HARD... RAW... DEEP... FUNK: October 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Funkadelic - Live - Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan (12 September 1971)

                                                                    "Not released until 1996, this was an unusual gig for the band, which was breaking in a new rhythm section (this may have been this lineup's first show) without much or any rehearsal. You can't tell from this 77-minute disc, which offers a typically amorphous, free-floating set of black rock -- which is to say, judged by most standards, it's not typical music at all. Seguing from spaced-out jams to occasional numbers with vocals by George Clinton, and throwing in imaginative improvisations by guitarist Eddie Hazel and keyboardist Bernie Worrell, it sounds something like a combination of Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, and Sun Ra. The 14-minute "Maggot Brain" verges on prog rock/psychedelia (in the good sense), with its almost mystical guitar lines; earthier pleasures are offered with cuts like "I Call My Baby Pussycat" (two versions). The fidelity is pretty good, though the vocals lack the presence of the instruments. Funkadelic are still shown to their best advantage on their studio recordings of the era, but this is certainly a fascinating find for fans, augmented by detailed liner notes about the gig by Rob Bowman."



1. 01 Alice In My Fantasies (with James Wesley Jackson) (6:37)
2. 02 Maggot Brain (14:01)
3. 03 I Call My Baby Pussycat (Fast Version) (5:39)
4. 04 I Call My Baby Pussycat (8:10)
5. 05 Good Old Music (4:28)
6. 06 I Got A Thing, You Got A Thing, Everybody's Got A Thing (8:37)
7. 07 All Your Goodies Are Gone (The Loser's Seat) (15:07)
8. 08 I'll Bet You (5:24)
9. 09 You and Your Folks, Me and My Folks (5:27)
10. 10 Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow (with James Wesley Jackson) (3:40)

Alice In My Fantasies (with James Wesley Jackson)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mary Jane Hooper - Psychedelphia: Rare & Unreleased New Orleans Funk 1966-1970

"New Orleans funk diva Mary Jane Hooper remains one of the most shadowy figures in Crescent City soul history. Famed for her collaboration with legendary producer Eddie Bo, many believe she is simply an alias employed by singer Inez Cheatham, although Bo himself disputes such assertions. Hooper is in fact the stage name of one Sena Fletcher, who began her career singing gospel before crossing over to secular R&B backing Lee Dorsey. Upon signing to Bo's Scram label in 1966, Hooper issued her debut single, "Don't Change Nothin'." She eventually moved to Bo's Power label, where in 1968 she cut her best-known single, "That's How Strong My Love Is," later licensed for national release by World Pacific. "I've Got Reasons" followed later that year on Bo's renamed Power Pac imprint, but after the release of the two-part "I've Got What You Need" (justly famed for drummer James Black's monster groove),Hooper effectively disappeared. Her vocal similarities to Cheatham (another Eddie Bo protégée) prompted many funk collectors to assume the two singers were one and the same, further muddying the waters of her history and recorded output.

Sorely overlooked by everyone (save for major soul and funk fans) who enjoys soul music, the city of New Orleans was relegated to the backseat by their soul brethren in Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Nashville, somewhat unjustly. With the recent movement to unearth funk classics and rare vinyl, this wrong has been slowly corrected, most recently with Funky Delicacies' reissue of Sena Fletcher's finest performances. Recording under the guise of Mary Jane Hooper, this collection of singles recorded for Scram Records includes her most well-known hit "Psychedelphia" and is reason alone for beat junkies to consider purchasing this compilation. But there are several other hidden treasures among the pile as well; "I've Got Reasons" and "You've Got What I Want" are but two that could give "Psychedelphia" a run for its money, and Fletcher's version of "Harper Valley PTA" is a beautifully haunting take on the classic "



1. Hooper, Mary Jane - I've Got Reasons (3:08)
2. Hooper, Mary Jane - Don't Change Nothing (3:21)
3. Hooper, Mary Jane - You've Got What I Want (2:49)
4. Hooper, Mary Jane - I Feel a Hurt (4:02)
5. Hooper, Mary Jane - Remember When (3:06)
6. Hooper, Mary Jane - I'm in a Loving Groove (3:33)
7. Hooper, Mary Jane - I've Got What You Need (3:25)
8. Hooper, Mary Jane - How Long (2:15)
9. Hooper, Mary Jane - Harper Valley P.T.A. (3:25)
10. Hooper, Mary Jane - That's How Strong Love Is (3:09)
11. Hooper, Mary Jane - Psychedelphia (3:45)
12. Hooper, Mary Jane - Let My Past Go (3:13)
13. Hooper, Mary Jane - Teach Me (2:30)
14. Hooper, Mary Jane - Stolen Moments (2:26)

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Hooper, Mary Jane - I've Got What You Need