Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Beavering away

My usual beat of a post every 5 or 6 days has gone a bit haywire of late, sorry ‘bout that. Busy times. Looks like work is going to take me away from my “blogpit” pretty frequently over the next few months. And of course when I am at home there are all the other family and homey things to catch up with. This has certainly contributed to the less frequent posts of late but who knows? it may have the opposite effect in the long run. As work has taken me to a big European city (Munich) I’m sort of in tourist mode in the evenings, and tracking down the good restaurants and watering holes. However experience suggests that the novelty will wear off and then I suspect I will have some time on my hands in the evenings. So what better way to fill it than by composing more blog posts? There is no free internet at the hotel though so my output maybe a bit thin on the facts and fat on my aimless ramblings. We’ll see.

Anyway, I’m sure it’s the music you tune in for, so without further ado let’s get to it.
I think it was on her (excellent) rendition of Super Duper Lover that Joss Stone uttered the words “play it for me Little Beaver”. Younger listeners, or those without an extensive knowledge of Soul and R&B (in it’s original sense), may have been forgiven for thinking “Wow she can do that with it? that’s one versatile lady!”. Of course the Little Beaver she was referring to was in fact guitarist William Hale. Willie was born in Forrest City, Arkansas and celebrated his 61st birthday last week. He moved to Florida in his teens and later hooked up with Henry Stone at the TK label at he start of the 70s. He was a prolific session guitarist appearing on many of the TK and related label’s releases in the early 70s – for artists such as Betty Wright and George & Gwen McCrae. In 1972 he started exercising his vocal chords as well and launched his solo career on another TK subsidiary label – Cat. “Joey” was his first single hit in 1972 and “Party Down” was his biggest hit in 1974. To the best of my knowledge he released five albums in the 70s. His music is a mix of blues, soul and funk. Unfortunately his solo career really got into its stride at the same time as disco was taking off and the Southern soul style was going out of fashion. Having said that his final hit “Groove On” is something of a disco classic (filed under rare groove).

What you are maybe wanting to know is how he got the name Little Beaver? Well I would like to know too. I haven’t been able to find anything on he internet by way of explanation. So if anybody out there knows please post a comment.

Both tracks here today have a really haunting and mellow groove. “Let The Good Times Roll” I remember picking up nearly 30 years ago on a stall in London’s Soho. “We Three” I found on eBay a few months ago. So for your listening pleasure here’s an old favourite of mine together with a new favourite.

The Very Best Of Little Beaver

Little Beaver at Dusty Groove

Little Beaver – Let The Good Times Roll Everybody 1975
Little Beaver – We Three 1977


DIAGILEV said...

you killed me with "We Three"!!

Tuwa said...

These have a groove that just doesn't quit. Love the drums, the guitar, the bass.