Review: Feeling lucky? With grooves as raw, sizzling and energetic as these, there's a strong chance you might be. Hot on the heels of their "Mesquite Beat" 45 comes this equally earthy and frank doublet. "'Bout To Blow" is a big pant swinging blues affair while "Saints & Beggars" takes us up a notch with a whirling 6/8 signature whirling waltz where the horns and drums take the lead and we follow in their every dreamy footstep. Look out for the album Mesquite Suite coming on Tramp very soon.
Review: George E Johnson's "Wake Me Up" is another of those killer funk rarities that very few people know about. It was released at some point in the dim and distant past on C.R.S Records, a deep funk imprint from Philadelphia that will soon be the subject of a Tramp Records compilation. This reissue, then, is something of a teaser for that set. "Wake Me Up" is a suitably heavy number, with George E Johnson delivering an impressively impassioned lead vocal over a fuzzy, intoxicated groove rich in distorted guitars, psychedelic-era Hammond organ licks, snaking sax lines and bustling drum-breaks. B-side "The Penn Walk" strips out Johnson's vocal, allowing the backing band's killer instrumentation to really shine.
Review: TRAMP Records' latest must-have "45" is an incendiary double-header of killer cuts. On the A-side you'll find "Candy Man", the suitably obscure sole single from Josephine Jones. It's a lolloping, lo-fi soul affair, with Jones' distinctive vocals rising above the kind of head-nodding breaks, heavy bass and clipped guitar riffs that will get hip-hop DJs hot under the collar. Turn to the flip for another chance to savour Raw Soul's "Just Walk Funky", a track recorded in their home town of Norfolk, Virginia in the early 1970s that went unissued until Put released it in 2009. It remains a tidy chunk of off-kilter instrumental funk rich in intricate guitar licks, booming bass and fizzing drums.
Review: Tramp Records' latest vital reissue delves into the back catalogue of the Reggie Saddler Revue, a largely little known funk combo that released a handful of 45s at the start of the 1970s. This double A-side brings together two killer cuts that originally appeared on different 7" singles, both of which are now near impossible to find. A-side "Raggedy Bag" is raw, weighty and impassioned - a scorching slab of deep funk that more than lives up to its high reputation amongst collectors. Over on the flip you'll find "Love Is Just Like A Baseball Game", a sweeter and more loved-up affair blessed with superb vocal harmonies that's nevertheless impressively fuzzy.
Review: George Brown (Vocals, Bass) Johnny Prejean (Drums), Charles Conrad Greenway (Vocals, Keyboards) Cliff Faldowski (Guitar) and Henry Boatright (Sax) made for quite the ensemble under their Soul Brothers Inc moniker, a project that ran from the late 60s through to the mid 70s and one which defined the Texas soul sound thanks to countless releases through the infamous S.B.I. Records. "Put It On Him" and "Go On & Have Your Fun" featured on one of the 7" singles that the band put out in 1971, and they still sound as fresh and as funky today as they did back then. Most importantly, both tunes have a very definite 'Texan' sound running through them, nodding to a country living that could not be matched by artists from Detroit or Philadelphia. It's their city, their vibe, their sound - and it sounds damn fine.
Keither Florence - "Down Here On The Ground" (3:09)
Robert Cote - "Move On" (with Orange Lake Drive) (3:56)
Scott Cunningham Band - "Anita" (5:50)
Plas Johnson - "Buck Dance" (3:34)
Magic - "Sunshine" (2:32)
Charlie Chisholm Boss-tet - "Wade In The Water" (7:42)
David Lee Jones Trio - "Walk With Me" (2:59)
Al Walton Trio - "Al's Thing" (2:03)
Ulysses Crockett - "Funky Resurgence" (3:45)
Tim James - "Strange Things" (2:52)
Randy Larkin - "Empty Days" (2:46)
San Francisco Committee - "Never Before" (2:54)
John Wesley Dickson Band - "Barrows Blues" (2:58)
Anything Goes - "When She's Gone" (3:02)
Review: Tramp Records' Praise Poems series has so far delivered four essential volumes of deep and soulful 1970s jazz. Predictably, this fifth instalment in little over two years is every bit as good as its predecessors. Highlights come think and fast, from the bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed shimmer of Gunn High School Jazz Reunion's "Red Clay" and the hazy, sun-kissed West Coast rock/deep soul fusion of Robert Cote's "Move On", to the sprawling big band jazz-funk of Magic's "Sunshine", and the vibraphone-powered shuffle of Ulysses Crockett's "Funky Resurgence". We're also really enjoying Charlie Chisholm Boss-tet's wild and spaced out cover version of Ramsay Lewis standard "Wade in the Water". As the well-worn cliche goes: all killer, no filler.
Review: As part of the label's 15th birthday celebrations, the Tramp Records crew has decided to serve up some seriously heavy deep funk. Given that the imprint first found fame championing similarly weight, B-Boy-friendly funk jams, it's rather fitting. The two showcased tracks come courtesy of St Petersburg band the Vicious Seeds, who have slowly been picking up plaudits since making their vinyl debut in 2016. A-side "Illegal Delivery" is something of a dancefloor beast, with razor-sharp guitars riding sweaty, all-action funk drums and a booming, metronomic bassline. "Happy Lobster", on the other hand, is a little more relaxed but no less potent, with the Russian combo wrapping jazzy guitar motifs around a bustling groove.
Review: Absolute scorching stuff from one of the most dominant gospel voices in 60s funk. Originally released on Giant and Calla respectively (and licenced, remastered and released with Shirley's total blessing), "Tell The Truth" is a raw bluesy workout with fired up harmonies and brazen horns squeezing every bit of honesty from our souls, "Because I Love You" hits with a little more soul thanks to the big backing vocals and added melodic layers but strip it down to the bare bones and it's nothing but raw, unapologetic funk... And that's the truth!