Santiago: 22 Somerset Drive (1976-1978)

santiago-nRounding out the week we have some lost funk gems from New Jersey’s own Neftali Santiago. Santiago, who formed bands such as The Santiago Band, Santiago & Friends, and Neftali’s Beast, eventually went on to play as the drummer in Mandrill, not once but twice. But before that, he and his family moved around frequently, as his dad was in the military. They finally settled down at 22 Somerset Drive. This was the place where he was influenced by Buddy Miles and Michael Shreive of Santana and learned how to play drums. The lion’s share of these tunes were recorded when he left Mandrill the first time, before he went back. 22 Somerset Drive, a collection of tunes from 1976-1978, mostly unreleased, also includes the heavily bootlegged “Bionic Funk”. With tunes ranging from JB’s style horns, Parliament Funkadelic era cuts, boogie, and more, 22 Somerset Drive will be a real treat for those who enjoy true funk music. Although artists like Bruno Mars try to emulate the sound today, if you want to get a real feel of what the music is really like, these eleven tracks are the real deal. Most of these funky treats, shelved for almost forty years, will no doubt grab the ears of funk aficionados old and new. Of course you could get a feel for a sound like this when he played with Mandrill, but I can only imagine a young Flea Market Funk’s head exploding if he had heard this when first introduced to music in this vein. Released through the Omnian Music Group, there is no talk of vinyl yet, but we hope this thing gets a proper pressing on the black crack, and while they are at it, how about a few of these nuggets on 45? Willingboro, New Jersey never sounded so good. Stream the entire record below, and buy it at the link after. Funk up the weekend with this one folks.

Get it here.

Keep Diggin’!

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