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!!)

Charles Bradley – A Tribute

Charles Bradley

On Saturday past, word reached us that the “Screaming Eagle Of Soul”, Mr Charles Bradley had passed away after losing his battle with cancer. To say we were sad is an understatement. Much like Sharon Jones before him, Charles fought the cancer as we all knew he would and got back on the road doing what he loved best – performing live to sell out audiences. Sadly like Sharon, the cancer was to return and ultimately take his life. He was 68.

Today, I’d like to remember Charles for his amazing music and his inspirational life story. When I first heard his voice some time ago, I was drawn by the emotion and power that was coming from him. I had to find out more about him and realised that he was a “new” discovery on the Daptone label. As you know, we here at Gazfunk are huge fans of Daptone and so over the next few years set out to buy each 45 that was released. The track I have chosen to feature today is one such release – “The World Is Going Up In Flames” released in 2007.

Charles Bradley - The World Is Going Up In Flames

I’ve been fortunate to see Charles perform live twice – once as part of the Daptone Super Soul Revue in Vienna and in Belfast on his UK & Ireland tour. I never got to meet the great man when he played in Belfast even though I was hanging out with the band backstage after the show as Charles retired to his hotel room early as he got a little spooked by a somewhat over zealous fan. Welcome to Belfast, Charles!!

Charles Bradley

I should say, if you haven’t yet watched the docu-film “The Soul Of America” I’d highly recommend it. The film shows one man’s challenges in everyday life and is a touching and inspirational tale of one of the greatest performers of modern times. R.I.P. Charles, we love you!!

Foxy – Trouble

Foxy - Trouble

With our recent weather being so similar to last week (we are in Winter here I suppose), I could’ve brought you a track on a similar vein (or should that be “rain”) to “The Wash”. However, since the sun has come out today I’ve decided to dispense with any water/rain related songs.

What I have for you today then is a track that has resided in my collection for quite some time. I suppose with my record buying being curtailed somewhat in the last 6 months all of my records will soon have been in my possession for quite some time. Hopefully the next few months will see that situation change and I’ll be able to add to my collection, but I digress. For now, back to the matter at hand.

Foxy were an all-girl group operating out of Los Angeles. They cut 2 singles (both on the Double Shot label) – this one (in 1971) and another 45 in ’69 entitled “Call Me Later” – a slower ballady type track. Of course you know that we here aren’t so found of those low & slow soul tracks and we prefer our soul with a little bit more umph about it so that’s why I’ve selected “Trouble” as today’s piece of ear candy. As you might expect, this record has that typical sister funk sound that I (and hope you, dear listeners) have come to enjoy. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll be back with another funky tune next week.

Brenda & The Tabulations – The Wash

Brenda & The Tabulations - The Wash

So the weather has dramatically taken a turn for the worse here in Belfast over the last few days with Summer most definitely behind us (did we actually get a Summer at all?). With that in mind I guess today’s choice seems kinda appropriate (rain, wash – you see what I did there?). This is a track that I had sort of forgotten about until the weekend when I was digging through my collection for a few 45s to bring down to the vinyl session at the coffee shop I own. This one didn’t make the cut, but it came back into my life again so we should all be grateful for that at least…

Brenda & The Tabulations were a soul group who formed in Philadelphia in 1966 and released their early singles on the Dionn label before moving to Top & Bottom Records and later, Epic. The song I bring you today is the b-side to their first ever single in fact – “Dry Your Eyes”. This proved to be the biggest hit for the group and probably explains why original copies can be picked up so cheaply. As so often happens it’s the b-side I prefer rather than the “A” which is slower and a little more commercial.

Some of you may remember this being used in a tv commercial a number of years ago for Lynx shower gel (or if you’re Stateside “Axe” shower gel). I’m also a big fan of their version of the classic “California Soul”, a record that sadly never got a 45 release. Apart from the aforementioned tracks arguably their next most well-known song was “Hey Boy” something that become pretty popular on the Northern Soul scene. That’s all for now – enjoy the rest of your week and let’s hope the weather picks up a bit!