Friday, January 26, 2024

Various Artists - Country Funk Vol. 1 (1969-75 us, fascinating groovy funk country rock, 2012 remastered release)

A sweet little set that definitely aims to stake out its own little territory – with a groove that lives up surprisingly well to the title! The music here is way funkier than you might expect – and comes from a time when many popular singers were working in studios staffed by cats who were pretty darn cool – and had a great ear for picking up some of the best musical undercurrents from other scenes – including some of the best soul and funk that was really breaking out in the US at the start of the 70s! As a result, many of these tracks have unexpectedly funky rhythms at the bottom – way different than the kind of backings that you might have heard in country soul records from a few years before – and different too than the redneck rock that was becoming more popular with some of the bigger acts on the charts. 

You're bound to recognize a few bigger names here – as the set's not just country artists – and as usual, the Light In The Attic crew have done a stunning job of putting the whole thing together. Titles include "LA Memphis Tyler Texas" by Dale Hawkins, "Georgia Mountain Dew" by Johnny Adams, "Light Blue" by Bobby Darin, "I Wanta Make Her Love Me" by Jim Ford, "Hawg Frog" by Gray Fox, "Fire & Brimstone" by Link Wray, "Street People" by Bobby Charles, "Bayou Country" by Gritz, "I Walk On Gilded Splinters" by Johnny Jenkins, and "Studspider" by Tony Joe White.

During the late '60s and early '70s country music went through somewhat of a transformation. Many young country artists were eager to infuse some of the hippie attitude of the '60s in to their music. Light In The Attic has combed through this confused era of country music and come up with some choice cuts. Here's what they had to say: "What in the hell is country funk you ask? The answer is a complicated one, in part due to the fact that Country Funk is an inherently defiant genre, escaping all efforts at easy categorization. 

The style encompasses the elation of gospel with the sexual thrust of the blues, country hoedown harmony with inner city grit. It is alternately playful and melancholic, slow jammin', and booty shakin'. It is both studio slick and barroom raw. And while these all may seem unlikely combinations at first glance, upon close listen, it all makes sweet sense. Light In The Attic presents Country Funk 1969-1975, a melting pot concoction of the music of Dale Hawkins, John Randolph Marr, Cherokee, Johnny Adams, Mac Davis, Bob Darin, Jim Ford, Gray Fox, Link Wray, Bobby Charles, Tony Joe White, Dennis The Fox, Larry Jon Wilson, Bobbie Gentry, Gritz, and Johnny Jenkins." 2LP housed in a deluxe Stoughton "Tip-On" jacket with liner notes insert, along with Jess Rotter's illustrations.
Dusty Groove
Artist - Title - Composer
1. Dale Hawkins - L.A. Memphis Tyler Texas (Dale Hawkins, Randy Fouts) - 2:44
2. John Randolph Marr - Hello LA Bye Bye Birmingham (Delaney Bramlett, Mac Davis) - 3:03
3. Johnny Adams - Georgia Morning Dew (Margaret Lewis, Myra Smith) - 3:20
4. Mac Davis - Lucas Was A Redneck (Mac Davis) - 2:50
5. Bob Darin - Light Blue (Bobby Darin) - 3:38
6. Jim Ford - I Wanta Make Her Love Me (Henry Cosby, Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy) - 3:09
7. Gray Fox - Hawg Frog (Buzz Clifford) - 3"26
8. Link Wray - Fire And Brimstone (Link Wray) - 4:20
9. Bobby Charles - Street People (Robert Guidry) - 3:44
10.Cherokee - Funky Business (Craig Krampf, Joe Donaldson) - 2:40
11.Tony Joe White - Studspider (Tony Joe White) - 5:38
12.Dennis The Fox - Piledriver (Dennis Caldirola) - 5:11
13.Larry Jon Wilson - Ohoopee River Bottomland (Larry Jon Wilson) - 3:45
14.Bobbie Gentry - He Made A Woman Out Of Me (Don Hill, Fred Burch) - 2:34
15.Gritz - Bayou Country (Duke Bardwell, Trevor Veitch) - 2:57
16.Johnny Jenkins - I Walk On Gilded Splinters (John Creaux) - 5:50

Related Acts