Deepest dopest Dakar
While the UK reissue houses have scraped bare the Brunswick vaults of anything that could remotely qualify as northern soul, some shrewd entrepreneurial type has stepped up to recirculate some of the lost funk treasures produced by Alonzo Tucker for Brunswick's Dakar subsidiary during the mid-70s.
Specifically worthy of note is the self-titled Mighty Doug Haynes LP by the Savannah, Georgia-born multi-instrumentalist whose hard-bumpin' overhauls of Sam & Dave 's Hold On, I'm Comin' and Tyrone Davis 's Can I Change My Mind will make you forget the originals.
Even more entertaining is the slammin' extraterrestrial funk-rock excursion called Earth Creature by Boobie Knight & the Universal Lady . It's one of those rare instances where the music - namely party rockers like Feeling My Cheerios and the Lovomaniacs - actually lives up to the promise of the stoopid-genius song titles and the off-the-hook sleeve art.
Freakout en français
Now that beat heads have begun to turn away from expensive sound library joints toward screwy 70s Euro prog, Quebec is due for a breakbeat gold rush, and Montreal record hound Bruno Tanguay , aka Satan Bélanger , is doing his best to get it rolling. Although the third volume of his Freakout Total (Mucho Gusto) compilation series uncovers headscratchers from France and Belgium as well, it's really the Quebecois corkers that are the business here, namely Paul Baillargeon 's opening kazoo-funk whumper Gazou, Gazou and the seriously twisted Nous Sommes Bi-Bi-Ba-Ba-Boum-Boum by the teddybears from outer space known as Les Lunours . And you thought the Raelians were an anomaly in la belle provence.
The first volume of the Country Got Soul (Casual) collection of 70s beard-funk assembled by singer/songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols was one of the most delightful left-field compilation concepts of the last year. Those who were thrilled by the first survey will no doubt go for Volume 2, which offers more blue-eyed Southern soul from essentially the same cast of contributors - Tony Joe White , Eddie Hinton , Donnie Fritts , Travis Wammack , Larry Jon Wilson , Jim Ford , Dan Penn and Sandra Rhodes - along with a couple of Townes Van Zandt -related surprises including his club-ready Black Widow Blues.
Swell enough, but hopefully Nichols will dig a bit deeper if there's a follow-up. www.casuallondon.com.
Shaft In Jamaica
Here's the Soul Jazz label's Studio One excavation I've been waiting for, the Funk volume. The good news is that there was much more dance-floor damage recorded during the 70s at the house of the late Coxsone Dodd - who passed away in May at the age of 72 - than just the Brentford All Stars ' Greedy G. Along with rare groovers like the James Brown-inspired Now by Lee Arab and Reggae Feet by Lloyd Williams , the fab collection is topped by two previously unissued killers, Jackie Mitoo 's swinging cover of Booker T & the MGs ' Hang 'Em High and Cedric Im Brooks 's crack at Shaft. But really, there's not a duff track in the bunch.