Zilla Mayes – All I Want Is You

Zilla Mayes - All I Want Is You

I’m a day late this week and thus my update will be a little bit shorter than normal. Things have been getting much busier in my personal life recently which has left me with very little time to dedicate to digging for new sounds and in turn bringing you my weekly post. I’ve toyed with the idea of only providing content every 2 weeks but I’ll endeavor to continue as is until it’s not longer feasible, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that.

Anyhow, we’re staying in New Orleans for another week with today’s selection. Zilla Mayes was actually an artist who mainly recorded in Atlanta – in fact her recordings date back to the mid fifties but it was with Allen Toussaint (like many others) where we at Gazfunk really took an interest. My man Brian Poust (a previous guest contributor) probably knows a lot more about Zilla than I could ever write due to his connections with Atlanta. So I’m signing off for now and I’ll leave you to enjoy this tremendous slice of New Orleans Sister Funk.

The Gaturs – Cold Bear

The Gaturs - Cold Bear

This weekend sees the return of The Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. Sadly due to both work (and financial commitments) I won’t be able to attend. You may remember during my U.S. Tour a couple of years ago that NOLA was one of the stop-off points on the tour and I had the honour of playing at the Hip Drop – the official launch party of the festival (I believe I’m the only dj from the UK/Ireland to have ever had the pleasure). As well as the opening party, the event itself is one of the best festivals anywhere in the world showcasing legendary New Orleans artists as well as cult rock n roll and garage stars from the 50s and 60s. I’m pretty gutted that I’ll be missing it this year but I’m sure my pals who are attending will raise a glass in my absence!

So then, what better to feature for you this week than a track by a New Orleans group? OK, so many of you will be aware of the Meters (or the “Funky Meters” as they are sometimes called) but The Gaturs less so. Fronted by Willie Tee, they recorded a total of 4 singles from ’71-’74, all well worth owning if you can get your hands on them. The song that I feature today is one of 2 versions of the same song that I own (yeah, it seems odd that there would be 2 versions of a song by a pretty obscure New Orleans group). The other version is by a group called Joe Chopper and The Swinging Seven Soul Band but titled instead as “Soul Pusher”. As far as I know that group is actually The Gaturs by another name (don’t ask me why though!) Both are great songs in their own right but I thought I’d go for the original version today. I hope you enjoy it (and any of you lucky enough to be in New Orleans!!)

Warm Excursion – Hang Up (Part I)

Warm Excursion - Hang Up

As I’m sure you’ve noticed today is Sunday and therefore not Saturday (regular readers will know I kinda designated Saturday as the day for me to bring you the funk). Of course, the last few days were super busy for me meaning that this update was pushed back by a day, but hey no-one’s gonna sue me right?

So not to delay things any further I’m going to cut to the chase with today’s selection. I’ll be honest here – I don’t know who Warm Exclusion were. You’ll notice from the label scan that it says “Terrible Three” after their name but that doesn’t shed any further light on the band. Nonetheless, I can say that this 45 released in ’69 was one of 2 records that the band cut (the other being “Phut Ball” issued on the Watts USA label) before disappearing back into obscurity (were they ever anything but obscure?)

The Pzazz label was originally set up as a jazz label in L.A. but did release 45s in other genres including funk. This record straddles both jazz and funk, though I would be hesitant to call it “jazz funk” (excuse the pedantry here!). Either way, what you get is a funky organ workout with horns aplenty. This track featured on a compilation called “California Soul” released on BGP a few years and may explain why it’s become popular with a lot of UK funk heads recently. Anyway, enjoy the selection and I’ll catch up with you all next week (certainly a day that ends with the letter “y”!!)

Danny White – The Twitch

Well, it’s about time we all went on another little trip to funky, funky New Orleans.

Danny White was born in New Orleans in 1931 and was a member of the legendary Huey “Piano” Smith’s band. His first solo release was in 1961 on the Dot label called “Give A Take”. He went on to release a further 15 singles but gained little commercial success. However his 1966 release”Cracked Up Over You” became a massively popular floorshaker on the northern soul scene showing that despite his lack of chart success, he still found fame amongst soul fans in the North of England. 

With the release in 2000 of the excellent Soul Jazz Records compilation “New Orleans Funk” and the subsequent follow-up “Saturday Night Fish Fry”, White and many other New Orleans’ artists little-known gems were brought to the public’s attention.

This week’s cut, was selected for the New Orleans Funk Vol 2 compilation that was released a few years ago. The track itself was recorded in ’63 and as you would expect has more of an r&b groove, rather than the northern soul/funk sound that he was noted for.