Eldridge Holmes – Pop, Popcorn Children

Eldridge Holmes - Pop, Popcorn Children

I had intended to bring you an update last week but unfortunately I got waylaid with… stuff. Given then that Mardi Gras took place last week I figured it was only right to mark the occasion (even though I’m a week late) with a banger from the Crescent City.

Many moons ago I featured today’s artist Eldridge Holmes with his fantastic “Humpback” and so today I’ve delved back into his back catalogue for a track that surely must rank as one of the funkiest 45s to come out of the Big Easy. “Pop, Popcorn Children” has been pretty well-known for funk heads for quite a while but it seems to have had something of a revival in the last number of years among some of my record collecting friends/djs. To be honest, it’s such a great tune that it’ll probably be a long time (never!) before I finally get tired of it.

If any of you reading this were lucky enough to be attending Mardi Gras I hope you had a great time. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to join you. But for now I hope y’all enjoy this fantastic piece of NOLA funk!

Jackie Hairston – Hijack

Jackie Hairston - Hijack

I’ve got something rather different and unusual for you to enjoy today. This is a release by a jazz pianist called Jackie Hairston on the Atco label in 1967. What makes it so special (apart from it being a great tune) is the fact that it was written and produced by none other than the legend himself, Mr Otis Redding. What possessed the great man to pen a track like this is anyone’s guess and certainly given that Booker T & The MG’s played the music on almost all of his releases you’d wonder why it wasn’t them who he wrote the song for (you could imagine Booker T’s hammond all over this!!)

So, you’ve got a nice little organ led instrumental to feast your ears on. This is by no means a stomper or indeed one for the dancefloor but has a laid back cool groove about it. Recent times have seen this 45 gain a bit more populairty again (I’m led to believe it was popular enough in the 80s/early 90s mod scene but being too young I wouldn’t remember. ha!) As far as I know, Jackie Hairston played as a session musician for a number of artists but only released this one single under his own name. Thank god then for subsidiaries like Atco putting a 45 like this out as there would be plenty of great tracks we wouldn’t have the pleasure of hearing/owning otherwise!!

Samson & Delilah – Will You Be Ready?

Samson & Delilah - Will You Be Ready?

I hope Thursday finds you all well and you’re looking forward to another groovy piece of wax from my collection. I’ve got something from the obscure section for you today, courtesy of a vocal group called Samson & Delilah. Now, this is (yet again) another one of those acts that I know virtually nothing about. Sure, they put out a number of singles and recorded under various guises but beyond the small pieces of information (regarding releases, dates, labels etc) that you find on the likes of discogs, I’m pretty much lost when it comes to telling you anything of any interest about the group. In that case I’ll just briefly talk about the song.

“Will You Be Ready?” is a funky vocal track with production that sounds (to me at least) as if it has been recorded considerably later than it’s 1967 release date. I think it could well be the keyboard in the song that gives it more of a “modern” feel and in my opinion is rife for sampling. I hope you enjoy this one and I’ll catch up with you all next week for another funky piece of wax that (hopefully) I know a little more about. Ciao!

The Philly Four – The Elephant

The Philly Four - The Elephant

We’re back and less than a week after our last update, how’s that for service? (it’ll never last!!). So, I’ve delved deep into the crates for today’s selection and pulled out an absolute banger for you to enjoy! This is one of those “why haven’t I heard this before?” tunes that seems to have passed many people by – but alas not us here at Gazfunk!

The Philly Four were an instrumental group from, of all places, Philadelphia (surprise, surprise) who only cut the one 45 in 1968 on the Cobblestone label. This groover features part 1 on the a-side and part 2 on the “b” (see, I told you they weren’t prolific!!) What you get is a lovely mid-tempo organ and horn driven track which has elephant sounds interspersed. In my opinion this is a perfect song to play at the mid point of a funk night before things start picking up tempo.

Somewhat surprisingly, you can pick up the 45 in pretty decent condition for buttons. So there you have it, a lovely little under the radar cheap as chips funky groover, what more could you ask for??