Strong Arm Steady
“Like a bird,
on the wing
I just wanna be free enough to do my thing”
Some days are headphone days. Headphones and a good walk. Actually make that walk a full blown head bobbing, bicep curling strut. And music to strut to today; Hercules by Aaron Neville. Hercules actually puts the ‘rare’ in rare groove as the original pressings of this 1973 funk 45 were all but impossible to find. Pressed on sub-standard styrene rather than vinyl, copies would sonically disentegrate only after a few plays, making it (at least until it’s re-issue) something of a holy grail for beat merchants. Funk fanatics also take note; backing band putting the groove in Aaron’s urban hymn is none other than The Meters. Easy to see why, with all those ingredients, that Hercules is also venerated sample fodder amongst the hip hop set.
Paying homage today is the Franco-Jamaican-soul sounds of Blundetto (with enlisted help from cover king Shawn Lee). They’re always esteemed around these parts, so I’m leading with their slow and low cover. There is also Boz Scaggs’, (yes that BOZ SCAGGS, don’t hate.) version making the #2 slot with an epic sounding cut. Broken Beat/Phuture Jazz auteur Alex Attias under his Beatless moniker also gets slow with his faithful downtempo take. And last, but far far from least, is go-to percussionist Mike Dillion (AKA Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle) who rolls out the vibraphone for his spacey yet soulful undertaking.
PS Lucky strongmen (and women) of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, got original and bonus beats waiting for you on the wall….