So, all of a sudden there is a funk scene going on that is worshipping the rare. Good on you I say, but just hold on and think about it. What is rare? To the average person in the street anything that can't be bought or at the very least ordered is rare - to that conception of the word an Anne Sexton single on Sound Stage 7 is as rare as Keb or Snowy's latest acetate from the University of Wisconsin's show band. And let's face it that acetate is going to sound like a badly tuned radio after 10 or so plays - if it didn't already.... And anyway I know a man in Madison who kept a box of the finished record in his loft because his son was in the band. Rare is only a matter of perspective and there probably isn't a rare record scene that can withstand the sudden appearance of 25 pristine copies of a record of which previously there was only one known copy. But hell that has always been the risks that those on the Northern scene have had to live with since the early 70s when that scene became incredibly heavy.
Which brings us to this compilation, from which we released an upfront 45 in the form of the hard and heavy Billy Garner cut Brand New Girl taken from the Dave Hamilton stable. So rare it never came out the first time, but now through the wonders of 50 year old technology it is rocking dancefloors from Camden to Kyoto on a very limited 7 inch. Keeping the Garner quotient up high we have included one side of his only released 45 You're Wasting My Time - Part 2 is great also, but we may as well save that.
Elsewhere we take a delve into the back of Johnny Otis' back catalogue for the awesome shark tribute Jaws and the previously unreleased Comin' At Ya Baby. Keeping up the unreleased pressure we bring you blues legend Pee Wee Crayton with a fatback version of the Crusaders' Put It Where You Want It. Keeping with the blues (and it might as well have been unreleased for all its sales at the time) is Joe Houston's Mr Big H I'm told this James Brown groove isn't the main track on the album, but I love this and that track Kicking Back will feature on Back On The Streets later in the year.
We've brought in the girls as well - from the not so rare but damn good side of the tracks is Thelma Jones with her version of The House That Jack Built, from the same label is Irene Reid - normally associated with the jazz side of the world but this time kicking out the jams on a version of Delaney and Bonnie's Dirty Old Man. Brenda George recorded for producer Miles Grayson and the brilliant What You See Is What You Get appeared on Kent.
Our travels this time have taken us south to New Orleans and Louisiana, with the likes of the Grantby Street Development and Lil' Buck, and of course the New Orleans masters line up of Melvin Lastie, Harold Batiste and Cornell Dupree on Ignant. When we head North Detroit brings us Jackie Harris' early Westbound 45 and Chicago brings us Sidney Pinchback's Syl Johnson-produced Soul Strokes and the Pieces Of Peace groove Pass It On .
So what are we saying to those who want a touch of the funky gospel. Not much I guess, other than let the music do the talking, and get as funky as you need to be.
By Dean Rudland