Tag Archives: funk

Spanish Soul Shakers Freedonia funk on new album “Shenobi”

Hailin’ from Madrid, Spain Freedonia is a high flying soul, funk and rhythm and blues band. Freedonia released a new double album called Shenobi this year. It is the follow-up of their debut album Dignity and Freedom. Listen here the full album!

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ALBUMS | Allen Toussaint: 3 Albums you should listen


“My music is homegrown from the garden of New Orleans. Music is everything to me short of breathing. Music also has a role to lift you up – not to be escapist but to take you out of misery.”

ALBUMS | Allen Toussaint: 3 Albums you should listen

Last week the legendary producer, songwriter and pianist Allen Toussaint passed away.  Following a concert at the Teatro Lara on Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo in Spain, he suffered a heart attack at his hotel and was pronounced dead on his arrival at hospital.

Allen Toussaint wrote songs for musicians like Jessie Hill, Ernie K Doe, Soloman Burke, Dr John and The Meters. Allthough he wrote songs for a whole lot of musicians, Allen Toussaint recorded also some very good solo albums.


Allen Toussaint – 1975 -Southern Nights

In this article I’ll show you three of my favorite Allen Toussaint albums. Starting off with Allen’s Southern Nights  which was released in 1975 and consists some great soulful songs. This album has been called Toussaint’s signature album. Southern Nights really has the boogie, and bassplayers will like the album very much. According to wiki ” Southern Nights” was Toussaint’s tribute to evenings spent with his Creole family on a porch in the song-writer’s native Louisiana.”

Allen Toussaint – Last Train

A cool example of that boogie is “Last Train” a song with like you would expect a nice groove, the bassline is funky and the vocals are smooth and soulful.

Allen Toussaint – The Bright Mississippi (2009)

The Bright Mississippi is an album with a whole lot of different sound. The funk and soul is replaced for New Orleans Blues and Jazz

According to Wiki: “The album title is taken from the 1963 Thelonious Monk song of the same name and features a new version of the song. The album is a unique juxtaposition of modern and traditional jazz tunes with stylistic cues drawn from both worlds”.

Some great tunes on this record are “St. James Infirmary”, “Egyptian Fantasy” and “Blue Drag”. The trumpet and piano really connect on this album which is ideal to come back to earth after a wild night.

Allen Toussaint – The wild sound of New Orleans

Allen Toussaint’s debut album concist a crazy mix of New Orleans part music inspired on Rhythm and Blues. WhirlAway is by far my favorite song on this album, mostly becvause of the speed the catchy piano tune and the train-esque saxophone.

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Lowell Fulson’s laid back attitude and West Coast grooving Blues

Lowell Fulson’s laid back attitude and West Coast grooving Blues

West Coast Blues pioneer Lowell Fulson inspired a generation of new Blues musicians like Ray Charles and BB King with his uptown jump Blues from Oakland California. Ray Charles was part of Lowell’s band as a pianist during the forties and fifties. BB was inspired while working as a DJ in Memphis and became a big fan of Lowell. Fulson’s songs were recorded by artists like Elvis Presley and Otis Redding. His music was sampled by Salt ‘n Peppa and the Wu Tang Clan. The kid from Oklahoma walked a long journey to become an inspiring bluesman.

Legacy of Lowell Fulson

Lowell wasn’t an urban city bluesman. His songs were laid back like you would expect on the sunny West Coast. His guitar solos were smooth and his lyrics were direct. You will notice this in songs like “Tramp”, which was covered most successfully by Otis Redding. A legion of bluesmen recorded the song later, which originally reached #5 in the R&B chart. Men like Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter and Junior Kimborough among them.

Start of career in Oklahoma

Born in Oklahoma Fulson did not spent a lot of time in  “The Sooner State”, Lowell esthablished in Texas. It would become the place where he came in contact with the blues through greats like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lonnie Johnson and Little Hat Jones (Encyclopedia of the Blues-2nd (p71) 1992, author Gérard Herzhaf). After some time Fulson was good enough to take part in the band of traveling artist Texas Alexander in 1939, replacing Howlin’ Wolf according to Nick Talevski’s Rock Obituaries – Knocking On Heaven’s Door p.188. 

Not Texas but California became the place this bluesman really got things going. In 1943 he left Texas Alexander’s band and moved to California for his navy duty in World War II. The next two years he worked overseas and got inspired by some of the greatest swing and jazz tunes around. These tunes would stay part of his style throughout his career. After the war he settled in the East Bay Area.

Best songs Lowell Fulson

To get an impression of the laid back blues Lowell Fulson made fame with and eventually became the head of a Rhythm and Blues community on the West Coast, you should listen to songs like ‘When the Figs Start Falling”, “Everyday Blues” and “Oh Well Oh Well”.

‘When the Figs Start Falling”

“Everyday Blues”

“Oh Well Oh Well”

Reconsider Baby

In 1954 Lowell Fulson wrote and recorded Reconsider Baby his biggest or at least his most covered song recorded for Checker Record in 1954. Today this song is considered a Blues Classic like other diamond song’s as “Got My Mojo Working”  and “Baby Please Don’t Go”. Many blues and other artists have recorded Lowell Fulson’s “Reconsider Baby”. Most famous is perhaps the 1960 version of Elvis Presley, recorded for his Elvis Is Back! album. According to Wikipedia Presley recorded an earlier version in 1956 during a jam session at Sun Studio with Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis, later known as the “Million Dollar Quartet“. You might also like Little Milton’s version of ‘Reconsider Baby’, recorded on ‘Sings Big Blues’ in 1966.

Elvis Presley – Reconsider Baby

During the nineties Lowell Fulson was an esthablished musician, but his career was low-key. Other artists like Eric Clapton and B.B. King asked Lowell to perform alongside them. He kept performing and recording for mostly small record labels. Most of his work can be found online and there you will see how different his songs and lyrics are. Lowell Fulson was a big man of the blues, a heavy weight and a winner.

My father’s nephew was the blues musician, Lowell Fulson. Every time he came around, he had a pretty car, a beautiful woman and a slick sharkskin suit. Believe it or not, that’s how I decided I wanted to get into music.
– Charlie Wilson –

Photo Credit feature picture: By Lioneldecoster (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lowell Fulson – The Letter

Lowell Fulson — One More Blues


Lowell Fulson 1963 ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ Live Clip

Lowell Fulson / Low Society

Lowell Fulson – At My Place Santa Monica, CA, 1983

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New Music: Black Joe Lewis

New Music Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears

Black Joe Lewis and the HoneyBears, a fantastic Blues, Funk and Soul Band, influenced by mix of music from the old days. These guys recently released their third studio album Electric Slave. My favorite song is Mustang Ranch. It is time for some new music: Black Joe Lewis, a real Black Bull Blues Band.

Blues music from Austin

Black Joe Lewis CC by Matt W (Flickr)
Black Joe Lewis CC by Matt W (Flickr)

Black Joe hails from Austin Texas the center where southern soul meets mid-western Blues. Joe makes you think of the old blues days when Sam Cooke, James Brown, BB King and Howlin’ Wolf travelled through the United States to play and play the blues and soul sounds we all like. It was the time when blues and soul dominated the music scene from the Mississippi Juke Joints to the Chicago Blues bars. That music influenced many generation after, and I think it influenced Joe Lewis too .

Lewis and the Honeybears, make blues, soul, funk and punk in a new way, here and there it contains some Iggy Pop or maybe Queens of the Stone Age. On the other hand it is very clear that James Brown and Howlin’ Wolf influenced the band.

Electric Slave

The new album Electric Slave is what people are today with their faces buried in their iPhones and the only way to hold a conversation is through text. The next step is to plug it in to your damned head.” Much like not wanting to be a slave to our cell phones, Black Joe Lewis refuses to be confined to genre-defining boundaries or cater to only one of his many musical.

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