While I get ready for a nice long weekend coming up, I’d like to give someone props (I don’t know who it is), who put me up on the Ninjatune Record board and promoted FMF as well as my “Special Request” Reggae Mix – Rare Gems from the Vault. Also, big shouts to the people talking me up on the net, I’ve been getting pings from all over the place. Muchas Gracias. Almost two months of FMF and the family is growing in leaps and bounds. Thanks again for all your support.
Sometimes you come across a record by an artist and you just think, there is no way that there can be an ounce of funk or soul in this record or person at all. Most of the time it’s true, but then there is that time when you get a record by said artist and the thing hits hard. Case in point with this one right here: a Lou Rawls oh so funky cover version of “Season of the Witch” on Capitol Records. The song was originally done by Donovan. Lou had come through before with another cover of “You Made Me So Very Happy”, a Motown classic. I should have known that the record would be great due to the fact it was produced by the mighty Ax. This is a guy who’s drum production hits harder than a Mike Tyson uppercut, David Axelrod. I first came across “Season” as a recommendation from DJ Prime (of Prime Cuts. Ltd. Fame, not the Prime who plays the Jersey Shore bars) while we were digging. I picked up the 45, but unfortunately it was scratched to shit, and try as I might, I couldn’t get the skips out. Then something great happened a couple of years later. We were going through about 10,000 records in someone’s basement (and enjoying watching this couple argue about why they should or shouldn’t keep them), and there was another copy, this time on Lp. Of course I snatched the thing up before the wife could change her mind. She wouldn’t sell me any James Brown records (because they are so rare and he just died…um yeah), nor would she part with Clarence Carter’s “Snatching It Back”. I did manage, however, to get the copy of “Season of the Witch” I had been looking for, and it wasn’t scratched to shit. Apparently the couple could part with some records. Looking back I got some great stuff, and a pretty clean copy of Sly Stone’s “Rock Dirge”, which will be for a later review.
Sometime back, the Funky 16 Corners did a review, so feel free to click on over there and check on Lou’s history a bit more. Now, I would never have thought Lou Rawls could have been so funky. Boy was I wrong. He had done a good job crossing over from gospel, to a more secular sound in Jazz, Soul, and Pop. This particular track is not your typical “mother’s record collection” you might have thought he could put out. (Don’t get me wrong, dude put out some decent records and was a class act, but I’m speaking about some straight up Mom music.) You know the records, right next to the Alan Sherman and Andy Williams Lps. The track itself starts out with some funky Hammond, blazing right into a decent drum break. For those not familiar with the Axe, his drums are in the words of the Soul Strut masses: unfuckablewith. Lou croons and grooves this cover into close to 6 minutes. The track itself is surrounded by so much smoothness (besides Sweet Lou). From the hard hitting drums mixed in with the organ, some soulful saxophone and a fuzzy guitar, Lou sheds his pop crooner image and shines. I found the Lp in my Needs to Be Listened To pile, and I had actually forgot about picking it up. The 45 turned up while I was putting together a mix, and I just could not do a review of the song. I’m hoping you’re enjoying the midweek goodness from Mr. Lou Rawls, so Keep Diggin’!