Gambit and I go way back like babies with pacifiers. Well…maybe not that far back, but he’s a good friend that wanted me to post up a little funk compilation I put together. Being born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, having all my family in the Detroit area, and currently living in Washington D.C., I’ve come across many different 45’s from my travels and always like to share. Every time I come home for the holidays, I tend to round up the choice’est 45’s and record them for a friend…which Gambit got a recording of this past Thanksgiving and insisted on me making a post. Having no internet presence, I figured it was time to make my break.
Thus, I give you a mix of rare and not so rare, soul and funky, up-beat in your face and lyrical harmony…the Thanks For Giving…Funk 45’s compilation.
Thanks For Giving… Funk 45’s (Link will take you to the download)
Brothers Of Soul – I’d Be Grateful (Boo Records):
I typically don’t get too deep into soul, but this 45 had me groovin’. The Brothers Of Soul are a well documented group out of Detroit with the track ‘I’d Be Grateful’ highlighting the sweet yet funky sound of Motown.
Communicators & Black Experiences Band – Is It Funky Enough (Duplex Records):
There had to be something in the water when it comes to Carolina funk because many 45’s from that area have a distinct and unique sound, this one included. The off-beat drums, heavy bass, and ‘Is it funky enough?’ makes this a great funk tune.
Cummings Electric Sounds – Electric Sounds (Twin’s Records):
This 45 comes from a friend a mine here in D.C. that came across a bunch. Supposedly, they were never released, so I felt it was time for this record to shine and get some playing time.
James Brown Plays & Directs – The Popcorn (King):
No matter where you go looking for funk 45’s, sooner or later you’re bound to come across some James Brown. This 45, however, eluded me for quite some time until I came across two copies in 2 weeks! It was a toss up as to which side to include on the compilation being that both sides are bonkers and guaranteed booty-shakin’ madness.
Jesse Fischer – Super Funky (Way Out):
I copped this 45 when I was living back in Michigan, taking random trips to visit friends in Ohio and searching for records. The Way Out label has the distinct two-color spiral label art which is synonymous with many Ohio soul and funk records. The singing soul, yet aggressive style that Jesse Fischer produces makes this a nice piece of ear candy.
Lloyd Price – Bad Conditions (Lloyd Price’s Turntable):
Listening to this 45 just makes me think of how history repeats itself. Many of the issues of war, drugs, and education, that Lloyd Price brings up in this track are still the same issues that concern our society today. The eerie organ intro catches your attention and reminds me of some primitive Sputnik satellite communications.
Lou Courtney – Hey Joyce (Pop-Side):
Flipping through a stack of 45’s on a house call and coming across this had me thinking of some Ohio soul because of the spiral label (as mentioned above), but when I took a closer look, I knew I had come across a 45 that makes the beat-diggers salivate. ‘Hey Joyce’ is not only a great funk track, but opens and contains a ridiculous drum break which producers and listeners alike can get down to. This 45 has gained steam from features in DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist’s Brainfreeze mix and continues to be a crowd pleaser.
Mickey & Ernie – Soul’in (Till The Sun Rise) (Hot Line Music Journal):
Grand Rapids, Michigan… This place never ceases to amaze me when it comes to funk 45’s. Not only is it where I am from, but this place has produced some serious heat when it comes to the obscure realm of funk music. I had been after this 45 for years and it’s one that is slept on. The label art is one of my favorites and coincidentally happens to be the same label as one, Al Greene, or more commonly known as, Al Green, before he became a hit success.
Rudy Robinson & The Hungry Five – The Real Deal (Enterprise):
I am forever grateful to a fellow Detroit digger who handed me this 45 while we were talking about music in a store one day. Up-beat funkiness definitely made this a keeper.
Sir Joe and Free Soul – (I’ve Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind (Part I) (Mantis):
Having moved to Washington D.C., the Sir Joe Quarterman funk record was on my radar having known about it for quite some time. My luck has it, I’ve never came across the actual LP, but within the first week here, came across both pressing of the hit single on the Mantis label (red and blue) before he signed with GSF.
The Adventurers – Easy Baby (Compass):
A Motown-sounding northern soul dance floor burner! The Adventurers recorded one album for Columbia with a couple soul 45’s on independent labels including this one.
The Capprells with The Sul Brothers Band – Close Your Eyes (Bano):
The Capprells 45 is one of those 45’s that I’ve heard at almost any funk night I head out to. I kept putting it in my mind to get a copy but always used the ‘yeah…maybe later…’ logic. I finally nabbed one and couldnt be happier. A crowd pleaser with an upbeat harmonized funky sound which shouldn’t be slept on.
The Young Senators – Jungle (Innovation Records):
I almost did not include this 45 in the set being that it is a bit beat up and I had just found it days before recording the set. This is one of two 45’s from this D.C. band, the other of which was featured on Dante Carfagna’s legendary ‘Chains & Black Exhaust’ mix.
Three Rivers Blues Band – Ophelia (Lion Records):
This is a 45 that I can’t find much info on other than the band was white. This track is definitely funky and definitely a well put together sound.