Category Archives: Funk/Jazz

African Music Machine — Black Water Gold (Pearl)


[-]by Steve Huey

Black Water Gold
The African Music Machine was an eight-piece funk outfit from New Orleans led by bassist/songwriter Louis Villery. They got their start as a house band for the Jewel/Paula label axis, playing on records by the likes of Fontella BassLittle Johnny TaylorRoscoe RobinsonTed TaylorTommie Young, and singer/producer Bobby Patterson, among others. From 1972-1974, they cut several of their own singles for thePatterson-owned Soul Power subsidiary. Most of their work was done in a heavy, James Brown vein, sometimes with a bit of Creole influence mixed in. Their original 45s — including “Black Water Gold,” “Tropical,” and “The Dapp” — later became highly prized items among funk collectors, fetching outlandish prices; a compilation of singles, also titled Black Water Gold, was reissued in 2000. In 2001, Villery assembled a new version of The African Music Machine and released an eponymous album on Singular.”   (

Cymande — One More


Get the album here

Cymande is a first class British band whose music fuses African music, Soul, Rock, and Jazz and Calypso rhythms. The result is some fine Funk.

Although the group disbanded after only 3 years (1971 – 1974), it produced some outstanding tunes. Their best known song is most likely Bra of which I posted the YouTube clip.

My personal favorite so far is today’s pick, One More,  a beautiful slow piece which reminds me a bit of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross. 



Little Grady Lewis — Soul Smokin’

Cloudy skies and grey days here in San Antonio — and I am in need of some upbeat tune to keep me going. The first minute I heard this funky piece, I knew I had found the right music to make me forget the dreariness of another totally un-Texan day.

Listen to that saxophone!



Fat Larry’s Band — Peaceful Journey

Friday is here at last. And I think we all deserve something relaxing to listen to. Today’s pick is from the album Off The Wall (Stax, Bellaphon 1977) by Fat Larry’s Band. (Fat) Larry James, the drummer, was the band’s frontman. He had also performed with such groups as the Delfonics and Blue Magic.

The band hailed from Philadelphia and played some jazz-tinged Funk. They released 10 albums between 1976 and 1986 and a compilation CD by the British ACE REcords label.


Get the album here.


The Bar-Kays — Mean Mistreater

After a stressful, crazy week yours ol’ Rag is back. Of course, I’ve brought a song along …

From The Bar Kays’ album Money Talks (Stax, 1978) is today’s track.



Gaturs feat. Willie Tee — Sweet Thing

Alright, enough tears shed … I finally entered into peace negotiations with my i-tunes library, and it looks as if we’re reaching an agreement — kind of what-the-heck,-it-is-as-it-is deal. Problem solved.

And because life is good again, I’ll post some great New Orleans Funk by the Gaturs feat. Willie Tee from their 1970’s album Wasted (Funky Delicacies, 1994). This is a fantastic album — so get it. I would describe the Gatur’s music as gourmet funk; the kind of funk that stays close to soul, adds a generous portion of jazz and never loses the touch of the blues.

Willie Tee was born Wilson Turbinton on February 6, 1944 in New Orleans.  Despite a long career in the music business, he never experienced the success he without a doubt deserves. For a detailed bio, please go here. He died September 11, 2007, only one month after his brother Earl, whose music had influenced Willie from early childhood on.





Funky Friday!

Wishing everyone a funky Friday.


Bloodstone — Do You Wanna Do A Thing

Average White Band — Person To Person

Betty Davis — They Say I’m Different

Bobby Boyd Congress — Straight Ahead




Willie Smith — I Got A New Thing

Today’s title is from The Sound Of  Funk, Vol. 9, which is a great compilation, and every serious Funk fan should have in their possession. Funk doesn’t get any funkier. The subtitle, Serious 70’s Heavyweight Rarities, says it all.




Rose Royce — Sunrise

There are not too many albums I like listening to from first song to last. One of the few ones I do, though, is the Car Wash Soundtracks album. What’s even more rare is the fact that I like all the instrumentals on the album. While, over time, Crying has evolved into my favorite track, Sunrise has become a close second.

The album won the 1976 grammy award for Best Score Soundtrack Album — more than deservedly so, in my opinion. With Car Wash, both Rose Royce, the former backup group of Edwin Starr, and Norm Whitfield joined forces to create a masterpiece of 70’s music.



Wishing you all a happy, successful week.




Ronnie Dyson — A Wednesday In Your Garden

For Ronnie Dyson’s albums please go here.

I know it’s Friday again. It feels like Wednesday though. So, it’s not too far off tho post a title about A Wednesday In Your Garden.

Ronnie Dyson (June 5, 1950 – Nov. 10. 1990) was born in Washington and grew up in Brooklyn. He established his musical roots at church and sang his way through to the famous musical Hair in which he performed as lead actor.

My pick today is from his 1973 album, One Man Band. The album was produced by Thom Bell and includes  Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely, the song that, a year later,  turned out to be a success for the Main Ingredient.

Ronnie Dyson’s beautiful natural tenor voice was silenced way too early in 1990. R.I.P. Ronnie Dyson.



For an informative article about the artist, check this site out.

>The Eliminators — Taking Love and Making Love / Blood Donors Needed


The Eliminators are from North Carolina and the album these tracks are taken from, Loving Explosion, was originally released on the Brunswick label in 1974. I love their no-nonsense clean soulful sound that is 70’s through and through. (At least the 70’s I remember.) 
The entire album was pretty good. Of course, I was surprised to see that it included David Ruffin’s Blood Donors Needed which was on his 1973 David Ruffin LP. 

You’ll find the entire album here.