Betty Adams – Make It Real (Ride On)

Betty Adams - Make It Real

Every now and then you look through your record collection and happen upon  a track that you haven’t listened to in ages. Today’s selection is one such tune. Because I’ve known this song for so long I had to check back through my previous posts for the 7 years or so I’ve been writing Gazfunk to make sure I hadn’t featured it before. As I hadn’t, I thought now was as good a time as any.

I first heard this song many moons ago – I can’t even remember when exactly but it must have been almost 20 years ago now. From the first listen I really enjoyed it but had no idea what it was called or who it was by. As I wasn’t much of an expert of soul music back then, I thought it could have been a lesser known cut by Aretha Franklin. I’m sure when you listen to the song, you’ll get what I mean.

Some years later David Holmes released “Come Get It, I Got It” and featured Make It Real which brought the song to a wider audience. Betty only recorded 2 singles in total (both released in 1971) before returning to her gospel heritage with her local church and leaving behind the pop music business. We should all rejoice however for this great 45.

Hodges, James, Smith & Crawford – Nobody

Hodges, James, Smith & Crawford - Nobody

The record I bring to you today was a track that I first heard some time ago courtesy of my fellow Belfast DJ David Holmes. This song was featured on his Come Get It, I Got It compilation/mix alongside a plethora of other rare and now collectable funk and soul tracks. Immediately upon hearing it I wanted a copy and some time later managed to find one for myself.

The group released two singles both in 1972, this and another song called Write Me A Letter though neither track became a hit. Shortly after this release, Crawford (Caroline Crawford) left the group and went on to have a solo career spanning 7 singles whilst the rest of the group carried on as a trio releasing a further 12 singles and 4 albums before calling it a day in 1979.

Ray Bryant – Up Above The Rock

Ray Bryant - Up Above The Rock

It’s all too rare these days that I dig into my collection and pull out a record that takes me back to the days when I was heavily involved in the mod scene, but today’s selection is one such occasion. In recent years I’ve found myself drifting further and further away from the mod scene for a variety of reasons – the reticence from some to progress beyond the obvious Small Faces/Who/Paul Weller and well-known Northern Soul & Motown tunes and the fact that in some quarters it has moved on to an almost exclusively r&b playlist. Now don’t get me wrong – I really dig my r&b, however when nights feature just the one genre of music it tends to put me off a little and becomes somewhat “samey” after a while. This has of course led me to follow a more funky route and embrace more experimental sounds and genres as well as becoming a bigger fan of psychedelia. I’ll always be a mod at heart (and still dress that way) but I’m happy to have broken free of the constraints of the scene.

So anyway, on to this week’s featured tune. This was something that I first heard on David Holmes’ Come Get It, I Got It mix album/compilation a number of years back. As soon as I heard it, it just screamed out the word “cool” in capital letters! I had always had a soft spot for funky jazz, but this was what would be more apporpriately described as mod jazz and I absolutely loved it! It kinda reminded me of a song that was used as the theme music for the “Film..” tv series in the U.K. that was hosted by Barry Norman. The track in question I later found out was by an artist called Billy Taylor and the song was called “I Wish I knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” – which became an unofficial anthem for the U.S. civil rights movement and was later covered by Nina Simone. Where “Up Above The Rock” differs is the drums which could very easily be used as a break in hip-hop – the “hey” part of the song was later sampled in The Wiseguys’ “Start The Commotion”.

Just as I write this update, news has just reached me of the passing of the legendary Mr Don Covay. We featured Mr Covay here on the blog last year and it’s with great sadness we learn of his death. May god have Mercy on the Overtime Man. R.I.P.

A Fascinating Musical Experience – The Monster

A Fascinating Musical Experience - The Monster

Firstly I’d like to wish all my readers a Happy Easter (for those of you who celebrate it) I’m not particularly religious myself but it does allow me a few days of work to do what I like best – digging some tunes & indulging in some fine food!

As you are no doubt aware Saturday was the date for Record Store Day 2014 and I had some fun dj’ing in store at one of our biggest record stores here in Belfast, Head Records. Now I know that some people don’t buy into RSD for their own reasons (many of which I understand) but if an event like Record Store Day can entice people into a local record shop even for just one day, then it might help to keep that business going throughout the rest of the year and who knows, they may even gain repeat customers. We can but hope!! You can check out a few pictures from the day at the bottom of the page.

Quickly onto today’s selection and much like last week there isn’t a lot to write about this track due to it’s obscurity. Again, like last week’s tune, this song has been featured on another compilation/mix album by a very well-known dj (and one that hails from my own city!) Mr David Holmes. I’ve already featured something from his Come Get It I Got It album and this is another one of the standout tracks from the LP.

It’s a pretty hard record to come by this one and it took me a while before I was able to find a copy but I think it’s a belter of a tune. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve really heard a record like it before (and I’ve listened to a lot of vinyl over the years!!). I suppose it’s quite a spacey sound but has that rare groove feel to it. I hopes you dig it! 

 

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