Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a good one

Our daughter has been laid low since Xmas Eve with something flu like so we will be staying in to keep her company tonight. No pot and pan bashing for us this year, we will be seeing in the new year with our feet up watching Jools and his Hootenanny - including Bobby Womack and Betty LaVette, and our Ruby of course.

A happy birthday to me, I'm 10 this year (: 2x5 :)  

A Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for dropping in this year.        

Archie Bell & The Drells - Where Will You Go When The Party's Over 1976 

PS: Bandwidth almost exhausted, but another month just around the corner.

Friday, December 28, 2012

PK: a kindred spirit

Hang on - it's Friday. Holiday time always throws me. Hope you had/are having a good one. 

The eagle eyed among you may notice that the initials PK appear on the label of this record. The same initials appeared on the Cimarons 45 I featured a few days ago, although that would have been almost impossible to spot. 

The holidays are allowing me to catch up with records I picked up out in the wild this year and I have a whole batch with the initials PK on them. All from the mid 70s and all top notch soul and funk. I think I remember the boot sale and the box these came from now and that I left quite a few others behind because I already had them. PK was obviously a kindred spirit.

Today's track is a beautiful slice of mid paced soul, the B side of "Honey Bee", and the side in my opinion. It was originally released in 1972 and reissued on EMI International in 1975. 

Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon - I Don't Know Why 1972    

Monday, December 24, 2012

Door #24

And so the final door opens at this year's Feel It Advent...ure. Not a Santa or bauble in sight but I hope you have enjoyed the daily tunes this month. At least the label is red today!

To the regulars and those just passing through I wish you all a Merry Christmas.    

Happy Holidays. I hope it's a real humdinger for you.

J.J. Barnes - Real Humdinger 1966 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Door #23

Over the holidays I have resolved to stop the incessant hunt for vinyl for a few days and concentrate instead on playing more of what I already have. I pulled out a handful of jazz albums this morning which I also intend to copy onto CD for mum.  

I've featured a track off this budget label Marble Arch album before. Until now the track here had passed me by, but it's on repeat right now.

"Flame And Frost" is a great title, not least because I think it perfectly describes the feel of this track. 

I close my eyes and imagine the driving rhythmic nature of the music as a perfect soundtrack to the masses rushing (or possibly shuffling) about doing their last minute Christmas shopping - including Mrs Darce.

And as I keep my eyes closed I relax and let the effortless cool of the music wash over me.

Sshhh! Don't tell Mrs Darce.

Sonny Stitt & Benny Green - Flame And Frost 1965            

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Door #22

Here is another VOICE.  In 1995 at the age of only 45, tragically, Phyllis Hyman took her own life. A beautiful woman with an exquisite voice, she is, and always will be, greatly missed.   

The track here is taken from the album “Sing A Song”. The album is quite rare I think, being released only in the UK and parts of Europe (with a different cover). Six of the tracks on the album made an appearance on the US released “Somewhere In My Lifetime” – including the irresistible “Living Inside Your Love” - but the track here was not among them.

The intro reminds you of something?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Door #21

First this blog is linked on an Oldham Athletic fan forum(!) and now I'm honoured to be featured on WFMU's Beware Of The Blog. I tell you, you ought to stick around, this blog is going places!

Seriously, a big thanks to Doug for the "shout out" on Beware Of The Blog.

It's the traditional annual local pub crawl for me tonight, kicking off in about 90 minutes time. There will be plenty of Christmas parties happening tonight too I expect. I know my daughter is at one. So we better have some party music.  

Here is something of a curiosity. The Cimarons were a UK based reggae group active from around 1967. Here they cook up a generally faithful version of The Fatback Band's "Wicki Wacky". It works well and I particularly like that guitar motif running throughout the track. Referring to 45cat it seems this 45 was released twice, with the A and B sides being flipped. No mention of the Fatback Band members in writing credits I notice.

Cimarons - Wicki Wacky 1975

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Door #20

My place of work is a quiet office for most of the year. Almost library like at times. But at this time of year, specifically the last couple of days before our extended festive break, it all changes as our boss in his infinite wisdom “treats” us to Classic Gold on the tinniest of radios. I am ready to throw myself out of the window by 11 o’clock in the morning.    

We don’t have much turnover staff-wise but this year a new “young” (30something) colleague has joined the team. He was ready to throw himself out of the window by 10 o’clock I think.

At times to try and combat the general cacophony we discussed music.. er.. worth talking about (in a music snob type kind of way, of course). I have turned him on to Augustus Pablo lately and he is in the process of recommending early hip-hop and rap that I should investigate. I can’t remember precisely why now, but he mentioned the name George Clinton today. “God” was my immediate response.  I urged him to explore all of the Parliafunkadelicment Thang catalog.

Funkadelic – Music For My Mother (single version A side) 1969  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Door #18

The blog has experienced a spike in hits today. On investigation the popular page is Door #15. Why? Not for the music it turns out, not even for the reference to Chelsea. No, many of my visitors today have one thing in common, they are Oldham Athletic fans and they are following a link to Door #15 (posted by an evident fan of Feel It, and Latics fan, in Thailand!) all for a picture of Jim Steel. Who is Jim Steel? Well, it must be the footballer in orange in the picture on the front cover of the Chelsea program who is obviously a Latics leg-end! (I've looked him up and he played for them between 1978 and 1983 and has been described as a big, aggressive centre forward - those were the days!).  

Just one small example of the power of the Internet!

From Door #15 back to Door #18, by way of Door #3! I don't normally do requests, but it's Christmas after all.

Here's another one from Brixton Cat.

Joe's All Stars - The Judge 1969

PS: Coincidences - I have said before that I love them. Here's another one: In 1982 while Jim Steel was still at Oldham Athletic, they appointed a new manager, and I'm sure many Latics fans would say he was their greatest ever - his name was Joe Royle. I therefore clearly have to dedicate this post to Oldham Athletic fans everywhere, thus ensuring another bumper day of hits here at  Feel It!  :)  


Monday, December 17, 2012

Door #17

Note to self: instead of constantly looking for the next piece of vinyl to buy, have a look through your own collection and you might be surprised at what you find. 

I bought the album that this track is from at a boot sale at least a couple of years ago now I reckon. Played it once, nothing grabbed me, so it was filed. I came across it a few days ago, and it is currently staying very close to the turntable. The trick is, of course, to play an album a few times and let it sink in. In my my increasingly obsessive and crazed hunt for vinyl, more and more of it, I too often don't do that.   

Lenny Williams has one of those voices - give him a telephone book to sing and it would be worth listening to. My introduction to him was as the lead singer with Tower Of Power. He had a few solo 45 releases in the late 60s on Fantasy and Galaxy before he joined TOP. The track featured here comes from his first solo album after leaving the Oakland Strokers. The album is called "Pray For The Lion" although that title does not appear anywhere on the cover. The best description I can come up with for this album is understated, but give it a chance and there are some gems to be found... and of course there is also Lenny's voice.

Lenny Williams - Keep On Keeping On 1974 


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Door #16


For me, first it was Nina Simone.

Soon after it was The Tamlins.

Those records have been in my collection for over thirty years now. Yesterday, at a charity shop, I picked up a copy of Randy Newman's "Little Criminals" and so, finally, I got to hear the original.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Door #15

I still have some records at my Mum’s. (in fact I may be filing some more there soon as space is rapidly running out here). This record – “Fuse One” - relocated to chez Darcy a few days ago after spending its entire life at my Mum’s. So be gentle with it, it is still getting used to its new environment.

Back in 1980 Jazz-Funk was very much my bag and I used to spin a lot of it at a club in Bath. Back then Saturdays were often spent thus: jump on the train to London (65 minutes Bristol Parkway-Paddington non stop for £4.50 I think, chance would be a fine thing now); tube to Fulham Broadway; walk to the wiggle at the bottom end of King’s Road; listen to latest imports at Disc Empire and buy a few; grab something to eat; watch Chelsea (then often to be seen in the 2nd Division); tube and train back to Bristol by 7.30pm; drive over to Bath; wheels of steel ‘til 2am.       

I always thought I had bought this record at Disc Empire. Well I did, but I have just found a letter tucked into the sleeve that tells me I must have tried to but it wasn’t in stock so I must have ordered it and had it mailed. The very nice letter (from Mandie) was dated 15th December 1980 and apologised for the more than 3 week wait for the delivery of the record from Japan.

Hmm, I thought, roll back a little over three weeks from that date and who would Chelsea have played then? Sheffield Wednesday it turns out – a “big” Second Division game 3rd v 4th. A quick dive into my stash of football programmes, and yes, I have it. So I probably ordered this record the day I watched Chelsea beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 – 22nd November 1980 (as good as it got that season for Chelsea, they failed to score in any of their last eight games of the season! Also, coincidentally, that season I notice Chelsea were drawn away to Southampton in the FA Cup, as they are this season). 
Back in the day this album’s attraction would have been all about the two dancefloor friendly tracks “Grand Prix” and “Double Steal”, and I probably never really settled down to appreciate the rest of the album. Listening to it again now after all these years I’m really liking the whole thing, and it has great fidelity.

I remember thinking the group were known as Fuse. Received wisdom (not just Wiki actually) tells me the group were in fact Fuse One, and their first album was eponymous. But I’m not so sure, the label and inner sheet both quote FUSE as well as FUSE ONE so it seems the either the group or the album were at least originally intended to be called Fuse.

PS: Disc Empire is sadly no more, gone the way of many independent record shops. The address is now home to The ChelseaTeapot

Friday, December 14, 2012

Door #14

Meco meets Moroder, they lend the Doobies a cow bell and it all gets a bit Chicy - with a Dusty coating. Kitchen sink in there as well I think.

Well, that was my immediate impression. What's yours?

Dog's breakfast? Absolutely not, I love it. Completely missed this one when it was released.

Rescued from a box of about 150 45s I picked up for next to nothing at a Booty earlier this year (there were keepers, ones I can maybe move on, and warped ones only fit for the tip in equal measure).  

Dusty - That's The Kind Of Love I've Got For You 1978

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Door #13

Lucky Dip.

Top drawer Soul of a deep and Southern variety. Recorded sometime in the early 70s is my guess.

I can find no background info on Betty Bibbs. She has an entry on SirShambling (as she quite rightly should), but even the good Sir can shed little light on her, and the link on her page, that tantalisingly hints at more info, is broken. It seems her real name may be Betty J Batiste. A quick Google search led me to a Facebook page for a Betty J Batiste which looked promising, but I'm not on Facebook. A bit more Googling tells me that Betty Batiste is not that unusual a name so the hunt for more information on her will likely be a long one.       

Unfortunately I think my copy of this 45 (on just this side - darn!) is pressed fractionally off centre, although Betty's superb vocals seem to cut through that problem.

Betty Bibbs - First Come, First Served 197?

PS: Piccie above was taken mid spin, I didn't know I could do that without it blurring!  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Door #12

By rights I should have posted this at 12:12, today being 12/12/12.

No matter, I will mark this day with a 12" single.

There was talk at work today of the world ending, but I think they got the date wrong - it's the 21st isn't it? (when the Mayan calendar ends).

Just in case I propose we start partying now.

Floyd Beck - Party Is The Solution 1980

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Door #11

Change emerged in the days immediately after the Disco bubble burst, and so managed to avoid that tag, the one that many people still seem to think is a dirty word. Their sound is generally described as being post-disco or boogie, and they were noticeably influenced by Chic.  Their initial singles – “Lover’s Holiday”, “Glow Of Love”, and “Searching” - are generally recognised as classics now,  and I love them.

I also love this track, which was recorded very late in their career. Whenever I put this on the deck it feels like sunshine pours out of the speakers.

We are feeling the first icy blast of Winter here in the UK, but Change are warming me up very nicely. I hope they do the same for you.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Door #10

Ssshh, Door #10, like Door#9, reveals a mellow place.  

I'm late to the David Axelrod party, but I want more.

This is the final track on his 1977 album Strange Ladies and is a tribute to his third wife. 

David Axelrod - Sandy 1977  

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Door #9

I make door to door deliveries in our area for the local Wildlife Trust magazine. Today I also delivered a round for someone else who was ill. I want their round, it was truly a wildlife experience. First I get to deliver to a Lord Bearpark. Then, at another house, as I was posting the magazine through the letterbox, I realised I was being watched - inside, looking straight at me, there was a life sized zebra wearing large green sunglasses! Truly surreal.  

Back to Earth, except not exactly, here is something perfectly suited to a quiet Sunday evening in by the fire.

Gloria Lynne - Out Of This World 1965      

Buy Gloria Lynne - Love Songs: The Singles Collection

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Door #8

Back to the Reggae compilations again, and this rounds off my recent hat trick of finds. These two tracks come from "20 Dragon Hits" which was released in 1973 I think. 

Rhythms have always been shared and "versioned" amongst reggae artists and producers. But sampling is something I don't think of associating with any record pre 80s. This I-Roy track sampled The Meters "Sophisticated Cissy".   

Freddie McKay - Our Rendezvous

I-Roy - Dr. Who

Friday, December 07, 2012

Door #7

It was a stay at home day today, waiting for a new gas cooker to be delivered. When it arrived the installer said he couldn't do it because there was something wrong with our gas meter. So no new cooker but a new gas meter instead! This new meter looks like it has come out of the ark. The old one was nice and compact, had a digital display, and was silent. The new one is none of those things and is, in fact, so big we can no longer completely shut the door of the cupboard it’s housed in. Not exactly progress.  

On the positive side while I was hanging around I did a bit of a record filing and reorganizing, and in the process dug this little Stax nugget out of the I-M box.

It has that irresistible slinky Memphis groove. Jump up, grab your partner, or your favourite tipple, or the cat, engage a slow wiggle, and shuffle around the sofa, or the kitchen table, or the Christmas tree.

PS for Ally: sorry, chocolate in tummy again.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Door #6

This one dropped through the letterbox today. It came out of the mailer 10 minutes ago and you are hearing the result of its first play on my turntable.

Patti Drew is Miss Reliable, I find.

PS: I reckon I am going to be sailing close to the wind with my bandwidth this month so have started using Mediafire again. The download stats on Mediafire seem a bit flaky nowadays so can anybody confirm that downloading is OK?  

UPDATE: It seems the Mediafire links are causing problems. The link above has been updated (to download: right click and save as.. - I think!). Let me know how this one works out. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Door #5

As one door closes another opens.

After playing my Honey Cone 45 yesterday I put on this one by Ike & Tina Turner. In it there is a line “... one monkey don’t stop no show…”, which it just so happens was the title of one of Honey Cone’s 1971 top 20 hits.

I like coincidences.   

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Door #4

When I picked this up at a car boot I didn’t notice it had a crack, all the way from the edge to the label. All things considered it plays pretty well. Could you say that about a CD?

Honey Cone were Carolyn Willis, Shelly Clark, and Edna Wright and were active between 1966 and 1973. 1971 was their big year – “Want Ads” made #1 in the US and they had another couple of top 20 hits that year too. By 1972 this single barley made the top 100 in the US. My UK issue would have been one of only a few to have troubled the UK chart compilers I guess.   

Their Wiki entry tells me that Shelly Clark married Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire. So they have now been hitched for about the same number of years as Mrs Darce and me.

Honey Cone – It’s Better To Have Loved And Lost 1972  

Monday, December 03, 2012

Door #3

I promised more from my recent hat trick of Reggae/Ska album finds. I picked up “Brixton Cat” for the princely sum of 15p at a car boot. Whoa! The only shame is that the previous owner tried to peel the sticker off the front cover. I would have been perfectly happy with an intact big yellow 19/11. Never mind.

As the back cover says: “Joe’s All Stars present their first album for your dancing pleasure”. That’s Joe Mansano, featuring here, ladies and gentlemen, the great Rico Rodriguez, MBE.

Ethereal, and hypnotic….

Joe’s All Stars – Reco’s Torpedo 1969   (link corrected)

(you may have to crank this one up a bit, it's a quiet pressing). 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Door #2

Behind door #2 we have another NOLA based label that doesn’t scan well!  

Here’s a great double sided slab of R&B slanted Soul from Bobby Powell. Everything I know about Baton Rouge native Bobby I read here (how I miss the Brown Eyed Handsome Man! J )

I bought this 45 recently from a, by all accounts, legendary UK based Northern Soul dealer who has just moved into semi-retirement due to ill health. I suspect it had occupied his garage (or wherever he stored his records) for more years than it had spent in its place of birth. Something I find fascinating.

Buy Into My Own Thing (You may have heard the term "Rip Off Britain". Here is an example - the CD linked is issued by Westside a UK based company. On Amazon UK it is c£21 on Amazon USA it is correctly described as an import and is only c$16. Huh?!) 

Saturday, December 01, 2012

All I want for Christmas?

I’m a bit of a grumpy old Darcy at the moment:  had a tooth out a few days ago (of all the ones it had to be the one with the gold crown – reminds me of one of my favourite Steely Dan tracks “.. you throw out your gold teeth…” ), it remains as painful now as it was before it came out …hmm… did he take the wrong one out I wonder? On top of that the car wouldn’t start yesterday, so that is bound to be more pain (in the wallet). And then of course there is my football team and the little problem of the basket case owner with loadsamoney and no sense. Never mind, keep drinking the wine, and the whisky (for medicinal purposes, of course).

Oh well, at least its December so I get to have a chocolate every day from my Advent calendar.

And a chocolate a day means a record a day, that’s the way it works here now.    

First up is The Ballads, a West Coast (SanFran) harmony/ sweet soul group that formed in the early Sixties and had a number of releases through into the Seventies with little success. Four of those releases came out on the Venture label which was set up by MGM to feature Soul acts.

I’m really liking this one at the moment. Leon Ware and, latter day Supreme, Susaye Greene on writing credits (reading Susaye’s Wiki entry I see she shares a birthday with my mum). Warm vocals, tasty background harmonies and a memorable arrangement. The Ballads deserved some success with this one.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Reggae warm up

As promised here are a couple from the batch of reggae 45s I managed to grab on a cold morning last Sunday at a local boot, I say "managed" because my fingers weren’t working very well due to the cold. I actually suffer from Raynaud’s which can make riffling through records difficult on cold mornings (my fingers go white but not blue which would look really scary).

I can offer nothing at all in terms of background to these records beyond the fact that I like them and hope you do too.

The Sunshot 45 is a bit quirky – the K Poppins sticker is covering up another title and the label on the other side quotes Linval Thompson Jah Jah Reder Than Red (actually what attracted me to it), but the grooves contain Keith Poppin and a Version. The vinyl is also incredibly thin to the point that it almost feels like a flexi disc! I think this is a reissue.

After these by way of a sweet and mellow warm up I’m off to the local pub to jump on the Ska Train.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Banksy

There! All it takes is a couple of comments on one of my posts (thanks Davyh and dvd) and a successful weekend of digging to banish my blogging blues and put an end to my latest posting crisis.

There was a little record fair in town at the weekend. It happens roughly quarterly and tends to be focussed on 50s and 60s R&R, rockabilly and early R&B. I think I may have mentioned it before. There are usually a few soul boxes as well and this time one of my favourite dealers made an appearance. He always carries a good selection of soul 45s it seems and this time was no exception. So while the room was filled with the sound of rockabilly on various decks hooked up to speakers, I was pulling soul 45s, spinning them on a portable deck, and desperately trying to hear them with headphones clasped tight to my ears.

I picked up six 45s in the end that I later admitted to Mrs Darce left a bit of a hole in the wallet – “you spent how much?!”. Yes, well, £25 on just one of those 45s sounds a lot to the uninitiated I guess. It’s quite a lot for me to pay as well really, but I know it’s peanuts to many of the vinyl hungry. The rest of them didn’t come close to being that expensive though, and it’s one of these I’m featuring here, and is the one I’m really punching the air about.

A while ago I featured a Bessie Banks 45that was an issue copy of a release I had only ever seen as a same sided demo before. Well here we are again with another Bessie Banks release that, although is out there as an issue, seems to mainly surface as a same sided demo. This was Bessie’s only outing on Volt, neither incarnation are easy to find, and when they do turn up they usually seem to sell for quite a bit more than I paid for my copy. I bought it for the “Try To Leave Me…” side, one of the greatest examples of soul music you could wish to find, mellow and deep all at the same time. But turning it over what did I find? Another song in the same mould almost as good as the A side, and that puts this 45 fair and square in the “killer” category. 

I notice that “Aint No Easy Way” has very recently made a couple of appearances on YouTube.  But apart from that there doesn’t appear to have ever been a “buzz” about this song. It clearly warrants some “buzz”, and Bessie Banks is a singer held in high regard too, in soul circles at least; so I wonder if a batch of issue copies have been found recently in some forgotten warehouse and are now trickling out into the wild? Certainly the only picture of it on YouTube shows a copy just like my latest prize – an issue copy with a promo stamp on it.      

And the sublime…

There are a couple of car boot sales ‘round abouts that are continuing on into the winter. Sunday’s early morning visit to one of them (where I had to cope with malfunctioning fingers due to the cold!) turned out to be worth it too. A nice little batch of obscure reggae 45s, mainly of the Lovers variety. Some of those next time.

Friday, November 09, 2012

One minute of your time

I’m conscious it’s been some time without a post again. I’ve sort of lost the beat of this thing recently. It’s partly because I have become completely obsessed with reading a couple of record collector forums – Waxidermy and VG+  which seem to take up most of my online time lately. I’m what’s known as a lurker on them at the moment and it's possibly just a phase... but there again I am in the process of trying to register on VG+ to allow me to post (Waxidemy is a bit more intimidating and heavily US biased, and quite frankly I struggle to keep up with the lingo sometimes). Anyway, registering on VG+ is proving difficult and I’m beginning to think that is a good thing because if I end up posting on the forum as well as reading it could be curtains for this blog – and I don’t want that to happen.

I was chasing a Cynthia Sheeler 45 on ebay recently but in the end the bidding ran away from me. To make myself feel better l have been playing this 45 a lot, the only one of hers I do own. Once again I have Sir Shambling to thank for bringing Cynthia to my attention. She has a lovely voice and didn’t record enough.

I particularly love the subtle change of gear and what amounts to an extended outro on this song. And it’s on my favourite label!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Boss Hat Trick!

Picked this LP up today for a £1 in a local charity shop. I have a big grin on my face.

This is the third Reggae album I have picked up for peanuts in recent weeks, and none are trashed. More from the others in the weeks to come no doubt.

This particular track has been on repeat this afternoon. 

Lester Sterlin - Reggae On Broadway  1969  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Where was I?

Ah! Sorry, forgot to say last time: I was off on holiday. Mrs Darce and I swapped the endlessly indifferent (or is that just plain bad?) weather here in the UK for 10 days of endless sunshine in Spain. Nerja to be precise – we can thoroughly recommend it!

Back now. Back yesterday actually, and the first thing we did was go out for lunch at a local hostelry – it’s difficult to break the habit. In the front bar there were just us and one other couple. Then, a group of four ladies (what lunch) arrived and sat close to us. Close enough that we could not help but hear their conversation. One of the group had just come back from her holiday - in Nerja! How spooky is that?

I’m catching up on my many recent boot sale finds now. A few weeks ago I picked up this little collection of 45s. A mix of ska, rocksteady, reggae, and soul.      

They were all sleeveless and all looked pretty trashed – reggae records, at least, always are it seems – but at 10p a pop it was worth a punt. And they cleaned up very nicely; not a hop, skip or a jump between them. Some inevitable surface noise, but it all adds to the atmosphere. (Curiously the soul records in this bunch are all on labels beginning with the letter M - I left a few ZZ Hill 45s on MHR behind as well, although, now, I don’t know why). Wiping away the dirt at least took them back someways towards the Sixties sweaty basement mod hangout where they must surely have first spun their magic.

As another two weeks have passed since my last post I thought I would pick four of these to play by way of a catch up. The first is appropriate as I have spent much of the last couple of weeks sat on a beach in Spain reading Lloyd Bradley’s comprehensive history of reggae, and Jamaica – Bass Culture. It is also perfectly fits the description of "moody and magnificent". Any link between the second and a certain current high profile UK news item is, I assure you, purely coincidental. "Ole!". Both are B sides but deserve much more. The third and fourth are both “on the money” soul sides so to speak.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

File under whimsy?

What’s that hiding in that mutilated sleeve? 

As promised here is another 45 I was very happy, and surprised, to find at a local boot fair recently. A lady was selling a few boxes of singles at 3 for a £1. I bought £3 worth, including this one. The boxes contained a very unusual and eclectic mix, certainly not something you normally find at boot sales. It transpired her husband works for a local second hand record shop, one in fact I rarely visit now as, in my experience, I have rarely found anything worth buying and they seem to be equally rarely willing to buy anything off me! (I am not alone here either, and I wonder where they get their records from!).

Anyway, by offloading at a boot sale I think they missed a trick with this one. None other than Mr Allen Toussaint had a lot to do with this record. The credits tell you he arranged it, they also tell you he wrote it – Toussaint often used his mother’s name, Naomi Neville, in writing credits around this time – and he is undoubtedly playing piano on it. The ALON label was a vehicle for much Allen Toussaint output in the early to mid Sixties. Hold a mirror up to the label name and of course NOLA appears. (Try and scan it though and the results are not good – as Ana-B has already pointed out).

The record sounds somehow familiar to me. It’s possible I suppose that I have heard it before here. Back in 2006 I was relatively new to the blogging game and Home Of The Groove was an early destination for me. Reading the post (again?) and its comments I learned that this track, or at least its basic form, was originally used as the backing track for Benny Spellman’s “The Word Game”.

It is a very difficult to categorise this record by The Stokes. To me it sounds like it would not be out of place as background music to a TV series of the time, something a bit tongue in cheek or a bit skewed - The Avengers for example. Hey! maybe, that’s where I heard it before? Anyway, I like it a lot and I think I will file it under “whimsy”. The sleeve it came in sort of lives up to the whimsical tag too!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Catching up

This year the boot fair season has, generally, been a disaster. The weather of course has been the main problem. Many washed out weekends; and if it wasn’t raining the fields in which most of these events happen remained too saturated, which led to more cancellations. On top of that my experience has been that even when I did manage a trudge around a damp field there were hardly any records to be found. On more than one occasion this year my swag bag remained completely empty, something I have not been used to before.

This all changed a few weeks ago though, and the record room (the dining room actually, which is now subject to very little dining being as it’s full of records and pets!) is now seemingly awash with boot fair, and charity shop, finds. Just like buses, the vinyl seems to have all come along at once since September started.

Not much of this vinyl has been in the genres I stick to here – i.e. soul, funk, reggae, and jazz - but there has been some.

Where to start?

Two weeks running I have picked up bargains (50p or less) at boot sales from sellers I knew, or discovered, were established record dealers/traders. This ”Curley Moore” 45, for example, I bought from a guy I know to be a dealer who also has his own website selling soul and funk stuff at reasonable (but not cheap) prices, and I’m sure this 45 could have featured and sold for much more than 50p on his website. Occasionally I see him at a local boot fair knocking stuff out at no more than a pound. He has apparently got about 10,000 records in a lock up somewhere so I suppose now and then he has to have a purge, and I guess it’s inevitable that a few pearls will get mixed in to the more general run of the mill bits he is trying to clear.   

He, of course, may not think this 45 is a pearl, and his friend who seems to always accompany him at the fairs certainly didn’t know it, although I think he suspected it shouldn’t have been nestling in a chirpy chirpy cheap bin. Damn, the titles are clues enough!

Even if it transpired that the grooves of this 45 contained rubbish it is certainly worth 50p for the label. Look more closely at the label though and it becomes clear this 45 has a NOLA pedigree – a certain Mr Eddie Bo(cage) is all over the credits and has most certainly has more to do with this 45 than Curley Moore hence my use of the quotation marks above . Dropping the needle confirms that what’s in the grooves is far from rubbish, but also not funk in the classic sense. Two sides that are, I think,  actually more akin to freakbeat than funk, but they really hit the spot. On the A side it’s Eddie Bo playing the organ and in so doing adding the funky icing to the freaky cake.

Another 45 with another NOLA legend hiding in the credits next time. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Waiting over...

As last month wore on, a combination of nothing to do at work and more disappointing weather left me feeling distinctly listless. If you are (or should that be were!) a regular around here you will have experienced a consequence of my ennui – the longest period of inactivity for Feel It since I started this little indulgence over six years ago.

But then September began and brought with it, as is so often the case, better, calmer weather. Quiet days, mellow light - my favourite month was acting true to form. The boredom is still present at work but it seems that September serenity has driven away the listlessness and left me with at least a blissful ennui.               

Waiting over…
So it was a week or so ago I was ready to contemplate another post here. Then I realised that something else that had been bugging me – and that I had initially put down to my general restlessness – was a real problem. My records didn’t sound quite right – some tinniness/distortion in the higher frequencies… that appeared to get worse on the inner tracks of an album. Was that possible? A quick bit of Googling confirmed that the clues were there, and entirely consistent with the stylus on my record playing machine being worn out. Let’s hope no lasting damage has been done to those records played in recent weeks. A new one is now installed and the difference is clear.
So now I have been able to play again an album I acquired a few months ago and share it with you.

I have realised recently that Denise La Salle is one of my favourite soulstresses, and when I’m feeling a bit low her voice acts as a sort of comfort blanket. Denise has had a long recording career. It is difficult to keep the quality high all the time when one is so prolific and Denise’s catalog has some highs and lows I think, but one of her early albums “On The Loose” is definitely in the top quality bracket. Strong tracks abound, including “Your Man And Your Best Friend” a track I featured here as a 45 B side a couple or so years ago. The only really false step is a cover of “Harper Valley PTA”, which should have been left in the can. Two tracks for you to enjoy:  “What Am I Doing Wrong” has Denise sounding wistful and mellow, and “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home” is one I always knew from Ann Peebles’ version, and didn’t know until I bought this album that Denise had written it.    

Denise La Salle – What Am I Doing Wrong 1973

Denise La Salle – Breaking Up Somebody’s Home 1973

Buy “On The Loose” on a twofer with her debut “Trapped By A Thing Called Love”.

PS: On the inner sleeve of this album is written:
Maximus ‘77
1st Prize.
I would love to know the story behind that, but guess I never will.

PPS: Waiting over…
The car boot season has been generally disastrous this year… until a couple of weeks ago. More of that anon.