Friday, May 25, 2018

Let me ride

Most of May has been a festival of sunshine and I for one have been making the most of it, hence it's been quiet again 'round here.

But the rain has returned today (the garden needs it so that's OK for now but, encouraged by a sparkling – if late - Spring, we don't want it hanging around for long ) and has driven me indoors and into the record room which has been rather neglected of late. The records haven't stopped piling up, I just haven't been playing them.

I've had a fair amount of luck in the charity shops so far this year, although not much in the soul and funk bag. The tracks here today come from an album I picked up during an impromptu visit to a real world record shop recently. I had been doing my usual charity shop trawl but felt the need to at least browse some tasty soul and funk so dropped into a proper shop, “just for a few minutes” I told myself. Some considerable time later Mrs Darce phoned me with the “where are you” question. Another afternoon had disappeared!

In this record shop I was immediately drawn towards a large box of albums next to the desk. I enquired whether it was a new walk in and could I browse? I could. The box wasn't exactly a walk in, it was a consignment of 2nd hand albums fresh in from the States – from Philadelphiamusic to be precise. That was interesting in itself. I have sometimes browsed this dealer's extensive stock on Discogs and marvelled and wondered in equal measure. Marvelled at the sheer volume of stock and low prices, but also wondered whether those prices could be too good to be true. After browsing the box it seems the records were generally in great condition, so that's good to know for the future. I mused with the guy in the shop about the shipping and customs cost for the consignment, but he wasn't letting on. Ways and means I guess.

There was nothing earth shattering in the box, just a generally really good selection of solid classics, many of which brought back some good memories. I enjoyed the rummage and the talk around some of the albums.

There was a Rufus album in the box which sparked some mutual love for the group, and next thing I know mein host conjured up an album by a group called High Voltage (not sure whether it came from the box now, or was from his shop stock). It was a new one on me. A 1972 release, the group included Tony Maiden and Bobby Watson who went on to be the guitarists (and sometimes composers) in Rufus, and also Lalomie Washburn on lead vocals who also went on to write some great songs for Rufus (including Your Smile, At Midnight, I'm A Woman I'm A Backbone). There are really tasty organ fills on some tracks too. These were the work of Andre Lewis, who also toured or played with Rufus among other big names, and went on to release albums under the name Mandre. 

A quick needle drop through the tracks convinced me it was a buy. A thick car sleeve and paste on back cover artwork too – such details are very special to an old vinyl junkie!

 It wasn't the only album I bought either (that's why I try to limit my record shop visits!). The Ohio Players Climax and a reissue (because I figure I am never likely to find an original at an affordable price) of Gloria Scott's What Am I Going To Do also found their way into my bag.

Here are two tracks from the High Voltage album. I think Rufus were always out on their own musically, certainly not rock, but not straight soul or funk either. This High Voltage album is in a similar vein, and I think is also reminiscent of early 70s' Tower Of Power as well (those big horns and organ fills).