Friday, December 30, 2005

Steppin' Into The New Year!

I will be traveling for New Years so, to cover for the short hiatus, here's some good music to step into 2006 with!

1. Monk Higgins - Who Dun It

Milton Bland (aka Monk Higgins) was a mainstay of Chicago soul throughout the '60s, playing, writing, arranging and producing for a wide array of labels including the One-Derful!/M-Pac!/Mar-V-Lus group, Chess and St. Lawrence. On the latter label Higgins scored two hits of his own, the first being today's selection. "Who Dun It" features a very nice bass line and a great smoky sax melody that references the famous "Peter Gunn" theme here and there. By the '70s Higgins had relocated to California, where he turned out more great music and scored some blaxploitation pictures, but his Chicago work is my favorite.

2. Clarence Carter - Put on Your Shoes and Walk

Clarence Carter has appeared twice on this page and on one episode of the podcast, and for good reason. His Atlantic and Fame recordings are very good and show the richness of his vocals and guitar, which is lost amid the popularity of his '80s risque party anthem "Strokin'". "Put on Your Shoes and Walk" came out on Fame in 1973 and was a minor hit for him. Carter's missive to men in broken relationships is framed well by the Fame Gang's insistent beat and horn charts and good male background singers.

3. Tyrone Davis - Homewreckers

2005 brought about bad news with the passing of Chicago soul legend Tyrone Davis, whose warm vocals and great songs scored him hit after hit on Dakar and then Columbia in the late '60s and into the '70s. Davis's Southern soul-tinged 1974 hit "Homewreckers" was a departure of sorts from the usual fare he recorded, but the churchy, toe-tapping groove works well with the cautionary lyrics.

I want to thank everyone who has stopped by to check out the blog and the "Get on Down ..." show over the last couple of months. This has been very rewarding to me and I look forward to bringing more good music your way in 2006. To that end, look out for the third episode of the podcast to be here either on New Year's Day or on January 2. This go-round features early '70s soul, blues and funk and will be a lot of fun!

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