Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Primitive Sound System at Maxwells - Mixed Tape Sessions - Tuesday September 13th - 9PM - 2AM

Hello Y'all,
First up, an old friend is bringing his brand of song writing craft and distinct vocals to the back room of Maxwell's this Tuesday. Eric Bachmann will be performing solo even though the show is listed as a Crooked Fingers gig. The last time I saw Eric it was also a solo show and as always he could have played for 3 hours with out a complaint from the audience. Eric is always engaging and when his voice hits that soulful Neil Diamond sound at times it makes what he does seem slightly surreal. He started his career with the drunken punk band Archers of Loaf and slowly made his way to his current status as a Singer/Songwriter after briefly visiting a more wild and varied sound under the moniker Barry Black. With or without band Eric has proven to be one of the major and lasting talents of the 90's (horribly titled) Indie Rock scene.

Secondly, I want to spin the tracks I collected after the 1999 release of The Vital Organs that appeared on that comp. Only one of the tracks on the LP was something I was very familiar with. "Shimmy" had already become a regular spin for me and remains one of my favorites to this day. Myself and Grooovy Sounds Unltd. label guru "The Record Brother" were obsessed with this track and it was the only cut we brought to the table. Although we were humbled by Matt's choices it does lead off side two nicely... if I say so myself. I'm not even sure when I first met Matt "Mr. Fine Wine" but I know I was a fan from his very first show on FMU. Matt can school the schooled. He was one of the few folks that the statement, "What he has forgotten about Soul music is more than you hope to ever learn" is not only accurate but an understatement. Putting together the comp took and extraordinarily long time. Unlike most of the comps and reissues prior to the Vital Organs we wanted everyone to get their due. Bootlegging had become all too common and it wasn't something we wanted to be a part of. Matt was the best person for the job because not only did he have the best and rarest records in the world but he knew some of the artists personally. Little did I know prior to my research that I too would get to know some of these men very well and I am certainly the richer for it (and you know I am not talking about money).

WFMU Playlists and Archives for "Mr. Fine Wine"

The Vital Organs on Dusty Groove:
The LP:
The CD:

The Record Brother:
Vital Organs write up from The Brother:

Primitive Sound System Mixed Tape Sessions and the continuing food stylings of el Diablo Every Tuesday! (9PM - 2AM)

1039 Washington Street
Hoboken New Jersey
(201) 653-1703

Groovy Sounds Unlimited & Mr. Fine Wine Present: Vital Organs (Grooovy Sounds Unltd. cat. GROOVE 0004-1)

The TMG's - "The Hatch"
Beyond rare. Beyond good. I tracked down the man who held the rights to this song after talking to about 20 people. Kenneth Higney of Chess and "Attic Demonstration" fame was my last call before reaching Mr. Leonard Mietus. Mr Mietus was one of the most helpful people I dealt with and he wanted nothing in return. His advice was what made putting the comp together easier than it would have ever been. Mr. Meitus holds the rights to 1000's of songs for one reason or another and we promised him we would be back when we put together further comps. I hope Mr. Mietus didn't think I was lying. Grooovy Sounds broke down and then broke up before any of our bigger visions were realized. He was excited to see that we loved the music from this time period and we planned on paying everyone involved.

Louis Chachere - "The Hen"
After the comp came out Matt gave me this as a gift as a thank you for asking him if he would share his knowledge and collection with the world. Thank you. Thank You. Thank You. If anyone asks me what my favorite genre is within the genre of Funk and this 45 is within arms reach this is what I play them. I knew almost all the cuts that made it to the comp from Matt's radio show. This song always stuck out and I had a version on Pure Vol. 3. (I have to do a !Pure night)

Recorded in a cave this has a raw as hell sound that us Troglodytes love. The drum sound is something I hope to achieve one day because I have rarely heard anything like it. Tight snare drum, kicking bass pedal and fast bubbly rolls drive this Hen outta the house. The organ is screaming and perpetuates the myth that the organ is a physical being or monster. All this and screaming horns too. This is what they mean by diggin' in. GET IT, GET IT!

Buddy McKnight - "Everytime Pt. 2"
Anthony Renfro was a sad character to deal with but oddly and pleasantly he was always positive and sometimes downright happy. He knew he had the goods and should be using them to make some cash but hard times and divorce were eating up his time and money. He mailed me several tapes of other available music but unfortunately nothing came close to the party action of "Everytime Pt. 2." He told me of a track that he played on and recorded that featured a young James Marshall Hendrix and that he would send me one. He said that the last one he sold paid for his rent and kept him from being evicted. I pleaded with him to NOT send me one but to send me a tape as he needed it more than I. We sent Anthony a check for the full amount of the royalties before we even pressed the LPs/CD's. I never heard that track and was unable to track him down to say thank you one more time.

Smooth but with a real party feel "Everytime" is sure to put a smile on your face. The playing is tight and the song has a composed feel to it. About midway through the band opens up a bit and the organ really cooks. This is one of those tracks where the very expressive organ is really the vocals of the track.

Ross Carnegie - "Cool Dad"
The man smiling back at you from the cover of the Vital Organs is the one and only Ross Carnegie. I met Mr. Carnegie through one of my favorite musicians, Harold Ousley. Originally we were going to put Carnegie's version of the Ousley penned groover "The Kid." Harold was very easy to get in touch with as he was still recording, performing and was the host of his own cable access Jazz show. Harold came to Finyl Vinyl where I worked at the time and Grooovy Sounds was based and we talked for hours. It was like we knew each other our whole lives. He came in on a regular basis just to shoot the shit and we spoke on the phone often. While recording the 45's that made the final cut suddenly Matt realized he had forgotten to play me the other side of "The Kid." He flipped it over and I flipped out. "Cool Dad" was INSANE. Jazzy-Organ-Funk-Soul-Jazz or whatever the fuck you want to call it this track was IT! Harold was sad to find out that "The Kid" was cut and "Cool Dad" was in. He got me in touch with Ross and one afternoon they made their way down to Finyl Vinyl. Ross was the very definition of 70's style. Where Harold had kept himself very current and forward thinking (many of our talks were about meditation, organic and health foods and the state of music and the world in general) Ross on the other hand was a bit of a throw back. Ross was teaching piano and had his own Church in the ground floor of his home where he stored the organ that you see on the cover of the LP. I went to visit Ross at the Church and in his home. It was so perfect. His office was covered in photos, sheet music, awards and show posters. His daughter ran his daily operations and kept him on his very busy schedule. Ross still performs weekly at the Nordstrom in the White Plains mall ( I hung with Ross on a regular basis and even built him a website (not the one currently active). Saddly (and for reasons unknown to me) Ross stopped talking to me.

"Cool Dad" is all around heavy and truly a bad ass. Ross' band was certainly made up of top notch players (with Harold Ousley on sax you can't go wrong). The track features the organ but the guitar lays down a real cool solo and suddenly off we go again into the theme and beyond. Rolling congas, steady bass and drums round out the sound that is equal parts Funk, Jazz, Soul, R&B and Gospel. Ross's daughter used to tell the other children in the neighborhood that she had the coolest Dad because he didn't have the typical job their parents had. He felt he had to record a song expressing her feelings.

The Martini's - "Bullseye"
I don't have a copy of this and that is not for a lack of looking. I do have a copy of "Hung Over" which includes the sound of someone puking. This was a fun one to track down and ironically due to a split up of publishing companies and lawyers who actually didn't know what to do no one seemed to want to take our money. It's not like these guys are unknown. They are basically the Hi Rhythm Section. Again, I spoke with many many people and no one seemed to know what to do. Oh well.

Toussaint McCall - "Shimmy"
eMusic owned the rights to "Shimmy." We had never heard of eMusic but had recently read that they were buying up the rights to catalog after catalog of southern Soul, R&B, Gospel and Rock. Now, of course like 1000's, I have an eMusic monthly MP3 account. I can't think of his name right now but the guy we were dealing with at eMusic was working from his home at the time. I'd say they have grown significantly since then.

"Shimmy" is perfection.

Jimmy Willis - "Soul Power"
I scored a copy of this 2 years ago at the WFMU Record Fair. As for licensing I spoke with no one. Our only lead returned no call backs. I did speak with someone who said they knew Mr. Willis. He gave me the name of a woman he believed was her daughter. She hung up on me.

Sometimes a song can be just about the groove and this song illustrates that perfectly. It's announced at its beginning just so you don't get it wrong, "For your information, this is Soul Power!" Hand claps with shouts, congas and organ are basically all you get here but there is a phantom piano buried in there that keeps it all on track. One of the more interesting and simple tracks in the Soul/Funk genre.

The Organics - "Foot Stumping"
The first time Matt played this for me all I could think was God I hope this one is in my price range... NOPE! "Foot Stumping" is a Bluesy Funk romp that has a very live sound to it. The organ comes in on a long held note and vamps for a while before bowing out to the guitar solo. I have to find my notes but I believe it was Mr. Griswold who told me he was extremely happy to get some money because all he got was a few bucks and a coupon for a chicken from the studio.

King Cain/Silvertone Band - "Don't Give a Damn"
It was near impossible to find info about these guys. This was the one track we never got even one lead on. After we released the comp "Don't Give A Damn" appeared on several other comps.

Filmore Street Soul Rebellions - "Put Your Weight On It Pt. 1"
OK. Let's just say that I completely understand what makes DOLOMITE! so damn appealing. I never had to talk to the man, the myth, the legend known as Rudy Ray Moore but he is responsible for bringing the Filmore Street Soul Rebellions to the attention of the world via his comedy LPs and movie Soundtracks. From what Billy Miller (Norton Records) says I may be lucky because we just might not gotten the comp done. Rudy has tons of music and memorabilia and wants anyone interested to see it all and hear everything he had a hand or tongue in on. Could have sidelined this project for a Rudy Ray Moore release. So I tracked down the two men who's names appear on all the music, Mr. Benjamin Taylor and Mr. Arthur Wright. My initial contact was with Ben Taylor. He asked me if I would call back and talk to both himself and Mr. Wright as Mr. Wright was a better judge of character and to tell you the truth trusted no one. Apparently I passed the test. One thing is for sure these guys loved to talk and being blessed with the gift of gab myself talk we did. Like Mr. Renfro, Ben and Art sent tapes of music but unlike Mr. Renfro's sweet soul tracks their music was just not something I was interested in. It was very processed and sounded like it could be called Disco but it was probably recorded in the 90's sometime. I asked them if they had any tracks from the 60's and 70's but they wouldn't send it to me as Art's paranoia took over. I told them they could send me snippets of the tracks but they were unable to get a studio to make copies. Again I promised them if we do more comps I would fly to Cali and listen to the cuts with them. Grooovy broke down, blah, blah blah and I unfortunately I lost contact with two of the comps more interesting characters.

I have two copies of this. One on Cherry Red Records and one on the Kent Comedian Series LP Rudy Ray Moore Presents The Mr. Jerry Walker Album "The Fairy Godmother." The 45 is a bit more studio than the LP which seems to have a more live feel and includes an introduction by Rudy Ray Moore and some of the best hand claps on any recording. Maybe the live effect was produced in the studio to make you believe The Filmore Street Soul Rebellions were at the club with Mr. Walker. Either way this is a mid-tempo funk stew of organ, shouts, heavy bass, guitar, piano and skittering drums that move between heavy and accents fluidly. To this day I don't think there is a better track that could have closed out the album.

Well that closes part one of my Vital Organ remembrances. When I dig up my notes I'll write up a part two. The below list is just some of the events, people and things that I need to remember more details about. Without a doubt Joe Robinson was by far the best phone call I have ever been a part of.
Joe Robinson
The Hurricane
Europadisc Direct Metal Mastering (CD's vs LP's)
The Green van
Taxi cab door

I recently picked up a lot of new records and will include them in my next email but I had to include this one item here. If you have never heard this you are in for a treat.

The BBC (a.k.a. Bill Black's Combo) - "Upside Down" (The word "DOWN" is actually upside down on the label.) (MEGA cat. 615-0091)
The guitar that rips the intro to this funky instrumental is something any current Punk band would be happy to nail down. Almost Jon Spencer Blues Explosion with horns. Slamming drums, organ and bass push this bad ass along and it never once loses the groove. AMAZING!