Monday, January 31, 2011

LaVern Baker - "Let Me Belong To You" (Brunswick, LP - 1970)

I think i lost my Mojo! Seriously guys now, i have no inspiration at all! OK, I'm no Charles Dickens but I'm sure i can handle it a little and put down on paper (OK the digitalized version of it) some words that makes sense. I bought some really good stuff a few days ago, and all I'm doing is hearing LPs after LPs and CDs after CDs. For a break I'm reading a chapter or two of  Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch", but still no inspiration at all for what i must offer to you people...
I was diggin' on my records but i wasn't sure. I mean, there are plenty of great platters there but if you haven't something good to say... Just don't do it. Anyway, the one minute i was hot on one thing and the other i was thinkin' "naaaahhh", not this one. Finally i came through this. I love LaVern. I mean I LUV LaVern Baker! She was the sexiest, toughest, bustiest diva of the 50s! A real force of nature! Everyone should have Lavern's records on Atlantic. What she cut there it's easily the best example of how rock & roll or rhythm & blues should come out of a woman's mouth. "Voodoo Voodoo" for example is Little Richard in full feminine hormones battle! But i guess most of you already know these. I'm sure though that not many had the chance to hear Baker as a mellow and more polished Soul queen. And i really don't know why the sides she recorded for Brunswick in the 60s remain unavailable. I never crashed on a new package of these recordings. The good folks at Ace headquarters must do something and certainly, immediately.  Not only on this LP. LaVern on Brunswick had diamonds and pearls, and comparing to these whatever Aretha recorded it's just mediocre crap. Like both version's of "Think Twice" with Jackie Wilson (you can hear the "dirty" one on the White Trash Soul Sampler No. 1 in here), or the floorburner "Batman to the Rescue" or the never released before til 1998, "I'm Gonna Get You". This record came out in 1970 and it's actually a "highlights" compilation of the seven Brunswick singles. Exchange hands on eBay for about 50 $ and since i never saw it anywhere else, i decided to post it here. Only Etta James can match Lavern Baker and here's the more melancholy side of her majesty.
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Let Me Belong To You 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wilson Pickett - "In The Midnight Hour" (Atlantic, 1965 - this reissue by Rhino, 1993)

OK it's official, I'm outta my mind! How in the hell i forgot that a couple o' days ago we had the sad celebration of five years without Him? Five years without the baddest motherfucker! Five long years without the man and a half himself! On 19th January 2006, Wilson Pickett had left the building and from since the whole world lives without the toughest of them all... The roughest voice ever in Soul and the sweatiest grooves ever produced for the dance floors, are for good now linked with the Wicked Pickett! Forget any other when it comes for Wilson Pickett! I know I may sound like a blasphemous bastard right now, but that's how i feel. And if i must continue under sacrilege mode, i should add that he was for sure a son of a demon. He took all of his gospel memories and influences and strained them through his big bad lungs creating the very same moment hot blooded and sex driven funky music! Even though i have in my mind a million things to say 'bout him, I'll tell none. I mean, where in the bloody hell should i start and where to finish? Should i talk for the Falcons first? Should i talk for the Atlantic era or the Stax? Should i talk for picking up on a young Duane Allman, or should i talk for the bad behavior on women, his gun carrying, the drug problems and the jail sentence? He was not nicknamed "Wicked" by accident, be sure. I have always liked to provoke and evoke people when I'm having a conversation. In the past I've met many mods and you know, mods like to see themselves (even today) as the Soul knights. The ones that carrying the Soul torch in this age... Pfffff! None of them I've met had a good word for him... Coincidental? I don't think so! OK, don't wanna be malevolent and I'm sure there are many of 'em liking him, but almost all agreed to one thing. Wilson Pickett wasn't that good as Marvin Gaye or Diana Ross for example... Go figure! But i understand. He was too nitty gritty, too filthy and too bastard for a clean cut crowd, right? Don't get me wrong, here. I have nothing against mods, but what I'm typing now are true experiences. They always seemed to like better Northern and he was too Southern!
Anyway, that's probably his first long play for Atlantic. Not sure, but i won't waste time to check on geeky things. I chose it cause it's actually a compilation of singles in an era counting from 1962 to 1965. It contains also the magnificent Falcons (whose member was also Eddie Floyd), the ultra classic "Midnight Hour", the co-penned with Don Covay (another master!) "I'm Gonna Cry" and the first recordings he made with the Stax crew (f*ck the Eric Claptons of this world, Steve Cropper was GOD!). And as the liners points out:
' "Wicked" Pickett: a tall, dark and dangerous lady slayer and the envy of millions of wanna be "man and a halfs" from Cincinnati to Sheffield!" '
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Don't Fight It! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

1 Year White Trash Soul!

I have never thought to start a blog. I was always a printed magazine kind of guy. I still am. Nothing's the same with something you can touch your hands on. There's no comparison. And that's why i'm posting here thoughts and music. Cause true fans never stays with something immaterial like mp3 or flac. They want the real thing, something to touch their hands on. Like vinyl records or even CDs. If you have the chance to touch a beautiful woman, you would stay just with her pictures? I don't think so. But it's a good an' easy way to share along with your thoughts, the "body" of it. You can talk about Link Wray, Little Richard or Chuck Berry and boom! here it is you can actually hear it and decide for yourself if this blogger writes bullshit or what he said fits with your personality! But sadly most record companies, even the small ones don't see it that way. Narrow minded people confounded to be out mached by their era.
Anyway, I'd like to thank you all for your support, even by stopping by here and leaving a comment or not. It's the same for me and i won't complain. I'm here to share my passion and not to see myself as a "cool blogger". You know, "i had yesterday" 500 hits, wow"! If 500 people visit this blog and just one agree with me or for better, discover something he didn't know previously, that's the greatest reward for me! I'm trying to answer to all comments. If i forgot sometime someone, sorry. I 'll try to fix it up next time.
Thanks again and keep the rocks rollin'!
See you in next post!
Yours trully

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Cannibals - "Bone To Pick" (HIT Records,1982)

There are two kinds of legends in rock & roll. Those who had make it big (commercially or artistically acclaimed) and those who didn’t.
Mike Spenser sadly belongs to the second category. He was the original vocalist of the Count Bishops and I LOVE the Bishops as a few bands in the world. I do understand why so many fans of the band or the music press dug the second singer, Dave Tice cause he had a hell of voice but sorry, I go for Mike all the way! Dave had a gutsy gravel throat but Mike was the caveman here! The Bishops on “Speedball” were the true sons of the Pretty Things! I have never heard such rawness since the early days of the Sect and the Pretties (always talking for UK).
With Mike behind the mic, Bishops were the garage punk version of the Pretty Things. And there’s not much really more to say cause what I’ve already wrote, I believe strongly speaks for itself!
There’s a big confusion for what Mike did and what not after the Bishops. There must be one or two bands before the Cannibals but that’s a mystery to me. I have searched over the internet countless times and still no complete bio or discography for Mike. I guess when I found the time, should I try to track him for an interview.
The Cannibals are what the name exactly pronounced. The most primitive thing came outta England in the late 70s and all the 80s. They were the originators of ‘Trash’. For some strange reason, only a small amount of compilers around the world include them in the so called ‘Garage Revival’ thing, but the Cannibals were more garage and definitely more punk than say, the Fuzztones or the Chesterfield Kings of this world! They had great originals (I mean GREAT!) and they preferred to cover Bo or Chuck just like the Sonics & the Stones did, than “Psycho” or “99th Floor” as most of the other like minded used to. And although I adore toons like these, sorry but I go better for a cool rendition of “Nadine” than “Dirty Water”! Oh and the Cannibals really did justice better than others on cover songs of 60s punk bands like the Standells “Good Guys” for example. I know that you may be a little bit suspicious on what I’m writing now but like all other times here, I’m for sure a jubilant fanatic but no blind man to not spot you on the bad things even from the ones I really have a taste for. And the Cannibals were and still are the shit! It’s often mentioned that the B side of  the “Good Guys” single (on Cock Records), was one of John Peel’s favorites. The famous (now) Black Box of 142 with his all time faves, secured them a place in the pantheon of rock & roll publicity for ever. With a credit like this you simply can do no wrong, right? Prepare the cauldrons and put fire is time to feed the Cannibals!
A Jean Philippe contribution exclusively for White Trash Soul! 

Bone to... Pick!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Melvin Davis with the Nite Sounds - "Playboy" W/ "I Won't Be Your Fool" (Fortune, 1962)

The more you go deeper on things, the more you find the hidden truths. Music can not be an exception. I started my love for Motor City's music tradition through Motown. Then came the Stooges and the MC5. That's when i started figuring how many different aspects and sides this city had. Bob Seger and Mitch Ryder became my next darlings and from there i just lost counting!
Fortune Records came a lot later to my frame. You see, Devora Brown's one track mind still pisses me off. Fortune must be the only legendary label from those times that still has a few proper and official reissues... Go figure, the crudest and at the same time more soulful label of them, remains still in the hands of bootleggers. And luckily enough, thank God for these mofos. If they weren't around, personally i wouldn't have the chance to catch and fell in love with legends like Nolan Strong, Andre Williams, Nathaniel Mayer and... Melvin Davis! 
The last one's one of the few SO multi-talented figures I've ever crashed. Producer and a drummer, songwriter and performer, label owner and arranger! He was the staccato snare on the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown". He was the one that penned Norther Soul triumph, "Chains of Love" (for J.J. Barnes) and had in his many bands members like David Ruffin and Wayne Kramer! Not bad credits, right?
After all these years of diggin' and record hunting, Melvin's along with Andre and Gino Washington my absolute favorites, when it comes for "forgotten" heroes.
That's his Fortune single. It was credited to Melvin and the Nite Sounds. The Nite Sounds was the band behind Fortune's hit, "Mind Over Matter" by GREAT Nolan Strong. They played also on Nathaniel Mayer's "Leave Me Alone" among many other. Excellent n' passionate soulful vocals, memorable bass lines and pounding drums on both sides of this single! The bass back up vocals are courtesy of Jay Johnson of the Diablos (!) and the sax played by a white boy named Nick Malamas and yes he was a Greek! Please let me have some proud here, cause we Greeks have not so many chances to fanfare 'bout Rock & Roll or R&B...
Hear this gem and understand for yourself why even with a lot of time distance, Melvin Davis is up there with thee best of the city's music parade...
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Screamin' Joe Neal - "Rock And Roll Deacon" W/ "Tell Me Pretty Baby" (Originally on Shippings, 1959 - reissued by Norton, 1995)

There was a time in my life that my only ambition was to found lookalikes or sound-a-likes of Little Richard!
Yeh, i know, something got wrong with me from a very tender age... Anyway, i was chasing (OK i admit, still do) like a nutso comps like "Savage Kicks" or "Stompin'" just with the hope to "discover" a cogent dude that had the screaming abilities of Mr. Penniman! Of course I've learned lotsa more with these.
One of the many greats i crashed on was Screamin' Joe Neal. And i was always fascinated by names or nicks with a prefix like "screamin'" or "little". So Joe Neal had a bonus just with this! Not many things are known for the man. He's probably dead even though i hope for the opposite. He recorded two (now) legendary singles one for the Shippings label and another for Emerge. Most sources claim on the net that both singles was on Emerge, but i always trusted better Wang Dang Dula database on these matters and due to this i have the need to tell you too. That's his first and his best. A 1959 wailer in the likes of Little Richard, Esquerita, Kid Thomas and Bunker Hill! Made in St. Louis and re-produced for the next generations as a deposit with love from Norton recs. According to a page dedicated to him, one local guitarist recalled :
"He got his name from crawling around the audience on his knees. He would creep up on a woman and scream at them. Scare the shit outta them."
In just one word, WILD!
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Rock & Roll Deacon!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Otis Redding & the Pinetoppers - "Shout Bamalama" W/ "Fat Gal" (Orbit & Confederate, 1960-61)

Sometimes we must invent (in a way) new terms for helping us describe things, even if these are unproved. For our next subject, the tags 'Rhythm & Blues", "Rock & Roll" or "Soul" can not describe in its full glory, the mayhem captured on tape, half a century ago. We should really call this "garage soul" or maybe "punky R&B" and still we're not going to be 100 % correct.
The great Otis Redding stays to this day as one of the finest! He really got it. Angry and at the same time smooth. Passionate and true. His idol though was no James Brown, but the real king of Rock & Roll, Little Richard. If this was a math equalization, the specific two-sider must had no unknown X. A frantic, pounding, frenzy and deliriously stomping soul hard drive for what is made in a hurry and proposed for butt shaking!
I even like the myth that surrounds it. Otis was Pinetoppers' driver. The Pinetoppers were a kick ass combo. Seriously, these fuckers were as mean and tough as Little Richard's Upsetters! Many times and just from that single judging, think of 'em as the black Raymen! Yeah, that MEAN! So, they went to Memphis for a session at Stax, things not worked properly, Otis grabbed the mic and BOOM! The rest is history! Rock & Roll simplicity and brilliancy have hided most times in such occasions. Primitive rawness that makes Iggy & the Stooges sound like your parish choir boys! No Shit! If you're looking for the most Wild & Savage records ever, have in mind this and the Bunker Hill's "Girl Can't Dance". No wonder after these, Little Richard turned to God... I only wonder what the savage young Sonics would (or could) have done if they had touched their filthy hands on?!
PS: I have seen this single with many different labels. King, Confederate, Orbit and Sue... I think Orbit's the original but it's easier to find King's re-print. I can't remember clearly but, I'm sure for King and Sue issues  this credited to Otis Redding only and not with the Pinetoppers but it's the same screamer (well OK, King's single has overdubs and it's slightly different but anyway...), so if you ever see it watching you, grab it!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Cramps - "1976 Demo Session W/ Girl Drummer Miriam" (Bootleg LP, 19??)

Happy New Year to you all White Trash Soulsters out there!
Hope this season be the best in your lives til the next one. Not many time ago, i was ranting 'bout Miriam Linna's drum pounding for the early Cramps. I offered some things and i asked if anyone by you was sitting on a demo session she did with them, that produced not by any other but Richard Robinson, mostly known as the man behind the board for the Flamin' Groovies masterpiece, "Teenage Head".
A very cool bloke from France named Jean Philippe, was hearing upon my wishes and answered today with this (full scans included)!
A million thanks mate! I am truly now "an eternally grateful bastard"!
So, the very first blog entry for 2011 is by the Cramps, featuring M. Linna on traps.
It doesn't get more primitive than this!

1976 Demo Session