I’m getting another late start here due to the power being knocked out in my whole county for about 4 hours. An electrical transformer blew up and cut off the power to my area and many parts of NJ. My neighborhood was pitch black, helicopters with spot lights all over, and I was forced to read the latest Wax Poetics by flashlight. Also, my desktop looks like it shit the bed, so until I get that going on, it’ll be the laptop (Thank You for that!). FMF pushes on though, and today I thought I’d visit another one of my favorite sides. It has been written up a bunch of times, but I thought I’d show it some love anyway. Here’s Joe Quarterman & Free Soul with “(I’ve Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind” on GSF Records from 1972.
Another great Soul singer starting out in the church, Quarterman earned the nickname “Sir” from his singing in a band called The Knights. His vocal styles stood out in Sir Joe and the Maidens with a few sides released earlier in the 60’s. Quarterman also shined as a trumpet player in El Corols Aka The Magnificent Seven. Consequently, this band played a gig as backing band with Garnet Mimms (who also was on GSF). JQ’s time with Jazz band Orlando Smith Quartet, morphed into his band Free Soul. This Washington, DC based band was made up of guitarist George “Jackie” Lee, jazz-trained guitarist Willie Parker, bassist Gregory Hammonds, keyboardist Karissa Freeman, drummer Charles Steptoe, and horn player Leon Rogers. After this particular single in 1973, they went on to release “This Girl of Mine (She’s Good to Me),” “I’m Gonna Get You,” and “Thanks Dad on Lloyd Price’s GSF label. Switching gears and labels, Quarterman moved over to Mercury in ’74. Unfortunately he was released after only two singles, and eventually quit the music game to become an architect.
From the opening horns, this 7” is a GO. A little bit James Brown and with the spirit of Otis Redding, Quarterman shimmys his way through some jangly guitar, steady drum beat, and heavy bass to spread the word of what’s really going on. There is so much trouble in this man’s mine, it’s hard to be a pimp people, even if your nickname is Sir. I might even go as far to say my man Otis Day stole some of these DC moves when he was the King in Purple Rain in Minneapolis. I especially like the little Psychedelic touch midway with the echo on the vocals. Like i said earlier, so much has been written about this, I just wanted to share one of my favorite sides. SJQ is an unsung hero, and if you’re around Joe, hit me up, I wanna rap about the trouble in my mind. Keep Diggin’!
PS: Friday in Asbury Park, Come on By!