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Eyeplug gets funky with the strong rhythm and booty shaking sounds that always seem to hit the first beat in the bar, just right, every single time. Horny Horns stew with a deep stabbing basslines and fuse with the crack of a snare, to bring this melting pot of sound via legends like George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, James Brown, Jimmy Castor alongside the great lost unkown treasures still being un-earthed via the nightlife of today’s vibrant scene.

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Funk 0 Comment

Dub Rifles – No Town No Country

The Dub Rifles were a mixture of modernist power pop, ska, punk-funk  and garage soul band, formed in 1980, in Winnipeg Canada. The original members were lead singer/guitarist Colin Bryce, drummer Eloi Bertholet, saxophonist Matthew Challenger and bassist Clint Bowman. A year following their onslaught, a second saxophonist, Dave Brown, was also added. After completing three EPs, the Dub Rifles reached the end of their line in 1984.

Colin Bryce (a.k.a Mohair Sweets and Eyeplug key writer)  has lovingly re-visited the original mster tapes (wherever possible) old vinyl (where impossible) and some vibrant sounding live shows mainly from Montreal cicra 1984 to glue together this rather astonishing until now hidden treasure trove of songs that provide a sterling snapshot of the rampant widespread influences that mashed together to re-surface in these fine forms herein. BUY A COPY HERE

Track One – NO TOWN NO COUNTRY

The Dub Rifles kick off this collection of rare as hens teeth recordings taken from 1981-1984 with an upbeat corker that displays curt interplay between brass, guitar, bass journeys and solid-as-you like drums, this version being lifted straight form the master tapes which helps set the tone.

Track Two – STAND

A choppy, catchy brass riff with slow chanted vocals of ‘are you ready’ and moody booming backing grind and drive this one along and no wonder or real surprise that it was quickly snapped up for a Trouserpress/ROIR ‘Best of American Underground collection at that time – not bad for a Canadian outfit!

Track Three – DELICATE ACTION

Another moddy-powerpop classic in the making, jaunty arrangement, with Bowmans’ bass and Bertholets’ drums squeezing in more explosions among that solid Bryce guitar sound and the dual brass glory from Challenger and Brown. Just teeters on the edge of collapse yet strangley makes sense at the same time.

Track Four – MINE

One of several live recordings taken from Montreal circa 1984, ‘The sun sets in my street and I just choose to get on home’ saw the Dub Rifles venture further into modernist pop perfection with thoughts of even bringing in names such as Georgie Fame to assist on production duties during a studio trip to Toronto. We can only guess at how that would have played out!

Track Five – X

Really cannot get enough of this our fave standout track from this wonderful bunch! A seeming Motown/garage post-punk that is more catchy than a wicket keeper and lingers like a hot n spicey meal. A dark yet uplifting ode to those testing times in life in all of the ups and downs. Deep, personal and yet universal. Well crafted, well played and as we say here: toppermost. Artful, heartfelt and sincere, this really is a lost classic.

Track Six – PRODUCTION OF FUNDS

Free and scratchy funky-soul motion with a no-wave twist that digs at one of the big creative issue that won’t ever change, art versus cash! Remixed deftly by Colin Bryce from the master tapes and serves as a sublime snapshot form this entire era in terms of sonics with that James Brown meets MC5 glow.

Track Seven – TESTIFY

Taken from the BOOM E.P. A no nonsense, what you see is what you get, garage soul blaster. You can almost still smell the  fish soup, weed and patties from the room above the reggae record store that was HQ at the time.

Track Eight – CAFE OF THE FOR

The Two Tone influence is evident here, that mixes with a big punky guitar sound that somehow works against the lyrics of alienation, tedium and the like. Nifty brass stabs build and drift against the wall of sound from the guitar, bass and beat. Live and direct from Montreal 1984!

Track Nine – BOMB SHAKES THE DANCHALL

‘Bomb’ being a hand-drawn character from the sleeve of the first EP, etched into the Bryce imagination dancing on the death of Politics as we know it. Wild sax from Dave Brown ply against Clint Bowmans’ throbbing bass lines with Eloi Bertholet holding it all together with his fine skin-work and proves time and again on this collection that some drummers can also sing! Nice controlled feedback and flourishes from Colin Bryce on guitar and for some odd reason this somehow reminds me of a certain Boris the Spider???

Track Ten – FACE UP!

Another live treat form Montreal ‘84, tight and vibrant sounding, a band really at their peak with everything falling into place yet not sounding over-played and bland. The powerpop punky-funk spirit is alive and kicking here for sure! The balance is just prefect!

Track Eleven – TESTIFY (Live)

Another live alternative workout form Montreal ‘84,  with nice high energy !

Track Twelve – PUNCH

Rolling tom toms and floating  and whooping sax lines underpin this steady mid-tempo affair then at 2:20 all hell seems to let loose, nice!

Track Thirteen – PRODUCTION OF FUNDS (Live)

Another live alternative workout form Montreal ‘84,  with nice call and response and a bit of muttered swearing thrown in!

Track Fouteen – NUMBER ONE 

The virgin tune with refreshed remix, bright and poppy and likeable and illustrates the bands ability to sometimes push to the boundary of chaotic implosion yet veer nicely into complete control. A dancey ska infested beat, this track was much loved by CFRW and top DJ Lee Marshal in particular who even took in the odd live show. Has the familar sound of a lost classic. Some bright arsed advertising guru should grab this as a soundtrack pronto.

Track Fifteen – RELUCTANT HOST 

A tight locked in type of groove with a roots rocker vibe that bounces nicely along recalling youthful summer daze, partying with unwanted annoying guests that turn hosted fun parties into latent doss houses, with a superb guitar break and we really love that effective door slam at the end of the piece! Mighty! The art of gate-crashing is a fine thing!

Track Sixteen – OVER THE TOP

Another live take with a light anti-war guilding via Trenchtown with natty bugle calls in response to a bouncey backdrop.

Track Seventeen – X (Live)

More live mayhem from Montreal with this one comparing nicely alongside the tighter and cleaner studio version.

Track Seventeen – SEE YOU! 

And so ‘bye, bye!’ it is to this interesting and diverse assortment of tracks, sounds and styles that collide and smash but always cut a dash! This final track points what could have been the way ahead for this fine outfit, a more ‘feelgood’ raw rnb seemd to be looming with a subtle hint on display here.

My final thoughts are that this is a well thought out and well packaged VFM product that is an honest and warm snapshot to an underground era that chucked up an almost earnest, innocent way of making music that proudly wore its influences yet steered clear of simply copying them without filter. It therefore  shows that the sound clashed to provide new and inspiring versions that assimilated and embraced the traditional forms without being servants or slaves. That slight tension, twisting and distortion is what made bands like The Dub Rifles so much less bland that much of todays clone-like masses thats simply did not have the day to day struggles to draw from in the same way. Maybe thats a little over generalised but being original and hard to fathom is something to via for. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy of this one!

Sundowning Sound Recordings:

Canadian Music Encylopedia entry: 

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Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 23, 2014 By : Category : Features Front page Funk Garage Modernist Post-punk Reggae Reviews Soul Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – Everett James

This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

Everett James began his musical journey in Asheville, North Carolina. Born in to a musical family he learned the art from his father and performed with his sister throughout his youth. Educated classically and through real world experience, Everett is influenced by a vast variety of artists from Miles Davis, George Clinton, Prince, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, RUN DMC, Tribe Called Quest, to J-Dilla. Live or in the studio, Everett pushes urban music forward and brings the rich legacy of the blues to the future. He took some time out to chat with Eyeplug.net…

01 How did you get started in music?

I was born in to a musical family. My father sang and played in bands when I was a child. He would take me along with him to band practice when I was in pre-school. I’d follow the band mates around and try my hand at making noise on the various instruments. My older sister and I were propelled in to music before we had any choice. We were both performing in front of crowds as children. My father, who is an engineer by trade, later opened a studio in our home. I was constantly surrounded by great musicians and encouraged when they took notice of my talent. I wrote my first song at 7 and was producing music at 12.

02 Where did your direction come from?

My direction defiantly came from my mother. She was the disciplinarian of the family and insisted if we were going to do anything we had to do our best. She made us practice and taught me to be a leader instead of a follower. She is an amazingly creative woman and inspired me to be embrace being different. The discipline is what continues to push me in my career when I go through the ups and downs of this music business.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

When music became a serious thing for me I was totally in to hip-hop. My mother absolutely hated it! I liked the early punk rebellious attitude of it. The first record I ever bought was RUN DMC produced by Rick Rubin. LL Cool J, NWA, Slick Rick, and Public Enemy were my first huge influences. Producers like Rick Rubin, Marley Marl, Prince Paul, and Hank Shocklee were HUGE! Then one day, I was listening to a De La Soul song and my father pulled out a George Clinton album and said…This is where that song came from. From there I learned how to dig and because a student of music. James Brown, P-Funk, Prince, & Stevie Wonder became a part of my vocabulary. I continued to expand my musical vocabulary and was introduced to Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Bob Marley. I am open to various styles of music and really enjoy all creative expression. I’ll go from the Ramones to Chopan!

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

Currently, my life and technology (or the lack of) inspire me. I write and create from a very introverted place and still have this rebellious punk attitude when it comes to trends. My latest album was a reaction to becoming too digital. I found myself staring at computer screens and programming music. I felt like I lost myself in some digital world and that I had to rediscover who I was. I turned the computer off, picked up the guitar, a pen, and pad. I had to go back to where I started and rediscover what it was about music that I enjoyed so much. This album and sound is without the influence of sequencers or digital music. It is focused on the feeling of expressing who I am imperfections and all. I yearned for the feeling I got as a kid when I would bang on the drums, crank up the guitar, and say whatever I felt at the moment.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Expect to see a real musician playing music. Even if I choose to do a fully digital set you will discover that I am a musician. I play music. I improvise. You will never get the same show twice and you never know what to expect from me. I can fit in several different settings and pride myself in being versatile.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I usually start with some kind of melody in my head. I know its a good one because it won’t leave my mind until I get around some kind of instrument. I play all the instruments on my productions so I’ll start with the one that I hear the melody on in my head. Sometimes that is the piano, bass, or guitar. Other times a phrase will stick out in a conversation I was having or in my mind. Then i write first. I hardly ever scribble or edit when I write. I try to just get the idea out as quickly as possible before I get distracted or confused. I write about my life…always have. It may be in some kind of code but the themes and subjects always have some personal meaning.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Well… I became a better musician with age. I also have more life experiences to write from.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

The biggest challenge is always staying true to art and surviving. When your young and idealistic you have this grand idea of what it would be like as a musician. Twenty years later in to your career you have your “what the f*ck and I doing” moments. Thats where the discipline and the love for the art must overcome your emotions. Thats why I have to abandon the trends and just make the music I love to make. I realized that its the feeling of freedom I got when i was a kid making noise that I loved. Not the fame, the money, or the illusion of success. Now I am not denying that I wish to have huge fame, millions of pounds, and international success. I am just saying thats not why I do it. I make music to be free!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I play covers all the time! Covering great artists is the best way to educate yourself as a musician. Its how I get better.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

I am in the process of expanding my music career and producing younger artists. I feel that my next step is to discover and cultivate other artists who feel the same way I feel about the music. In 5 years, I hope to have established my music production/publishing company as a world wide leader in urban alternative music with a stable of artists who all rebel against trends.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Wow… Prince. Rick Rubin. Paul McCartney. Flying Lotus. Dr Dre.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

My latest album titled ‘I AM’ will be released this fall/autumn.

Web Links:
735music.com/everettjames
facebook.com/sireverettjames
735music.bandcamp.com
soundcloud.com/735music
twitter.com/everettjames

Tour dates
Link to buy the current single
www.735music.bandcamp.com

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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August 5, 2015 By : Category : Beats Blues DJs DozenQ Front page Funk Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Cherry Red Album Reviews – May 2013 by Colin Bryce

 The Isley Brothers

isleys

Isley BrothersWinner Takes All (BBR/Cherry Red)

This is funk/soul legends the Isley Brothers 1979 release with – wait for it – an extended 12” disco mix bonus cut! Surprised? Didn’t think so. I can just see the extended mix sittin’ in the record rack back alongside the countless others issued at the time. Funky, hand clappin’, disco-fied and slick as a sweaty dance floor the Isley Brothers and this release were the business for the night club crowd back all those many years ago. The album has aged remarkably well and if I was so inclined to pop my collar and hoop and holla I might very well spin this at my next party. As it is my tastes tend to the more raw and eccentric ancient sounds of funk so while I appreciate this albums place in the Isley’s history the groups slow jams (and there are a few here) and funky ballyhoo will have to wait til I get through some stuff with a little less satin and slappin’. (15 tracks) Buy HERE!

George Jones

jonescountry

George JonesJones Country/You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart
(Cherry Red)

A double album release of country legend George Jones’ early 80s work. Jones’ legendary voice may have left the world but he lives on in the rich recorded legacy he left behind. Many fans will know the great “Hello Trouble” from Jones Country but apart from that one and :Loveshine” from You’ve Still Got a Place in My Heart not much of this approaches a mid or even uptempo. Strictly slow drinkin’, thinkin’ and cryin’ in your beer stuff that works great if you’re cosied up with a bottle yourself but not so much if you’re pullin’ outta the truck stop and wanna get the rig into high gear. (20 tracks) Buy HERE!

Eddie and the Hot Rods

hotrods_rainbow

Eddie and the Hot RodsLive at the Rainbow 1977 (Cherry Red)

Finally! I’ve been waiting a long, long time for some live footage of the Hot Rods line-up that recorded the first LP and so here it is and hey, only 30 years or so later! Not only does the package contain a DVD of the extremely sweaty Rainbow concert but as an added bonus an audio CD version is also included. Nice. The Hot Rods hailed from the same Southend scene that spawned the highly influential Dr. Feelgood and were a unique bunch really in that they basically came in at the tail end of what was known as “pub” rock and were walking the precipice between that crowd and the nascent “punk” bunch. While drawing  on many of the same R&B influences as the Feelgoods, the Hot Rods also mixed it up with some US garage rock/Nuggets standards like “96 Tears”, Seger’s “Get Out of Denver” and UK 60s snarlers like “Satisfaction” and “The Kid’s are Alright”. The simple, amped up, angsty numbers and the fact that the Hot Rods actually made Dr. Feelgood sound complicated endeared them to many a wayward youth and if the Teenage Depression LP cover wasn’t punk (trendy clothes or not) then I really don’t know what was.

Politics and historical bunk aside, for fans of this period of the band this release is a total bonus. Capturing the band at its peak just as Graeme Douglas is set to join them as second guitarist/songwriter the Hot Rods rip through a set of Teenage Depression faves, add a couple of rare ones (“Writing on the Wall”, “Keep On Keeping On”) and then have Douglas come out to noodle all over the last portion of the set. Uh, and he does noodle. Audio of his fretboard workouts is toned down thankfully (seems a bit tentative and unnecessary frankly) and so there is plenty of Dave Higgs (mildy out of tune) telecaster rifferama which is just as it should be. Not so much footage of Paul Gray here but we do catch him from time to time and of course the classic shots of Steve Nicol pounding the kit in his y-fronts. What?!?! Shocking! If I had to guess, and I’m gonna, vocalist Barrie Masters is a bit,uh, peaked at the beginning of the show here. A bit too much of the old crotch grabbing which is kinda weird and strangely unsettling. Maybe there was a nice looking lady in the first row or something he was trying to impress or possibly the trousers were just kinda chaffing but it’s kinda weird. Sorry for noticing folks. There are some amazing shots of the heaving, sweat soaked crowd and the package is sure to bring back some great memories for those of us old enough to remember this exciting period in music. Region free and PAL versions are available so but sure to check when ordering. Many, many, thanks to Cherry Red again for getting this out. (17 tracks.) Buy HERE!

 Them

belfastgypsies_them

ThemBelfast Gypsies (Rev-Ola)

The simple version is that after Van Morrison split Them the group became two with one set decamping to the US to cash in on ‘Gloria” while the remaining fellows hooked up with Kim Fowley and under his tutelage kept it gnarly and simplistic. Neither of the groups ended up much further down the road to success but the Fowley produced Belfast Gypsies furthered the blueprint for garage-rock snarl and whiny organ balladry. Jon “Mojo” Mills’ liner notes quote producer Kim Fowley extensively and Kim points out the fact that Iggy was apparently a big fan of the band’s “Secret Police” 45 track and that it had a big influence on him. I can certainly see the paranoia theme of the track making a whole lot of sense in the A2/Detroit scene as the revolution there grew wilder and woollier. Inspiring some record store clerk at Discount Records in Ann Arbor, MI was never gone pay the bills however and the snarling R&B of Belfast Gypsies was not long for this world as Sergeant Pepper and psychedelic fever kicked the lot of them to the curb side . (18 tracks) Buy HERE!

Los Brincos

brincos

Los BrincosContrabando (él Records/Cherry Red)

Brincosis! Sounds unhealthy but in fact it was the term used to describe the fan mania surrounding Spanish pop sensations Los Brincos. The bands story is told in detail from the beginning here in the liners but this release is based on the period after two of the original members split to form Juan & Junior the new line up hooked up with producer Larry Page (Kinks, Troggs, Hammersmith Gorillas etc) and recorded in London (circa 1967) at Abbey Road, Pye and Olympic Studios. I don’t have a clue as to what they are singing on the Spanish tunes but their marvellous harmony pop is as hip and as catchy as anything the Hollies and many others were crafting at the time. There are a few English language tunes but my guess is that their native language material is a little more involved lyrically. Again, I’m guessing, but the other songs certainly sound more involved.  If any of you Spanish speakers want to drop me a line to confirm this it would be much appreciated. Good stuff either way. (26 tracks) Buy HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Front page Funk Garage Music Reviews Rock Soul Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Ace Album Reviews – May 2013 by Colin Bryce

The Ace (USA) Story

acestory5

The Ace (USA) Story – Volume 5 (Ace)

Here we are at fifth and final volume of Ace (UK’s) visitation through the history of its namesake – Ace Records, originally of Jackson, Mississippi. Originally released on vinyl by Ace (UK) this set now includes numerous bonus cuts (9 on this volume alone). The original Ace label – founded in 1955 by Johnny Vincent – was home to countless classic blues, R&B and rock’n’roll gems. This release alone includes the likes of Huey”Piano” Smith (“Educated Fool”), Frankie Lee Sims (“Well Goodbye Baby”), Eddie Bo (“Roll ‘em Back”), Sugar Boy Crawford (“Jockomo”) and many others. The sound as always is top notch and the liner notes chock full of pictures, sleeves and detailed track information. The best idea of course is to pick up all five volumes. (24 tracks) acerecords.co.uk

Dan Penn

danpenn

Dan PennThe Fame Recordings (Ace)

From the vaults of Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama we are served up twenty-four tracks from one of the legendary architects of Southern Soul. This collection finds the young Dan developing his craft but whether he’s performing an aching ballad, mid-tempo groover or a straight up soul stormer Dan Penn delivers. His smooth, smokey voice wrapping tales of love, deep feelings and passion with a hickory smoked edge. Of course it is important to mention here that his principal song-writing partner Spooner Oldham and his masterful keyboard work were a key ingredient in the sound of Southern Soul and Spooner is credited with co-writes on all but five of the tracks included. Add Rick Hall’s Fame Studio and the incredible musicians who played there and there can be no argument that this is the kind of music that makes anyone with an ounce of feeling in their soul stop and give it a good listen. The accompanying booklet provides great detail into the sessions, songs and Penn himself. Kudos to Alec Palao and Dan Penn for a superior collection. (24 tracks) Buy HERE!

Gil Scott-Heron

gilscottheron

Gil Scott-HeronThe Revolution Begins (The Flying Dutchman Masters (BGP)

Groundbreaking, hugely influential, timeless and mind-blowing recordings on the Flying Dutchman label by the late, great Gil Scott-Heron. Hip-hoppers, rappers, funky blues people, hipsters, jazzers, ethno-musicologists, academics, community leaders, social activists and plain ol’ music fans everywhere cite Scott-Heron as a “got to” guy when discussing the power of music to educate, instigate and initiate change. I remember catching Gil Scott-Heron on TV numerous times around the time that these influential recordings were made and it was pretty much impossible not to feel the passion and power of the music. His music opened new doors for me as it did, I’m sure, for countless others. And the groove? Well, the groove was in the heart and thankfully Scott-Heron’s massive heart and soul live on in his recordings so that we too can live, love and learn even though he is now long gone. (3 discs and 51 tracks) Buy HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Blues Front page Funk Music Reviews Rock Soul Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – TaQuita Thorns

This entry is part 9 of 20 in the series DozenQ 2

Coming straight out of Detroit, Michigan, the birthplace of Motown music, TaQuita Thorns is the ultimate Rock&Soul diva. Impressing crowds with her solid powerhouse vocals and charismatic presence, the singer performs a sultry mix of pop songs set to unique R&B, house, disco and funk inspired beats. Following two hit shows on MTV (Making the Band 3, The TaQuita and Kaui Show, ) TaQuita has been working diligently as a prolific songwriter and recording artist. TaQuita’s artistry draws from her life journey and brings to life the boundless energy and positivity that drives this exceptional young talent. Fully equipped with a sparkling gift and charisma to match, TaQuita Thorns is surely one of the most exciting new R&B music artists to emerge in years.

01. How did you get started in music?

I’ve been singing and performing all my life and started writing when I was five. Music is something that I have to do, I want to do and I need to do. My parents and grandparents began to showcase me at an early age. I was exposed to some of the best music ever created, especially that of the Motown Era. I have been working toward my dream of performing my music on the world’s stage.

02. Where did your direction come from?

My direction comes from within. From G-d if you will. I am inspired by and pay homage to the many great artists who came before me and have made this walk easier for me and generations to come. These artists showed how great music can connect with people all over the world to inspire and uplift them and help make them happy.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Little Richard, Tina Turner, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson Aretha Franklin, Jimmie Hendricks, Rick James, Bob Dylan, Martha and The Vandellas, The Temptations, Anita Baker, Sade, En Vogue, Luther Vandross, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cook, Junior Walker and the Allstars, and many more. I despise no one. I have no strength for grudges or negativity in my heart.

04. What inspires you to make your current type of songs and sound?

I have no particular sound. It’s a never-ending river of grooves and blues. My mood at the time of creation tends to influence the type of song that I write at any given moment.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Love and excitement. I give of myself completely on stage in the most generous and purest fashion. My music comes from my heart and experience. Fans would have to come out and be a witness themselves.

06. How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

My songs all tell a personal story from my life. The themes and subjects deal with love, being honest with yourself and others, the virtues of self-respect, self-love and self-confidence. My songs also often address the need to stand up to adversity and adversaries.

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing?

It’s still evolving! Lol. You can never know enough. For example: my music has evolved from taking online classes about music, reading various books about music, producing and song writing, and working with a vocal coach like Seth Riggs. I feel like I’m constantly growing as a songwriter.

08. What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

One of my biggest challenges was to completely trust my thoughts and ideas over others. This is my mind, body, soul and art. I own it! The opinion of others is a distant song. My first mind is usually the best way for me to go, and I have learned to trust my own judgment and intuition about my music.

09. Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

I love to play covers. It’s a great way to pay homage to artists who I look up to as leaders and who motivated me. I love to cover “Proud Mary” by Ike and Tina Turner. I also like to cover “Shot Gun” by Junior Walker and the Allstars, “Survive” by Gloria Gaynor and “Love Child” by Diana Ross and the Supremes. I also love Michael Jackson’s music and recently covered “Black & White.”

10. Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Five years from now, I hope to be performing music for fans all over the world.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

Stevie Wonder

12. What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

Too much to list here. There’s exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from the “Believe (Power of Love)” music video shoot, as well as other goodies like a dance remix of “Believe,” which I will be releasing soon. I also will be releasing a new single at the top of the year. Everything is building up for the release of my debut album, Rough & Fancy, in March 2013.

Links
taquitathorns.com
facebook.com/TaQuitaThorns
twitter.com/TaQuitaThorns

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Blues DozenQ Features Front page Funk Interviews Music Pop Soul Tags:, ,
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Album Reviews – September 2012 by Colin Bryce

Nobody Wins, Stax Southern Soul 1968-1975 (Kent/Ace)

By all accounts the tail end of Stax Records business life wasn’t very pretty. The label still managed to put out some great sounds but relationships within the label had been damaged, the MGs connection was done and things were being recorded outside of Stax’s own studios with a number of acts brought in that some argued weren’t really in keeping with the identity Stax had forged for themselves.

This collection includes some great tracks by some great talent but it also includes some things a Stax fan most likely can live without. I personally find Calvin Scott’s take on “Never Found Me a Girl” considerably inferior to Eddie Floyd’s original take. The Soul Children certainly shone brighter than “Move Over” and the same could be said of William Bell’s “Love on Borrowed Time” and the great Johnnie Taylor’s “Will You Love Me Forever.”

Full marks on Johnny Daye’s “Stay Baby Stay” (co-written with Steve Cropper), Mable John’s “Shouldn’t I Love Him”, the Al Green-ish “Groovin’ On My Baby’s Love” by Freddie Waters (one of those licensed to Stax and recorded elsewhere), Inez Foxx’s “Crossing Over the Bridge” and of course the inclusion of the great Ollie and the Nightingales’ “You’re Leaving Me.” Ollie is and was the bizness. I can’t think of a track recorded by him that ever disappointed me – and that includes those he recorded right up until the very end of his career. RIP Ollie.

All in all this is worth hearing but fans of Stax will most likely feel the frustrations – once again – of how one of the great labels and studios were left at the losing end of the record industry game. (21 tracks.)

Lost Soul Gems from Sounds of Memphis (Kent/Ace)

A decidedly superior collection of rare and recently unearthed tracks of southern groovin’ recorded for the Sounds of Memphis label.

Carl Sims’ (former Bar-kay vocalist) passionate pleader “Pity the Fool” gets things going here and it just keeps getting better. Dan Greer’s “I Don’t Want No One Way Love” that follows is a tune with, what I consider to be, considerable hit potential and while Dean Rudland’s liner notes cover the basics of the labels story we don’t have a track by track breakdown to follow so I’m left wondering how this stunner came to be left in the vault. Truly a shame whatever the story cause this little item is a gem. The same can be said of any number of songs included here. Otis Wheat’s version of “Tennessee Waltz” is as fresh as a new born babe and the raw basic funky grooves of Fran Farley’s “Stop Boy” and Rudolph Taylor’s “What’s That You Got” are neither tired nor hidden behind in a glossy production in some vain effort to make them more than they are – simple and straight up groovin’.

Better-knowns like George Jackson, Barbara Brown and Louis Williams (Ovations) are featured here as well. Jackson with a couple of typically deep feeling cuts. Brown with an alternative take of “I Don’t Want To Have To Wait” and “So Cruel” and Louis Williams with an easy pop-soul number full of poppin’ bass and electric piano. The recordings run late 60s through the early 70s so there are some stylistic changes but apart from maybe the, uh, sensitive “When I Look Inside” by Takelia there is nothing but lost soul gems as the title of the release suggests. (22 tracks.)

Clarence Carter: The Fame Singles Volume 1, 1966-1970 (Fame/Kent/Ace)

Have they ever come any funkier than Clarence Carter? Don’t think so. The laugh, the guitar lines, the lyrical themes, the man got it. The collected Fame singles included here from 1966-1970 features a number of his classics from “Slip Away”, “Tell Daddy” (driven further into hitsville when Etta James re-did it as “Tell Mama”), “Snatching It Back”, and “Funky Fever” to the truly incredible “Looking For A Fox”. “Looking For A Fox” is one of the songs I can never get enough of. It has so much subtle power that it is simply impossible NOT to get your behind in gear. Unreal.

Larger than life deep ballads, soulful southern grooves and funky fevers that one just never hears anymore – buy it. (24 tracks.)

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Features Front page Funk Music Reviews Soul Tags:, , , ,
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Marvin Gaye: ‘What’s Going On’ – 40th Anniversary Edition

(2 CD set, Island/Universal)

It’s the sixties, and Marvin Gaye had spent the best part of ten years churning out one perceived classic after another as part of Detroit’s very own hit factory, Motown. However, by 1970, the label that could previously do no wrong, was now struggling to sound fresh amid the ever changing fabric of popular music. These were heavy times in the States; the optimistic ideologies of the previous decade, free love and hippie-ism, were now perceived as naive and were quite rightly swept away by the dark realities of the Vietnam War, increasing poverty, race-riots and drug abuse.

Marvin Gaye realised that recording another album predicated around broken hearts and the latest dance craze was never going to cut it in increasingly politically aware and troubled times. The album he proceeded to make became a landmark album. Both in terms of breaking the Motown mould, and in a far wider sense, being the first pop LP to have a cohesive concept regarding social commentary.

The album is written from the viewpoint of a Vietnam veteran’s commentary on how his beloved country had changed since he’d left to go to war. Marvin’s brother Frankie, having just returned from serving three years in Vietnam would have proved to be a key inspiration for the concept of What’s Going On.

The music itself represents a clear departure from anything Motown, or indeed any other soul label had released. Previous Motown artists had addressed issues of the day with great success, Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ and the Temptations’ ‘Ball of Confusion’ both scoring big hits. However, the nine tracks that made up What’s Going On were different – instead of masking a social message inside an easily palatable floor filler, Marvin chose to strip away the Motown sound leaving his message bare. This meant that listeners were faced with a far more potent and uncompromising commentary and it was this that propelled the album and eponymous lead single to the top of the charts.

Marvin also introduced a new production technique during these sessions by layering his voice on top of each other, as well as shrewdly choosing to swap the conventional Motown soul and funk sound with elements of jazz and classical music, and this combination engaged the music buying public, forcing them to take note.

As I’m writing this review I feel compelled to speak my mind and not follow the pattern of heralding this collection as ‘The Greatest Soul Album Of All Time’. You see, I prefer my soul to have some grit, the kind that will either make you tap your feet and wiggle your tush, or pull so tightly on your heart strings that you feel lucky to feel the pain of a broken heart. What’s Going On fails on both counts.

The music is at times more insipid than inspired, the classical and jazz influences in my mind, relegate this album to the kind of  muzak you’d be more likely to hear while in an elevator. I also feel this album is partly guilty for opening the flood gates to the breed of soul music that still plagues the radio-waves today: Diluted, funkless, overtly polished and grit(s)-free.

I understand the message it seeks to portray. In fact the most interesting point to note from listening back to these recordings is the stark realisation that all the issues addressed still resonate so strongly today. In some cases more so than ever; we’re now fighting multiple wars without any mandate, drug abuse continues to prey upon our less fortunate communities and the environmental concerns have worsened beyond all belief.

I have the upmost respect for Marvin spreading his message, it sold in its millions, highlighting key issues to listeners that many may have been previously oblivious to.

As for the luxuriousness of this deluxe set, complete with two disks of extras, the LP and a beautiful LP sized book – all of which look fabulous and a real treat on first glance but much of the bonus material is sadly reserved for the hardcore fan – Consisting of the various sessions that help build the finished product. These tracks are mainly instrumental grooves, loose and jazzy.  None of which lend themselves to repeated listens and serve merely as a curiosity.

There are some very special exceptions – the various mixes of ‘You’re The Man’ were a revelation to this writer, as cool and slinky as anything Marvin ever recorded.  Also the numerous alternate mixes of the original nine tracks offer the listener a different perspective; but these can be found on the 30th anniversary edition so don’t actually bring anything new to the table.

This album was ground breaking, it commented on the present day with a potency never seen before or since, and without knowing it, quite correctly predicted a grim future. However, it also changed soul music forever and I’m sad to say, not for the better. Step forward Lionel Richie and R Kelly – I rest my case.

Glen.manners

Glen Manners is front-man of SE London’s finest rock combo ‘Dig For Victory’. He is an avid collector of music, especially records between the magical years of ‘66 and ‘73. Over last 12 years Glen has been joyfully soaking up some of the finest indie/mod/hippie hangouts across London. And at the ripe old age of 32, can not envisage a time when he would ever want to slow down. Glen has one eye on the worlds rich musical heritage and another firmly on the here and now, this can give him the most startlingly odd look but that is simply the way he likes it. Glen is a television freak, movie buff, lyricist and ever playful optimist.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Funk Music Pop Soul Tags:, , , ,
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Kris Needs Presents… Dirty Water 2 – More Birth of Punk Attitude

(2CD set, Year Zero)

Happily, the overwhelmingly positive response to Dirty Water – The Birth of Punk Attitude has enabled journalist, DJ, broadcaster, and all around living leg end Kris Needs to again take us by the hand and lead us through many of the dimly lit tributaries that ultimately combined to lend their fetid waters to the great punk torrent.

In my review of the initial 2CD set, I made the connection between Kris’s inclusive approach to defining punk attitude and James Burke’s interconnective approach to explaining sequences of historically significant events. If anything, this comparison is even more apt the second time around – to understand why this happened in 1976, you have to go back to here.

In some cases, the lineage to punk rock is self evident – the likes of Death, the Velvet Underground, Suicide, Patti Smith, Jayne County, David Bowie, Mott The Hoople, Kilburn & The High Roads, the Hammersmith Gorillas, the Doctors of Madness, the MC5 and Blondie all have acres of printed paper establishing their varying roles in shaping the scenes that would burst out of tiny pockets of defiance in New York and London. However, many of these artists are represented by seldom heard cuts such as the Motor City maniacs’ epic set closer ‘Black To Comm’ and Vega/Rev’s startling ‘Creature Feature’. Similarly, the historical connection between primal rock’n’roll and punk is also a matter of historical record, and trailblazing greats such as Bo Diddley and Eddie Cochran are duly represented here.

These, however, are the basics – dig around the period when the likes of Diddley. Cochran, Gene Vincent and Link Wray were laying down the fundamentals for generations to come, and you’ll find all manner of other stuff going down. Through drawing lyrical inspiration from the lives of the disenfranchised, and subsequently influencing Joe Strummer (a.k.a. Woody Mellor), Woody Guthrie’s rough hewn folk can be readily identified as one of the germinal building blocks of what would later be identified as a key aspect of the punk mindset. One only needs one listen to Guthrie’s ‘Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad’ and Patti Smith’s ‘Piss Factory’ to realise that they are coming from the same benighted place. ‘Strip away and Woody was a punk in the old-fashioned way,’ explains Kris, ‘a short, scruffy, road-wise, quick tempered, skirt-chasing, chauvinist boozer, who couldn’t be controlled by any political party, but campaigned in a much broader sense against homelessness, poverty, racism and inequality.’   

Moreover, by following the folk path along a möbius strip of drug-fuelled weirdness and inspiration, Needsy also establishes the contribution of freaks such as the Godz and the Holy Modal Rounders in developing a conviction that each generation of young people should start at Year Zero, disregarding the ideas of their elders as moribund and irrelevant. Specifically, the sense of wild abandon embraced by both these bands provided a gateway to the kind of free-thinking non-conformity that found its apogee in the late, great Don van Vliet’s Captain Beefheart. Indeed, not only did the Captain and his Magic Band’s wilful disregard for the established parameters of rock’n’roll provide a mutable template for punk rock, it also pointed the way forward into post-punk and all subsequent experimental and courageous readings of the form. Fittingly, given our host’s epoch-making tenure as editor of the much-missed Zigzag magazine, Beefheart’s ‘Zigzag Wanderer’ has been selected to open the two-disc set.

Of course, rock’n’roll was hardly the only ingredient bubbling in van Vliet’s voodoo stewpot – jazz, bebop and doo-wop all broiled among the gumbo. Perhaps the true genius of Dirty Water 2 is the way in which Kris Needs has taken artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Albert Ayler, the Silhouettes, and George Clinton’s mighty Parliament collective and clearly demonstrated how they too fit into the mad parade. This is achieved on a number of levels – not least by identifying the way in which bebop and free jazz marginalised audiences in exactly the same way that punk would do decades later, as well as establishing the direct influence of doo-wop on groups such as Suicide.

Like its predecessor, Dirty Water 2 stands as a monument to defiance, transgression and self-determination, 150 minutes of exceptional music are matched by a robust booklet in which Kris recounts a history that through his own personal experiences and lunatic adventures intertwines with his selections to provide an enjoyable, inclusive experience. From the artists mentioned above to several nicely soiled nuggets of garage frustration, via the titanic storms of sedition whipped up by Blue Cheer or the Edgar Broughton Band, Needsy’s selections provide an object lesson in the advantage of keeping mind and ears open. And surely, if nothing else, that is the idea that underpins the punk attitude.

Order Dirty Water 2 direct: www.futurenoisemusic.com/product.aspx?id=718

Catch Needsy on fnoob radio, every Wednesday from 7pm: http://fnoob.com/

June 5, 2015 By : Category : Exotica Folk Front page Funk Garage Genres Glam Music Post-punk Punk Reggae Rock Rockabilly Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – The Fantastics

This entry is part 1 of 20 in the series DozenQ

Mixing together funk, blues, soul, jazz, and whatever else happens to be on hand, THE FANTASTICS! have released 45s on Freestyle, Raw Wax, and Tramp, performed live BBC sessions for Mark Lamarr and Craig Charles, and released albums on Freestyle Records and Soul Cookers (as Rev Cleatus & The Soul Saviours). Like their incendiary live performances around the UK and across Europe, the last album, ‘Mighty Righteous’ (Freestyle Records) ripped up the rigidly defined genres of ‘the funk scene’, and threw decades of hip swinging musical influences into the mix. The latest album (due for release on Freestyle Records in summer 2011) takes these themes further to create something fresh and engaging, whilst still keeping dancefloors shaking, and hips swinging.

“Thank god for The Fantastics!! Not only should you buy their records, go and witness them live!” – DJ Format

01 How did the band get together?

Originally the band (then known as Rev Cleatus & The Soul Saviours) was formed from the remains of the Longo Allstars in 2003, when Greg (Hammond) – previously of the Soul Destroyers, and Ray (bass) both joined up with Pete (guitar), and the other remaining Longos. And, Mark (sax/flute/harmonica) joined up after the departure of a makeshift horn section in 2005. We changed our name to the Fantastics! (don’t forget the “!”) in 2009, and since then we’ve had a few new people join up; James Smith (drums) replaced James Rule in  2009, and there’s our very special guests; Sulene Fleming (vocals) and Mark Claydon (percussion).. So I don’t think the band ‘got together’ as such, it’s been more of an evolution over about seven years or so.

02 Where did your name come from?

It didn’t… We just liked it and changed it!

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Too many influences to list here – let’s just say decades of groovin’ and soulful music; blues, soul, funk, reggae, jazz, even a bit of groovy rock – it’s all in there somewhere. Who do we despise? Anything soul-less, over hyped, over technical.. You’d have to ask individual members really!

04 What drove you to make music together?

Just the love of music, especially this kind of music I suppose. We’ve got a lot in common, and we have some great times, so why wouldn’t we want to do it?

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Music to dance to.. Music to have a good time to.. Plenty of groovy funk rhythms, and some sweet soul; music aimed at people on the dancefloor, not the musicians standing at the bar watching with crossed arms! It’s just good-time hip music really…

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

All songs are written collectively – somebody might have a particular idea or part which kick starts something, but overall they are all worked on and written as a band. Themes and subjects? Ermmm….  Sex and drugs and funk and soul hahaah! But then again the majority of the tunes are instrumental so nobody knows what they are about anyway (or cares!).

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing together?

It’s become less straight ahead ‘funk’ since 2009, and more of a mixture of all our influences; more ‘natural’ if you like – we play our own music in our own style. It’s not something we’ve contrived to sound like the JBs or the Meters, or the whatever is fashionable at the moment… well we hope so anyway..

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

There’s been a few, but it’s just part of playing music. If you really want to do it, then you overcome anything that gets in the way, one way or another!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

Yes we play some covers – it’s good to have a few to throw into the set, and I think we pretty much do play any songs that we collectively feel we’d like to.. Current favourites are probably Sweetback (Boogaloo Joe Jones), and Home Is Where The Hatred Is (Gill Scott-Heron), we’re looking at doing Anti Love Song (Betty Davis) sooner or later too.

10 Where did you envisage the band being in five years time?

On the M1, probably half way between London and Leeds, possibly stuck on the hard shoulder with a broken fan belt.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Too many to list here, but nobody in particular either – a strange answer I know!

12 What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

We’re just putting the finishing touches onto our next album, which should be out in June or July – on Freestyle records. More gigs being booked as I’m writing this; check our links for updates.

Links:

The Fantastics on Myspace

The Fantastics on Facebook

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : DozenQ Funk Tags:, ,
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