We’re taking a trip in the waaayback machine today to revisit the Ohio Players. Do they still make those white capes? Because I want one.
Does anything really need to be explained here?
Truth be told, I nearly shat my pants upon opening this LP. Eric Foss, whoever you are, God bless you, sir. You, along with your label mates, have compiled what has to be the greatest collection of soul, R&B and funk tracks ever assembled. And no, I don’t mean just the greatest collection of lost or rare tracks. Or just Midwestern tracks. The best soul, R&B and funk. Period.
What we’re treated to is a true labor of love, and make no mistake, you’re in for an incredible treat. Twin Cities Funk & Soul is four sides of velvety smooth audio gold, mixing unjustly forgotten musical gems that will no doubt serve as the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s next blaxploitation film. “She’s A Whole Lot’s A Woman” by Mojo and his “Chi 4” is undeniably funkier and hotter than anything Motown was putting out during the same period. Other classics include “There Goes My Used To Be,” a melancholy track by Wee Willie Walker that out-Temptations the Temptations, even without the harmonies. And that’s only disc one!
Also included is a 32-page newspaper compiled by the label that includes biographical info on the artists, more tidbits on the scene itself and tons of rare photos from the time period. Even through the fidelity varies from track to track, it simply doesn’t matter. Taken for what it is, Twin Cities Funk & Soul belongs on every serious music fan’s turntable, and is what every re-issue from here on out should strive to be. Drag City, are you listening?
Speed: 33 RPM
Color: Purple Vinyl (limited edition only)
Extra Content: Bonus 45 included with limited edition, deluxe gatefold sleeve, 32-page newspaper with info on artists and rare photos
Remastered by Cory J. Wong
Produced by Eric Foss
Compiled by Will Gilbert, Eric Foss & Danny Sigelman
Newspaper design by Eric Foss
“Country-rock lost-classic from Ben Harper’s mentor”
If J.J. Cale is a musician’s musician, Chris Darrow is the musician/record collector’s musician. Fluent in the many stringed instruments he found at his grandparents’ music shop, Darrow built a reputation as a member of Jimmy Page’s favorite group Kaleidoscope, and as a session musician (James Taylor, Leonard Cohen). In these roles, Darrow fused disparate vernacular musics (Arabic and old-time? Why not?) for close to five years before Artist Proof, his solo debut, was released in 1972.
A 2009 reissue of his long lost second and third solo albums, Chris Darrow and Under My Own Disguise, respectively, brought overdue accolades to Darrow. Now Drag City, independent label extraordinaire, is reissuing his longer-lost debut. Darrow’s solo material of the time was influenced philosophically by groups like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, who were taking the vernacular music of their homelands and making it rock. For Artist Proof, Darrow drops the world music and psychedelia of Kaleidoscope and focuses on American music, namely country, Sun Records rock ‘n’ roll, blues and old-time.
Much of the record sounds like Gram Parsons backed by the New Lost City Ramblers, with pedal steel, acoustic guitars, mandolins and fiddles taking the spotlight. Unlike other polished country-rock from So-Cal (i.e. The Eagles), Darrow leans closer to a Folkways recording than a Bill Szymczyk record, keeping things loose and not too slick. Opener “Beware of Time” is as good a representation of what rock can add to country and bluegrass. When his scratchy Chubby Wise-style fiddle kicks in on the chorus, you start to wonder about why some albums aren’t commercially successful, why some are and how important publicists can be.
Produced by Denny Bruce
Recorded at Crystal Sound Studios
Engineered by John Fischbach
Taken from Beck’s highly influential 1976 jazz-funk-rock-fusion LP, Wired. Enjoy!
Chilly outside? Then warm up with ICE on this glorious Funk Friday. Enjoy!
One of the best hidden gems collections in the history of pop music, you’ve GOTTA check out this double-LP of Twin Cities funk and soul from the ’60s & ’70s.
More info and sound clips here – trust us, you’ll wanna order this one right away!
Enjoy this glorious Funk Friday, with the LOOOOONG version of this mother of all jams.
Yep, that’s the sample in Will Smith’s “Men In Black.” But don’t let that get you down, instead enjoy the original cut that it came from in this week’s Funk Friday installment.
No, not the lame cover by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, this is the REAL deal.