Function Underground: The Black And Brown American Rock Sound 1969-74
NOW-AGAIN. CD/DL/LP Forgotten nuggets from the frontier where funk met acid-rock.
“Hendrix was dead before most black people in America knew he was a black man,” says Matthew Watson, drummer with the Ebony Rhythm Band, in the sleevenotes to this compilation of primordial late-’60s and early-’70s funk-rock. But these mostly long-forgotten acts knew exactly where Jimi was coming from, and their attempts at splicing Hendrixian guitar to hard-edged R&B rhythms still deliver rawedged B-movie thrills, decades on. Highlights include Purple Snow’s superb acid-funk cover of Down By The River, Ebony Rhythm Band’s rewrite of Spencer Davis’s I’m A Man as garishly funky anti-dope screed Drugs Ain’t Cool (which sounds, naturally, bugged out on drugs itself) and the flutefunk of the Quasimoto-sampled Loaded Back by Michael Liggins & The Super Souls, and even the relative chaff of, say, Jimi Macon’s woodshedding instrumental Jimi’s Guitar Raps With The Bass is ripe for sampling. Stevie Chick