Thursday, March 30, 2006

I Want My Baby Back

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Here's another one I recently bought and haven't been able to find anything about, Sonny McLaurin & His Mustangs "I Want My Baby Back". I believe Fayette is a Philly label, and the run-out groove says Virtue Studio, so I'm assuming this group is somewhere from the Philadelphia area. I guess it could also be courtesy of the note from the seller on the sleeve that says "off-wall Philly". Any details on this 45 would be greatly appreciated, as well as any information on the Fayette label (a discography would be great).

"I Want My Baby Back" is a raucous, uptempo r'n'b tune just chugs along nicely. It's straightforward, almost trance-like in it's furious little groove. I like the horns in the middle that sound outta tune, but that doesn't stop them. They just keep chugging along. I didn't say it was pretty, but it is damn catchy.

The only mention of this record I've found on the web is it's inclusion in Mr. Finewine's "Downtown Soulville" show from August 6, 2005. I think I'm gonna give the show a listen. Some quality r'n'b there.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Baby, Do That Thing

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Tonight, a great 45 courtesy of Honey & The Bees, "Baby. Do That Thing", released on the Arctic label in 1969. Honey & The Bees released a number of 45s on the Arctic label and then subsequently moved to Josie, and finally, the Bell label (a full discography is available at the Soulful Kinda Music website).

"Baby, Do That Thing" has a churning mid-tempo groove propelled by by solid drumming, plenty of bass, some modest guitar lines and punchy horns. And let's not forget the bongo player who gets the spotlight when everyone stops on a dime. An indirect dance tune, "Baby, Do That Thing" has lyrics that persuasively implore "baby" to hear the music, get on the floor, make their hips move; meanwhile, the audience is moving their hips and feet as well. An addictive tune, one I can easily have on repeat.

Unfortunately, I do not have a sound clip for this tune. But I strongly recommend checking out the soundclips available at, especially "Love Addict", another favorite that I hope to bump into on 45. For now, I'm gonna find me a Honey & The Bees collection on CD since I do most of my listening in the car these days.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Home Cookin'

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Last weekend was the 45s and 78s only show in Allentown, and after a quiet start to 2006, I managed to pick up a number of 45s that I had been after. One of them was the 45 featured tonight, The Trend's "Home Cookin'" on Capital. Before I say anything about this track, have a listen here. Heavy on the horns, and it moves at a breakneck pace for the entire tune. Later on, the sax gets a solo & then other horns come in and play various lines, seeming to weave in and out of each other, which is a nice effect. Then the horns pull back and let the organ have some over the drums and the guitar. Then the horns crash in, and they're back to the original theme to take it on home.......

It seems alot of collectors solely chase independent releases, but hard-hitting funk sides on major labels always make me curious and leave me wondering. Throw-away side? I don't think so.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fonky First

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I'm surprised that I have really not been able to find much information on this 45. I know it comes from a sought after LP entitled "Conversations With..." (which the drum break on "Fonky First" has something to do with), but I have not been able to find anything as to where the group was from, what year the 45 or LP was released, etc. Segue Records has an address of Pittsburgh, PA, and I thought I had heard that the group itself was from that area, but I have not been able to confirm that.

"Fonky First" builds on a sparse groove featuring some tough drums & heavy bass, adding wah-wah guitar, some ace flute bits & a touches of xylophone. The guitar gets fuzzed out as the vibes come in, and then the sax appears as the song crashes in on itself for a spell, only to have the elements separate out as the sax solos over the original elements of the drums and bass and guitar. Quality.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Black Is Beautiful

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Tonight, a very special 45 that I was lucky to purchase last year, The Trinikas' "Black Is Beautiful / Remember Me" on Pearce Records. A great double-sider, "Black Is Beautiful" just edges out the other side for me. This tune has been on repeat all evening.

I don't really think there is much need to comment about this tune, as it speaks for itself. Have a listen here (scroll down most of the page until you see Trinikas on the right hand side).

Friday, March 10, 2006

Don't Mess With My Lovemaker (Part 2)

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Here's a great 45 by Frankie Newsome, "Don't Mess With My Lovemaker (Part2)" on Savern (which for some reason I believe is a Chicago label, but I am not 100% sure). A blind purchase from a few years back that certainly pleases. Especially on a March that got around 70 degrees......

Starting off nice and heavy on the percussion, the bass rumbles in, and then the guitar and horns to fill in the gaps. Frankie repeatedly exhorts everyone in hearing distance not to mess with his baby, and that is echoed by both male and female backing vocals. In the middle, the guitar, bongoes and a tambourine combine only then they dissolve and over the original percussion, Frankie makes his declaration:

Now I gave up everything just to keep her satisfied,
Fellas! hands off unless you wanna lose your life,
Now when you see my baby, forget that silly grin,
Cause when you mess with my baby that's when I come in

I guess that pretty much sums up this tough funker. Hear a clip here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Pretty Li'l Mama

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Here's a great record out of Chicago, The Soul Crusaders' "Pretty Li'l Mama" b/w "Funky Jive" on More Soul Records. I believe this 45 is generally bought for the flip side, and it is quite a hard-hitting funker, but "Pretty Li'l Mama" is the side for me with it's big band funk sound (note the group name - Soul Crusaders Orchestra).

Opening with a sinister bass line and some hard drumming, these elements converge with piano, guitar, and a chorus of horns to establish the groove. And there's not much mucking about with a good thing, so they just ride it out, throwing in a bit of respectable guitar soloing near the end. What a solid tune, and it won't set you back much more than a tenner.

Have a listen to part of this tune here. The flip side can also be heard here.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)

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There are 2 reasons why my posting since the new year has been less than in previous months: the additional responsibilities at my job and the necessity to return 45s won or bought on-line that were properly graded. Consequently, I have cut back on my record purchases significantly, as going to the post office to return 45s is a chore I don't need in the middle of a busy workday. Looks like I'm going to have to resort to only buying 45s I can see before handing over my money......

The good thing about this is that I had a number of 45s that I had bought in the latter half of last year that I had not given a proper listen to, and there have been a few surprises. It's funny how one can hear a song and it doesn't grab them, but several months or years later the same song can elicit the opposite reaction, seeming to grab them by the collar. Tonight, I present a record that has suddenly grabbed me - "Love (Your Pain Goes Deep)" by The Eddy Jacobs Exchange.

With some tough drums, a slow groove is established, and over top of this, there's a forboding wah-wah guitar (with some rock leads), touches of electric piano, and solid jabs from the horns. Strings find the high crevices of the tune, and help the intensity build as the song comes to it's climax. The vocals are full of anguish and supported by a chorus of ladies. Amazing tune that seems to be overshadowed by the Frankie Beverly version of this tune & the sought after "Pull My Coat" funk 45.