Archive for the 'Funk and Soul' Category


we made a new mix!

So, Andrew and I were looking for inspiration the other day, when we came to the realization that we needed to make the greatest live show ever by stitching together all our favorite live tracks into one super concert.

I think it came out pretty good!


Bruce Springsteen – She’s the One
The Allman Brothers – Can’t Lose What You Never Had
Waylon Jennings – T is for Texas
Van Morrison – Shakin’ All Over/ Gloria
The Who – A Quick One While He’s Away
Bob Seger – Trying to Live My Life Without You
Janis Joplin – I Need a Man to Love
Sly and the Family Stone – You Can Make it if You Try
King Curtis – Memphis Soul Stew
The Doors – When the Music’s Over
Eric Clapton – Double Trouble
Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues
Tony Joe White – Boom Boom
Mountain – Long Red
Stevie Ray Vaughn – Voo Doo Chile
Ted Nugent – Stranglehold
Cheap Trick – Surrender
War – Bolero
Santana – Jingo
Bob Marley – Kinky Reggae
Kool and the Gang – Walk on By/ Chocolate Buttermilk
Isaac Hayes – Ain’t No Sunshine
George Thorogood – One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
Ten Years After – I’m Going Home
ZZ Top – La Grange
Dirty Mac – Yer Blues
Peter Frampton – Doobie Wah
Bill Withers – Harlem Cold Baloney




songs everyone should own: travis wammack – easy evil

Like a bolt of lightening out of a quiet storm, country star Travis Wammack definitely hits the spot with this soulful smooth number that seems like it should be getting airplay on any number of seventies stations.

But it’s not.  Instead, you may have heard one of the many other versions by Captain and Tennille, Merle Saunders or the original by Larry Carlton.

This is still my favorite version.


sir victor uwaifo – guitar boy superstar 1970-76

The more you dig into Africa’s rich musical history, the more gold you eventually will find.  This appears to be especially true when it comes to Nigeria which was home to more talent than most hemispheres.  While Fela might get all the recognition, there are a lot of other guys out there that are no less deserving like Sir Victor Uwaifo.  This collection, which chronicles his career in the seventies goes a long way to getting across that genius with some hand picked gems from the man.

Victor was truly a superstar and famous not only for his music, an offshoot of Highlife called Joromi, but also for his accomplishments in writing, sculpting, instrument invention and his former career as a wrestler. Not only that but he was also a Nigerian ambassador and was once the Commissioner of Culture!  Born in Benin in 1941, Victor built his first guitar at the age of 12 and was awarded Africa’s first gold record for his hit song “Joromi” at the age of 18.

This masterful collection, from the always on point Soundway Records, covers Uwaifo’s Ekassa period in the early to mid seventies.  He has just returned from his stint in the capital of Lagos and came hjome to start the new decade with a mixture of  ancient Benini Obas music, highlife jazz and a little rock and soul to create something just as special as afro-beat, but on an entirely different tip.  These were pretty rare recordings and most were unreleased until Soundway got their grubby little mitts on them, polished them up and reissued them here.  Consider it a gift that they did because this music could make a suicide seem upbeat.

All this is well worth it for a guitar player who is also well known for being able to play with his feet and his tongue!  Look out ladies!

On Itunes HERE.

On Amazon HERE…$8.99!



songs everyone should own: michael wycoff – looking up to you

This is one of those nuggets that almost everybody recognizes, but no one knows the title or who sang it.  It was Michael Wycoff (FTW,) from his 1982 album “Love Conquers All.”

But you probably knew that.


boombox – visions of backbeat

Every now and then an album like this pops up that appeals to so many of my musical sensibilities all at once that I am left to wonder how it slipped past my nets.  I mean, I listen to a lot of stuff!  Like…tons!

But slip past Boombox did, although only by a few years which is nothing in musical time.  “Visions of Backbeat” dropped in 2004, so I wasn’t too far off, but what singer/songwriter Zion Godchaux and producer/DJ Russ Randolf came up with is pretty transcendent.

They originally met while working on the Heart of Gold Band album “At the Table.”  Zion is the son of Keith and Donna Godchaux (who formed Heart of Gold Band) who were an integral part of the Grateful Dead during some of my favorite Dead years.  Soon after meeting with Russ though, the two had formed Boombox and started recording in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The area itself is known as a hotbed of American roots music, and some of those sounds definitely find their way into Boombox’s music…but that isn’t all.

To try and label this music as any lone genre is pretty much impossible, because the duo have incorporated so much into their work.  Hip hop, rock and roll, psychedelic, blues,electronic and jam band roots all seem to float in and out of every track with ease.  All with that deep funky back beat.   Unique is the only word that comes to mind.  Uniquely American.

In my head, I can’t help thinking American rock/St Germain.

Their first big hit “Stereo” was one of the big stand outs on this album, but don’t go thinking that that is all there was.  This baby is as  solid as concrete.

I haven’t had a chance to catch them live yet, but that is now on my short term bucket list since I hear they put on a hell of a show.  If you like what you hear here, I also recommend their new album “Downriverelectric” which includes this bitchin’ version of “Shakedown Street.”

Check their website HERE.

Download the whole she-bang at Amazon for $8!  Bargain!


songs everyone should own: timmy thomas – why can’t we live together

Timmy was a great soul singer, producer and keyboardist who originally cut his chops accompanying Donald Byrd and Cannonball Adderly.  This remains his only big hit (from 1972), and not one you hear very often…but if you were to dig into his lengthy back catalog you might find a lot more gems like this as Mr Thomas has been dropping bombs since the mid sixties.

I will give props to the local oldies station for dropping this the other day, I take back all those things I said about you.


artists everyone should follow: mr scruff

There are a lot of great DJs slash producers out there, but none of them get my vote like Mr Scruff does.  Aside from putting out some amazing albums of electronic music, he is also a great illustrator, marathon DJ and tea enthusiast.

Born Andrew Carthy, Scruff started DJing in 1994 at the age of 22 around Manchester, England. His name came from his scruffy facial hair and odd cartooning style.  He released his first single, “Hocus Pocus” on the small Rob’s records label. He dropped his first album “Mr Scruff” soon after, but due to some odd choices of lay out, it is often referred to as “Mrs Cruff.” Eventually he would transition over the the trip hop centric Ninja Tune label.

To be honest, you’ve probably heard of Mr Scruff even if you weren’t aware of it thanks to his big hit “Get a Move On” which was used in multiple commercials.

He is kind of considered a national treasure in England and amongst fans world-wide for his six hour or longer sets, where most DJs would only play for two or three.  And his taste…where to begin? It’s hard to pin down, but I’d venture to say he likes any kind of music that’s good, which covers a lot.  So a set could begin with some Orchestra Baobab and end up six hours later with some Macka B.  But the musical journey in between is wonderful to say the least.

He has an avid fan club on his website too HERE, as well as a popular line of teas (yes…teas!)

But better yet, Scruff has an active Soundcloud page that you should book mark HERE, where he regularly posts new work and giant DJ sets like the ones I’ve posted below.   That’s eighteen hours of music right there.

If you are savvy enough to join his fan club, you’ll receive updates, announcements and even download codes for some of said 6 hour sets…which make for excellent iPod stuffing.



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