Elijah and the Ebonies – Hot Grits!!!

Bill Moss of Capsoul Records courtesy of the Numero Group

I just wanted to shout out all the people who came out last night to Tokyo Soul: Kamui, King Ben, Rambo Salinas, the Elroy Jenkins, and of course the breakers who were getting down in front of images of Ultraman, Marine Boy, Shaft, and more. A great night of 45’s, good food, and good people. Today I’m going to bring you a record that I neglected to bring last night, and wish I had, because it’s a burner. Here’s a good double sider from Elijah and the Ebonies on Capsoul Records from 1974 and “Hot Grits!!!”.

Local DJ Bill Moss founded Capsoul Records (short for Capitol City Soul) in the early 1970’s: “Columbus, Ohio’s answer to Motown”. His dream of bringing the local crop of Columbus talent to the next and national level led him to form the short lived label. Putting out records by Marion Black (who later split from Moss over royalty disputes on “Go On Fool” and jumped ship to Prix Records) and The Four Mints (“Row My Boat”), the label gained a bit of momentum. Moss also put out sides by Elijah and the Ebonies, Kool Blues, Ronnie Taylor, Hawkins Tatum & Durr Johnson, and himself in the 5 year period the label was around. “Sock It To Him Soul Brother” is a call to action from Moss that may have been a bit premature for the music biz. Like many other small labels, they folded quickly, and in an oh so familiar way, had their master tapes destroyed years later. Moss was trying to be extra safe keeping the masters in another county, and the lady’s basement flooded, destroying these tapes forever. The label’s illustrious history has been captured by the geniuses at the Numero Group on their Eccentric Soul: Capsoul Records release.

As far as Elijah and the Ebonies are concerned, they put out a few sides that I know of before Capsoul. Featuring with Mary Sexton, they released “I Confess” on Gitana in 1966 (some Sweet Soul, Sexton’s voice is quite beautiful throughout), “Pure Soul” on Superior in 1970, and another version on Loren (a Capsoul production, and basically the instrumental to “Hot Grits”) in 1971 before this side we have here today. Jason over at Carolina Soul did some detective work and came up with EATE being a South Carolina band (because of the Sexton connection), but there is not too much more about them that I have. “Hot Grits” (and who doesn’t like them?) is a tune that Pat Longo would probably put on one of his food compilations, if he already hasn’t! A straightforward, horn filled jam, if you can’t get down to this, you must be dead. Great sax throughout the side, as well as some jangly ass guitar, tight bass line and a back beat that will have you singing “Hot Grits” the rest of the day. If anyone else has more info on this band, feel free to contact me, I’m definitely interested. Keep Diggin’!

Download or Listen to Elijah and the Ebonies – Hot Grits!!! from the Capsoul 45

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