Funk & Soul Wednesdays – Tom Browne “Funkin’ for Jamaica”

thom browne

Tom Browne is a Jazz trumpeter who was born and raised in Queens, NY. He achieved Gold album status in 1982 with his biggest hit “Funkin’ for Jamaica”, along with his co-writer and lead vocalist Tonni Smith. Tom went on to record ten albums between 1979 – 1999, and he still tours and play shows. Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – James Shorter “Modern Day Woman”

james shorter la beat

I’m taking it back to 1966 with this obscure 45 from James Shorter on the Detroit label, La Beat records. Modern Day Woman can be found on the b-side of Ready for the Heartbreak, and the groove is very different from other Detroit Soul tracks. I absolutely love it! Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – The Ohio Players

ohioplayers

After many mishaps and line-up changes, The Ohio Players finally had their first hit single with “Funky Worm” on the album Pleasure in 1973. The band initially formed in 1959 in Dayton, Ohio, then disbanded twice before going on to have seven top 40 singles in the 70s. They were known not only for their horn grooves and memorable sound, but also for their sexually provocative album covers. Their songs have been sampled by numerous R&B and hip-hop artists, with “Funky Worm” being sampled in over 70 tracks such as “Dopeman” by N.W.A., “Me Myself and I” by De La Soul and “Jump” by Kris Kross. (Pleasure album cover) Follow  Read More

Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 – “From Africa with Fury: Rise”

seunkuti

Sean Kuti, the youngest Son of Fela Kuti, continues his Father’s Afrobeat legacy with his second album, “From Africa With Fury: Rise”. Released in the US on Knitting Factory Records, this album is co-produced by Brian Eno, who is a lifelong champion of Afrobeat. Sean features Fela’s backing band, Egypt 80, again on his second album. Here is Seun & Egypt 80 performing “Rise” on the Jools Holland show. Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – The Meters

the meters

The Meters were a New Orleans funk band that formed in the late 60s and played until 1979. They are considered major influencers of the funk sound even though they never achieved mainstream success. Art Neville was the frontman and went on to form The Neville Brothers with his three brothers after the break up. During the band’s time together, they were the house band for Allen Toussaint’s record label, Sansu, backed the New Orleans legend Dr. John and toured with the Rolling Stones. Here are their two biggest funk classics, “Look-Ka Py Py, Jungle Man” and “Cissy Strut”. Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – Barbara Lynn

barbaralynn

The Empress of Gulf Coast Soul, Miss Barbara Lynn, is a blues legend. This left-handed guitarist, singer and songwriter was born in Beaumont, Texas in 1942 and had her first hit single “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” in 1962. She has toured with Otis Redding, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King and her song “Oh Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin’)” was recorded by the Rolling Stones in 1965. After taking time off to raise her three children, she is back and playing shows again. I have had the privilege of seeing her three times, once with her Son, and she is awe-inspiring. Here is Barbara Lynn performing “What’d I Say” on The !!!! Beat Show in 1966. Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – The Brothers Johnson

brothersjohnson

It’s a gloomy day here in NYC, but nothing that a little Brothers Johnson can’t cure. The main members, George and Louis Johnson, formed The Brothers Johnson in Los Angeles in the mid-70s. They hooked up with legendary producer Quincy Jones, and released four albums before going their separate ways. Louis Johnson is a well-regarded bassist, who played on Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” and “Thriller” albums. Here is the video for their 1980 track, “Stomp!”. Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – Joe Tex

joetex

Joe Tex was an amazing Soul singer from the great state of Texas who died in 1984. Tex and fellow labelmate James Brown had a long running feud, Tex accused James of stealing his sound and dance moves, while James dated Tex’s wife and later fired a gun at him at a bar one night. I present to you two videos, because they both need to be seen. Joe Tex converted to Islam and didn’t record for many years, so this first video is the performance of his comeback hit “Ain’t Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)” on Soul Train in 1977. (Unfortunately, you’ll have to click through to youtube, but it’s worth it!) This second video is Tex performing his hit “Show Me” live in Stockholm, Sweden in 1969 on “The Joe Tex Show”, his television show was only recorded in Stockholm and Madrid. Joe Tex was a rare talent who definitely deserves his place in Soul music history. Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – The Coasters

thecoasters

This Funk & Soul Wednesday is dedicated to Tulum, Mexico, because I just came back from an amazing vacation there.  “Down in Mexico” was released by The Coasters in 1956 and was their very first single.  The Coasters had a way with humorous storytelling and this track is no exception.  You may also recognize the re-record from the ridiculously sexy lapdance scene in Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof”.  Follow  Read More

Funk & Soul Wednesdays – Marvin Gaye

MarvinGaye

Marvin Gaye’s career spanned the entire history of rhythm and blues before he was shot by his own Father at the age of 45.  His legacy carries on, and him and his music will never be forgotten.  Marvin and his band played at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in 1980, and watching the performance of “Got to Give it Up” always make me smile.  Sandra Lee Akaka absolutely destroys it on the cowbell.  If this doesn’t move you, I suggest you check your pulse.   Follow  Read More

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