SONG OF THE DAY Whitefield Brothers – Safari Strut


Today’s smasher of a song is another chance find that I happened to stumble upon earlier today and I’ve just been reading about he band behind it.

The Whitefield Brothers are a German Afro-psych, funk band consisting of brothers Jan and Max Weissenfeldt.  Previously known as the ‘Poets of Rhythm,’ the duo emerged in 1991 and were originally signed to the Quannum Projects label.  It wasn’t until 2001 that they reinvented themselves as the Whitefield Brothers, releasing their debut album In the Raw that same year.

Their second album Earthology was released in 2010 via Now-Again records and incorporated a fusion of funk and world influences from across the globe.  Bringing in members from other bands such as Antibalas and Quantic the album featured an equally enticing selection of instrumentation including gongs and flutes from Asia, xylophones and string instruments from Africa and percussion from Central America.  Earthology also featured a multitude of guests ranging from vocalists Edan, Mr. Lif, Bajka, Percee P and MED to musicians from El Michels Affair and the Dap-Kings!

What I want to know is how is it I’ve not stumbled across The Whitefield Brothers before if I heard of pretty much every band/artist featured on this album?! I did get there in the end though and this is all thanks to their rather Mulatu Astatke-esque Safari Strut which features on Earthology.. Check it out above.

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Posted in Afro beat, afro funk, Afro-psych, now again records, Psych-funk, Psychedelic, World | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Scorpio & His People – The Unforgiven


What a difference a day can make! On the mend and grateful for the simple things in life, getting out of bed to write this post never felt sooo good!!

Today’s song is quite a stunner and original pressings of this ultra rare funk/soul 45 are highly sought after! So don’t be put off by the label and what looks like a child’s random doodle, this single was fetching over £2000 six years ago!  The Unforgiven is the b-side to the Theme From Movietown Sound and was released via a label called International Hits in 1972.  But this is all I can report as information on this release seems to be as scarce as the 45 itself, so if anyone out there knows more, get in touch!  I’m loving The Unforgiven and its raw and soulful feel.  Check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY The Growlers – Habit Of Dread (Audiotree Live)


Excuse the rather brief post but when your ill in bed everything is an effort and even the most basic function is proving to be hard work…. What wasn’t hard work today, however, is the choice of song!

The Growers are one of my all time favourite bands and they never fail to perk me up….and I need some perking up!  Kick The Habit Of Dredd (yes it’s spelt right) is a superb little track from the Growlers Couples, Vol 3 album which was released in limited numbers with only 250 copies made in 2008! According to lead singer Brooks Nielson this was his favourite release! Today’s version is a live take recorded on Audiotree Live, May 26, 2011.  Check it out above..

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SONG OF THE DAY Dry Bread – Words To My Song


Cyril “Dry Bread” Ferguson was a songwriter and guitarist hailing from Crooked Island in the Bahamas.  His nickname originates from his voracious appetite and his own humble beginnings.  His work for Bahamian Label GBI stemmed from an award he received from label founder Frank Penn: Most Potential Artist at the inaugural Music Maker of the Year Awards in 1972, tradition Penn began in hopes of further invigorating public interest in Grand Bahama artists.

Stunned by Ferguson’s performance of his original composition Yamar, Penn invited him to GBI to cut a record. The b-side Words To My Song is a tongue-tied prediction of writer’s block, created on the spot and inspired by drummer Ebo’s flawless skin wizardry.  It’s a fantastic soul/funk gem and I’m pretty chuffed I accidentally stumbled upon this one! Check it out above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Lawrence Arabia – Solitary Guys


New Zealand’s James Milne, aka Lawrence Arabia has a captivating way with songwriting and, aided with just his voice and a guitar, produces the warmest of sounds.

The Auckland-based songwriter has recently announced his 2018 Singles Club project which consists of a monthly series of singles, all of which are to be funded by a Kickstarter campaign.  At the end of the year each monthly track will culminate in a full album, thus completing his new project!

The Auckland-based songwriter’s campaign has already met its target, but there’s still time to sign up to hear his new songs and support this ambitious creative endeavour.  First track from the singles project is Solitary Guys, a song that examines the fragility of the male ego, singing of a world where “women, tired of lame male come-ons, have all decamped to some other star system where things are much better.”  Listen above and check out a live performance of the song below (recorded live at 95bFM’s Freak The Sheep show in late January).

If you like the sound of Milne’s new project and want to join his singles club, check out his Kickstarter page and read more here. 

Solitary Guys is out now and can be purchased from here.

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SONG OF THE DAY Alemayehu Eshete – Gizew Honeshyna


Beirut-born Vinyl junkie and DJ collective Ernesto Chahoud is heavily into Ethiopian jazz.  He has dedicated many years to unearthing old Ethiopian sounds and had always dreamt about sharing this passion on a larger scale.  But without either the money nor the contacts to go to Addis Ababa, Ernesto Chahoud instead set about compiling his very own mix of old Arabic music which consisted of forgotten records from the flea markets of Beirut and Cairo.

At the time of its release in 2010 this compilation received little response despite its circulation around various different labels and it wasn’t until five years later that Ernesto Chahoud’s mix of Disco-Belly dance and Arabic funk was discovered and voted among the Guardian’s 2015  best Middle Eastern playlists.

Three days ago via London’s BBE Music Ernesto Chahoud released Taitu, a 24-track compilation of soul-fuelled stompers straight from the dancefloors of 1970’s Addis Ababa. The mix explores the unique Ethio sounds of that time and is the result of Ernesto Chahoud’s decade-long affair with the ‘golden age’ of Ethiopian music.

Gizew Honeshyna is a featured track by Alemayehu Eshete, an Ethiopian jazz singer who has been performing since the early 1960’s.  Releasing his first hit single Seul in 1961, Eshete is considered as the golden voice of Ethiopia and the father figure of this soulful stream of Ethiopian music; he has even been nicknamed the “Ethiopian Elvis!”  If you are enjoying today’s song, you’re in luck because there’s not just one but three tracks by Alemayehu Eshete on this great mix!!  Listen to the great Gizew Honeshyna above and listen, read about and order your copy of the whole album from here. 

Posted in BBE Music, Ethio-Jazz, Ethiopia Jazz, Ethiopian jazz, Funk, Soul, World | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SONG OF THE DAY Ernie Hawks & The Soul Investigators – Journey to the Bottom


“Take a chance with the Scorpio Man, his sting will give you a funky high much better than what they sell in the streets…”

As we embark full speed into 2018, Helsinki’s Timmion Records are preparing to release Ernie Hawks debut album Scorpio Man, which is due at the end of next month!

Erno Haukkala, a.k.a Ernie Hawks, is a trombonist and flutist who has been creating music for the past two decades and for his debut album he has teamed up with Helsinki’s soul revivalists and Timmion label founders, The Soul Investigators.

The record (so far) boasts a groove-laden funkathon, brimming with soulful, funky, jazz instrumental tracks, driven by laid-back beats and steered by nifty flute melodies.  Journey to the Bottom is one of three tracks released ahead of Hawks’ debut (check out the other two here and here) and delivers a more smooth, steady ride with a slow-soulful melody that escorts you into relaxing, indulgently mellow realms.  It’s another smashing track and I can’t wait to hear the rest of the record in March! Check it out above and pre-order your copy of Scorpio Man from here.

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SONG OF THE DAY The Herbaliser – Submarine


UK hip hop veterans, The Herbaliser have spent the last 25 years touring and recording, building up a well-deserved and hefty fan base over the years with their diverse blends of hip hop, jazz and funk.

With an appropriately titled new album due early this month, Bring Out the Sound features a carefully chosen group of guest vocalists who joined The Herbaliser in their London studio to record this enticing blend of soulful songs and original instrumental funk breaks; made all the more impressive by its complete absence of sampling!

Featured track Submarine starts off cool and calm, the beat is steady and the flow is smooth, but there’s a surprise in store which presents itself just over a minute in when a blast of horns erupts and things get lively!  Listen above.

Releasing via UK’s BBE, Bring Out The Sound can be pre-ordered from here with today’s track already available to download!

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SONG OF THE DAY Vicki Anderson – The Message from the Soul Sister


According to James Brown’s autobiography soul singer Vicki Anderson, a.k.a Myra Barnes (her maiden name), was the best female singer he ever had!  For three years Anderson sang with James Brown, initially joining him in 1965 until she was replaced by Marva Whitney in 1968; only to re-join Brown once again in 1969 for a further three years (until the great Lyn Collins took over!).

In 1970 Vicki Anderson released her most famous song, The Message from the Soul Sisters which was written and produced James Brown and released on the King label.  Its one hell of a strong song with a deep melodic groove so it’s no wonder it brought Vicki Anderson so much recognition!  The song has also been sampled numerous times, with my favourite being Above The Law’s 1990 track, Freedom of Speech.  Listen above.

Posted in Funk, R&B, Soul | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

SONG OF THE DAY Ebo Taylor – Egya Edu


Following on from yesterday’s jubilant vibe comes a track from Ghanaian guitarist, singer, composer, bandleader and record producer, Ebo Taylor.

Ebo Taylor emerged in the 1950’s, initially as part of the Broadway Dance Band and Stargazers before entering into a solo career.  Fusing highlife with soul, funk and jazz Ebo Taylor was often accompanied by his bands the Blue Monks, Sweet Beans and the Pelicans.

Today’s song comes from Ebo Taylor And The Pelikans’ self-titled album which was recently reissued via UK label Mr Bongo in November last year (I’ve just been researching the original which is still fetching good money!).  For this album Ebo joined forces with The Pelikans, a 12-piece band from the Cape Coast region of Ghana led by Bessa Simmona, with rhythm guitarist Fifi Orleans Lindsay.  With lyrics sang in both English and Fante, this was the first album which featured Ebo’s vocals and has been labelled as “a genuine ‘holy-grail’ of Ghanaian music and one of Ebo’s most sought-after”

Egya Edu is a glorious upbeat track with its funky guitar and vibrant horn section, check it out above and listen/purchase the whole album from here. 

Posted in Afro beat, afro funk, Highlife, Mr Bongo | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment