Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lovin' Honey

Perhaps not what the 'Ohio Players' had in mind, Morris' 'Honey' first made the rounds on Abeline's own 'Edmoral' label before getting picked up by RCA subsidiary 'Vik' in 57' (Home of Mickey Baker & Sylvia Robinson among others).

'Edmoral' Records, later 'Winston' Records, was originally owned by country legend Slim Willet, '4 Star' recording artist and author of country standard "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes". Evidently he didn't heed his own advice, as Willet saw enough moxie in Gene Morris to release 'Honey' as well as two subsequent singles by Morris sans Pages ('I Need it' and the awesome 'I Craw Fished') , though none would prove as viable as this sweet little honeycomb enclosed.

Since I ain't got no copy on Morris ( A slight historical oversight, I'm sure) check out the straight jaw on Willet instead.

"Born Winston Lee Moore on Dec. 1, 1919 near Dublin, TX, Willet received a BA degree in journalism in 1949 from the Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Following a short stint in the aircraft industry, Willet began broadcasting on Abilene country station KRBC. He remained a popular DJ at the station until 1956. He used his popularity from the radio show to form his first band, the Hired Hands. In 1950 Willet released his first single "Tool Pusher From Snyder." Willet and the Hired Hands made regular appearances on The Big D Jamboree up until 1954 on WFAA in Dallas, as well as becoming as the Louisiana Hayride for four years beginning in 1951. In the early 50's, Willet released a few hit singles on the 4 Star label including "Red Rose," "No Love Song To You," and his biggest record "Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes." By 1954, Willet set up his own label, Winston, releasing sporadic singles over a ten year period culminating with "You're the Only Woman," his final release in 1966. Slim was working full time at KCAD in Abilene, where he was part owner, until his death in 1966 from a heart attack. "
"There is no Bee w/o the sting; Cleverness consists of gathering the honey nevertheless"

Lovin' Honey - Gene Morris w/ the Pages

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chicken Fat: An Impulse Discovery

What can I say? I'm down with the chicken.

Be it 'Greasy Chicken', 'Chicken Crazy' or 'Chicken Strut', I'll eat that shit down to the bone and wear it like a necklace (fat 'n' all).

Today in this clap-board abode we are privy to that rare species of 'Rhode Island Red' that can jump genres from jazz to soul and back again without roostin' too high for the layman to grasp. And in a refreshing turn, we've even got some bonifide skinny on the artist in question:

"Mel Brown (born October 7, 1939, in Jackson Mississippi)is an American blues guitarist. Best known for his decade-plus stint in support of Bobby "Blue" Bland, Brown channeled elements of soul, funk, and jazz to create one of the most distinctive guitar styles in contemporary blues. Brown received his first guitar at the age of 14 while battling meningitis, spending hours each day studying the music of idols like B. B. King and T-Bone Walker from his sickbed. In late 1960, he toured with The Olympics, followed by a two-year tour of duty with Etta James. By 1963 Brown launched a session career, playing on records by everyone from Bobby Darin to Bill Cosby as well as T-Bone Walker's Funky Town album. His contributions so impressed record producer Bob Thiele that he invited Brown to record his own album: 1967's Chicken Fat, a blues-funk outing pairing Brown with fellow guitarist Herb Ellis. A series of impressive LPs including The Wizard, I'd Rather Suck My Thumb, and Big Foot Country Gal followed in quick succession before Brown joined Bland in 1971, appearing on the singer's California Album two years later."

Fresh from the fryer @ 'Vintage Vinyl', we got a big ole' glob o' 'Chicken Fat', and the greasy spoon it came with. You can eat all you like, just so long as you eat what you take.

Chicken Fat - Mel Brown

Greasy Spoon - Mel Brown

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This One Time @ Band Camp...

Cut on Buddah's 'Cobblestone' subsidiary (Same joint which gave us the awesome 'Suicidal Flowers') here we gots a "Flute Thang", and it ain't no 'Blues Project'.

A Sicilian message from the self-professed "Ebony Godfather", 'Comin' Home Baby' ain't quite as frantic as 'Chitlins & Cuchifritos', but w/ a skiff of snow on the cold, cold ground (Did i mention that its cold?), this track packs just enough "Easy Does it" for my low rent tastes.

Feathering jazz luminaries Jiggs Chase on organ, Robby Porter on baritone and Kenny Pollard on drums, you can do worse than givie it a spin, and if you happen to wake up to a horse head in your bed sporting a Kaya Kente Hat (What is w/ my current hat obsession?), just consider it a gift on the day of your daughter's wedding. May your first child be a masculine child.

Comin' Home Baby - The Joe Thomas Group

Hellooo Baaaaby!!!

What's that you say? Big Bopper's coffin for sale! Slightly Used! Half-price! Well hot-diggity!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Turn the Key On the Little Tin Soldier

Before you go crownin' your dome piece with a 'Natani Nez' wide-brim and kicking people (Namely Me) in the face, be forewarned that this is NOT the tune made famous in the movie 'Bill Jack'. That would be Coven of 'Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls' fame.

Not about to be outdone by some Kung-Fu injun (or Jinx Dawson for that matter), this fuzzy soul bit is brought to you by the wonderful architect of dance-floor favorite 'The Push', though to be fair, I think this tune has got enough moxie to push right back and then some.

Cut on the 'Jewel' imprint in 67' (Fuck what the label says), 'Soldier' was produced by The great Charlie 'The Best That's Ever Been' Daniels and features a back-up band of 'Jades', though I doubt they are related to either the 'Surfin' Crow' or 'Boomstix' variety. Still, I like to think William Jack would approve.

Oh...and thank you for not kicking me in the face.

Little Tin Soldier - Billy Joe Young

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gettin' Ready to Gooooo to the Grand Ole' Opry Show!

Been in a country state o' mind these past few weeks, due in no small part to the general cold and ever present greyness that is Mid-Atlantic December. Sorry to say, but we got a good ground-hogs shadow to go before the leghorns molt and a fresh stubble of 'Jack in the Pulpit break ground, so I'm inclined to keep this yodel blue for a bit longer.

Not quite sure how a Jersey boy got Georgia on his mind, but god bless Hub Reynolds and Somerville New Jersey's own WGW records for waxing this here cousin-humpin'country bopper.

I've been combing the quaint suburbs of Somerville for awhile now, half expecting to turn up more choice cuts on this local favorite of a record label, but as of this writing this is the only example to be found in the field, though specimens frequently show up online @ arm/leg prices.

Perhaps most famous for their release of the BFTG classic 'Love's a Fire' by the Werps (Horns and all), WGW has seen a lot of strange and noteworthy recordings come out of the surrounding sprawl, including such acts a UGE, the Apostles and Leather Apple (not that anyones ever heard of them).

Wish I could tell you more about this particular release, but with history so tight lipped about the comings and goings of WGW records, wishes just aren't horses today, but if they were, I'd hitch em' up and hit that Georgia farm.

Georgia Farm - Hub Reynolds

Two Days a Week - Hub Reynolds

Riding Shotgun! pt 2

Finally got around to slicking up last months coach gun. Took the Stoeger down to it's bones and applied some valve-grinding compound before workin' the action to something approaching acceptable tolerance. Polished the chambers with ought-four steel wool/break-free and slapped on a Galco leather cheek pad (Good quality -by-the-by) replete with five rounds of buckshot.

Only ever an arms length away.