fans of the more sophisticated blues/rock of players like Robben Ford and Scott Henderson, Schofield is worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the best of the genre.
- Jason Shadrick (Premier Guitar)$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Doin' Their Own Thing (Out of Stock)Having been an integral part of James Brown's backing band since 1964, saxophonist Maceo Parker, together with his drummer brother Melvin and other band members, eventually split from the Godfather of Soul in 1970 to forge their own horn-driven Funk outfit. Over a two year period, All The King's Men toured extensively and cut two albums of which Doing Their Own Thing was the first.
Produced by BB Cunningham and Ray Riley at the Sounds of Memphis Studio and featuring original material by the band,the album showcases the not inconsiderable talents of trumpeter Richard Griffith (later to join George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic) as well as Eldee Williams (alto sax), Alfonzo Kellum and Jimmy Nolen (guitars), with Maceo providing vocals on three of the tracks.
Revered by contemporary Funk fans this is a welcome reissue for a highly sought after album which has long been unavailable on vinyl.1. Maceo
2. Got To Get Cha
4. Funky Women
5. Shake It Baby (Keep On Shakin' It)
6. Better Half
7. Don't Waste This World Away
9. (I Remember) Mr Banks$28.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock
James Brown's Funky People Part 1 (Out Of Stock)Some have made the claim that Get On Down may love James Brown just a little too much. To which the label replies, it's not possible to love James Brown too much. The label's welcome obsession with Mr. Brown and the incredible line-up of talent found on his People Record imprint continues with the reissue of Funky People Part 1.
Long out of print on vinyl, Funky People Part 1 features the top tier of artists from Brown's People Records label, including The J.B.'s, Lyn Collins, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Some of the James Brown organization's all-time best material is collected here, including The J.B.'s "Pass The Peas" and "Hot Pants Road," Fred Wesley's in your face politics through funk statement "Damn Right, I Am Somebody," Lyn Collins smash hit "Think (About It)" and many more.
Newcomers and diehard fans alike continue to dig into the James Brown and People Records vaults, and the more they do so, the more they realize that it's a nearly never ending source of truly next-level funk and soul music. And you can be sure this aural goodness will keep flowing to the public, thanks to the exhaustive efforts of Get On Down.1. Gimme Some More (The J.B.'s)
2. Pass The Peas (The J.B.'s)
3. Lyn Collins Think (About It)
4. Givin' Up Food For Funk (Part 1) [The J.B.'s]
5. Mama Feelgood (Lyn Collins)
6. Hot Pants Road (The J.B.'s)
7. Rock Me Again & Again & Again & Again & Again & Again (Lyn Collins)
8. Damn Right, I Am Somebody (Parts 1 & 2) [Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s]
9. Take Me Just As I Am (Lyn Collins)
10. If You Don't Get It The First Time, Back Up And Try Again (Party Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s)
11. Parrty (Part 1) [Maceo & The Macks]
12. (It's Not The Express) It's The JB's Monaurail (Part 1) [Fred & The New J.B.'s]$29.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Temporarily out of stock