One of my recent musical journeys has consisted of singers with deep, soulfully gritty vocal styles. Specifically, the two main guys have been Tony Joe White and Jim Ford. A big reason I’m digging these guys is how they manage to take a country sound, inject some funky rhythm, and come out with this refreshing, soulful rock and roll. Before I go on, take a listen to this short, but tasty jam, “Soul Francisco” by Tony Joe White, just to give a little context to the sound.
So, the other day I was checking out Light in the Attic’s website (the record label who just re-issued Donnie & Joe Emerson’s excellent album Dreamin’ Wild) and came across a compilation entitled, “Country Funk 1969-1975”. My first thought was, “if this is what I think it is, I’ve just struck gold!” It was. Not only did LITA come up with a name for this genre of music I’ve been really into lately, but they compiled and re-mastered 16 of the best examples of it! I quickly scoured the list and the only two names I recognized were Tony Joe White and Jim ford, needless to say I bought the album immediately. Here’s a couple tunes from compilation.
Lucas Was A Redneck by Mac Davis
The description LITA gives of Country Funk does a way better job of describing the sound than me, “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.” The entire collection of songs is fantastic, and for me, it’s opened up a brand new pathway of music to start searching for. I couldn't ask for anything more. Check out the compilation here, Light In The Attic Records.