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Entries in Funk (29)


Strivin' & 45'n | The A's & B's of Funk, Soul, & R&B | July 21st @ Japp's

Join us this Friday at Japp's Since 1879 for the second edition of Strivin’ & 45'n, an all 7" vinyl affair. I'll be playing timeless funk, soul, and R&B sides from my stash for a party unlike any other in the neighborhood. Roll through anytime starting at 9pm and help keep the party popping and hissing all night long.


Bobby Byrd - "I Need Help (I Can't Do It Alone) Pt. 1 / Pt. 2" (King, 1970)

One of the true unsung players in the game of funk and soul, Bobby Byrd was a founding member of the Famous Flames, the vocal group that catapulted James Brown into the spotlight. Keeping Mr. Byrd close by throughout his career, James leveraged Bobby's showmanship and vocal prowess as the hype man, emcee, and back-up singer for his infamous live show. I recently stumbled across this amazing 7-inch containing the single "I Need Help (I Can't Do It Alone)". Released on King Records in 1970, the 45 captures the title track (in two parts) from Mr. Byrd's 1970 solo album of the same name. I'm still looking for a copy of the original long player, so this 45 will have to do for now. Sadly, Bobby Byrd passed away in 2007, but I'm still hoping someone will do it up right and put together a relevant compilation of Bobby Byrd's output that properly showcases and brings to light his infectious energy and booming voice.


Bull & The Matador - "The Funky Judge / Instrumental" (Toddlin' Town Records, 1968)

Who doesn't just LOVE a killer funk 45? Bull & The Matadors was a short lived group out of East St. Louis, Illinois. "The Funky Judge" was their first, and most successful, release peaking at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group went on to record a couple more singles for Toddlin' Town Records, but was never able to match the success of "The Funky Judge". So far, this is the only record of I've been lucky enough to stumble across from Bull & The Matadors, but I'll surely be keeping an eye open for their other singles. Enjoy both sides of "The Funky Judge" 7-inch below... The b-side features a cold-blooded instrumental version!

Bull & The Matadors - "The Funky Judge / The Funky Judge (Instrumental)" (Toddlin' Town Records, 1968)


Miami - "Kill That Roach" (Drive Records, 1976)

Aw yeah! I'll forever have a sweet spot for an undeniable disco 45! This spinner from Miami is built on a groovy bass line that takes its time, does it right, and still manages to walk it out all over the place. The horns and guitar accent swimmingly and sprinkle some color on top while allowing the vocal chant to take center stage and urge for somebody to "kill that roach". Nasty and funky!


Iron Knowledge - "Show-Stopper / Oh-Love" (Tammy, 1972)

This 45 from Iron Knowledge (from Youngstown, Ohio!) released Tammy Records in 1972 is an undeniable face melter! “Show-Stopper” boasts one of the heaviest, gnarliest sounds ever put to wax and the flip “Oh Love” more than holds its own as an under-appreciated slab of sweet wah-wah'd soul. I struggled to find much information about Iron Knowledge, but this old post on the Soulstrut message board provides some insight into the band's story via an interview with their bass player Gary Blalock as conducted by board contributor hammertime. I'd love to see a proper piece on the band. Hit me up if you have any further information to add to their story. In the meantime, enjoy both stellar sides below!