Thursday, February 1, 2024

U.S. Soul/R&B/Jazz/Blues 45's For February


1. BOBBY RUSH-"Sock Boo Ga Loo" Checker 1181 1967

This one is a 101 mph full on party that sounds like it was literally made up as it went along, not meaning that in a negative sense, it just has that "the tapes rolling what can we do" feel! Scat guitar, funky bass, wonky greasy horns and a throbbing "go-'go" feel!

2. LITTLE LUTHER-"Eenie Meenie Minie Moe" Checker 1090 1964

This number is a really cool cross between electric urban blues and a funky back beat that would not be out of place on a mid 60's Ike & Tina Sue 45! The lyrics are completely disposable and nonsensical but what a groove!

3. WILLIE SMALL-"How High Can You Fly" Jessica 401 1965

Here's one that's totally new to my ears. It's uptempo, funky, sophisticated and punctuated by some very solid horns that really move it along! The melody is completely infectious, especially how the horn section does a musical response to his vocal "call"!

4. ELMORE MORRIS-"It Seemed Like Heaven To Me" Crackerjack 4006 1962

This one is a mellow ballad of sorts that verges on doo-wop (not exactly my favorite genre) but it's the lead vocalist's voice and how much soul he exudes during the more somber parts of thew track that get me.

5. BOB & EARL-"Everybody Jerk" U.K. Warner Brothers WB 6059 1969

I can't find any information on this one. It was released in 1969 and sounds almost like a follow up to the duo's "hit" track, "Harlem Shuffle" (which was released in 1963!). Curiously it was only released in the U.K. and Germany. That said it's an amazing track, danceable, upbeat and slick!

6. R.T. & THE POT LICKERS-"Sticky Pig Feet" Hooks H-1001 1964

As the title might imply this is a full on greasy. raunchy little instrumental that follows the grand "food" r&b instrumental trend of the 60's with a driving instrumental while the "vocalist" ad libs ingredients over the tune punctuated by him shouting the song title. The guitars have a raunchy blues meets rockabilly feel and funky horns reminded me of The Mar-Keys if they were allowed to be more raw.

7. VIC HENDERSON-"Soul Sauce" Coral 62467 1965

I am a sucker for ANY cover version of Cal Tjader's "Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro)" and this one is probably in the #2 spot on the list (#1 belongs to Timebox). This version is incredibly cheezy but there's something "soulful" about it that grabs me (I think it's the vocals).

8. ELMO JAMES-"Done Somebody Wrong" Fire 1031 1960

I love anything blues on the Fire label and this Elmore James number first came into my orbit 40+ years ago via The Yardbirds, but this is old original favorite grandaddy and it doesn't get any grittier! The perfect mix of his blues shouting and blistering guitar is irresistable!

9. JOANIE SUMMERS-"You've Got Possibilities" Columbia 4-43567 1966

With a slightly sophisticated Latin back beat this number is charming. The lyrics are kitschy and the brass is punchy and though the vocals don't really match the musical backing I like it. I remember Joanie from my childhood as appearing on game shows frequently and never realized she had a career as a singer (next you'll tell me that Brett Somers has a Northern soul 45)!

10. HOAGY LANDS-"The Next In Line" Laurie LR-3381 1967

This number was on one of my earliest Northern Soul compilations back in the late 80's and at the time it never did much for me. That said I has come around over the years. The slick production and female backing vocals and vibes add the prerequisite Northern cachet but it's the solid vocals and cheezy organ solo that do it for me.

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