– Blog 138 Or The Shuffle Monkey RIP!

It is with not a little sadness to report that Today’s Blog will be the last featuring our Dear Dear Chum the Shuffle Monkey: Msr Le Shuffle, The Shuffle Meister the wee shuffley thing, has drawn on his last Banana Leaf Rollie, which was an improvement on the Pipe with crushed Budgie seeds he used to be seen around Town with when we first met – Probably why he fell out of that Tree in the first place!! Anyway, he has Shuffled off – But not without leaving us with a few Tracks to remember Him by, &, as we run into the Sun, with the Monkey spiritually on our Backs, He Digs Deep into the Crate that is the Mix, &, the first Track He throws at us is, “Into The Mystic” by Van Morrison – Very Fitting; & this is then followed by Prince Sampson with, “Let The Sun Shine Through”!

He then gives us Liane Foley with, “Fallait-Il Que L’on S’aime” – I think He Knew; & this is followed by Tower of Power with, “Keep Coming Back”; & then ABBA no less with, “Summer Night City”!

The Excellent Peabo Bryson is then pulled out of the Mix to serenade us with, “She’s A Woman” – From the Tres Bon Album, ‘Crosswinds’; & then we have before us The Persuaders – Unfortunately not a la Roger Moore & Tony Curtis – but no less a superb choice of song, “Stay With Me”; Which in True Shuffle Monkey fashion He follows with The Dells, “(You Bring Out) The Best In Me”; And The Mighty Four Tops close behind with the excellent, “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)”!

He next brings us a Great Northern Soul memory on this last Day & a real Class Track from Karen Pree with, “Girl With A Broken Heart”– Go On, Get On The Floor, This is no Time for Sadness – & Stay there as Rance Allen follows with, “The Truth Is Marching On” – Produced of course by The Mizzell Brothers; & Then a Shuffle Meister swerve into Steve Tyrell doing His version of the Great Bacharach & David song, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” – With a Restorative, Keep The Faith Lyric, worth a whole cupboard of Pills to any Depressed person!

C’est Chic is the order of the Day now as the Glorious Francoise Hardy sings, “Voila”; & then Sammy Davis Jr assures us that, “We’ll Make It This Time” – Which of course you’ll know, coz you’re in the know, is the Music to the Police procedural set in the 50th State – Hawaii 5 0 – with an added Lyric; & then what else but a little Soul Ecstasy from Champaign &, “Can You Find The Time”!

Now, the New Yardbirds led by Jimmy Page and with John Paul Jones on Bass who took up the offer when Ronnie Wood refused, &, a young guy from Wolverhampton on vocals, Robert Plant – were set to replace the Jeff Beck Group on a Brief American Tour in the late 1960’s – When Keith Moon, Drummer with The Who heard about it he told them they would more than likely go down like a Lead Zepplin (Balloon) – & the rest as they say, Is History – & of course, Ronnie Wood went on to join the Rolling Stones after The Faces in 1975, so He probably didn’t feel that He’d really missed out! And the next Track the Shuffle Meister has found in His Last Hurrah is, “Trampled Underfoot” – By, Led Zepplin! And as we Glide Towards the Deep Ditch & The Long Grass to Bid a Fond Farewell to Msr Le Shuffle, we firstly have Stevie Wonder with, “Sugar”; Secondly Jean Wells with the soul-on-soul of, “With My Love & What We’ve Got (We Could Turn This World Around)” – Oh Yeah & A a Bit of a Mission Statement for the Shuffle Monkey!! And Finally Mary Wells with, “You Beat Me To The Punch” & Trouble Funk with either, or Stanley Clarke/ Bootsy Collins slamming the Bass on the Funk-tastic Track, “Get Down With Your Get Down” – Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, which I suppose Sums it all up! – It’s been an Awesome Journey, A Great Ride & Thanks for The Company, The Follows and The Comments: We Hope that you’ve been turned onto to some new sounds, or, better still, reminded of some great stuff that you had forgotten, coz life’s like that – It takes you off and away, &, it can sometimes be a little hard to re-find where you came from – Keep The Faith & Know for Sure, that somewhere out there – He’ll Be Shuffling Away & Keeping It On Shuffle & I’ll Be Holding His Paw, Oh Yeah! 🙂

Advertisements – Blog 136 Or They Seek Him Here, They seek Him There, He Dresses Loud, But Never Square!

‘One Week He’s In Polka Dot, The Next Week He’s In Stripes!’ – That’s the Shuffle Monkey all right, A Dedicated Follower, nee Leader, of Fashion! And Today He bounds towards the Goal Line with, “First Love, Best Love” Sung by the Fabby Dabby Tony Christie & this is followed by a Slice of Brass-led Funk from the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble as they re-invision the Edwin Starr Classic, ‘War”! Let’s All Chant, Oh yeah!

Kool & The Gang mooch over now with the full 12″ version of the Floor Filler, “Ladies Night”; & then we have a DISCO Breaks Mastercut from Rare Pleasure who are asking us to, “Let Them Down Easy”; & then Erasmus Hall provides us with the Sweet taste Of Sin that is, “Your Love Is My Desire” – Oh Yeah! And this is followed, believe it or not, by Arletty & Aquistpace with, “Et Le Peste” – Berets off Msr Le Shuffle for Diggin Deep for that one!!

The Mighty Kinks next with the wonderful Ditty, “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” – Of course it’s in the Mix!; & then the Shuffle Meister follows through with another Kink’s Track entitled, “I’m Not Like Everbody Else”! Whilst Frank Sinatra jumps in with a great track from the great mid-sixties Album, ‘Cycles’ – A bit of updating was going on at the time and Frank was getting down with a new generation of song-writers including The Beatles, Jose Feliciano, Carol King, Lesley Bricuse… The song the Shuffle Monkey has pulled out of the mix for today’s delectation though is, “Rain In My Heart”; Which in turn is followed by something from Drizabone called, “I Fell Apart”; & then we have the very Sweet Voiced Rumer singing the very Sweet, “Aretha”!

A barn storming Roxy Music track next – The Vintage, “Re-make/Re-model”; Followed by a Live version of, “Deborah” by Marc Bolan from the Acoustic Set, ‘Acoustic Warrior’ – Rather then ‘Electric Warrior’ – ‘Oh Deborah, I’m Dressed Like A Zebra’ – Mark did like his rhyming couplets, but on this version he forgets the words mid-way through, Bless! We then have the Zutons with the original version of, “Valerie” – & what ever happened to the Groovily Sassy Female Sax player – Sax on Legs?? And Finally Today we play out with Shuya Okino &, “Sun Will Rise (Boogie Mix) feat. Diviniti” – Oh Yeah; Followed by the Hip & Happening Sly & The Family Stand with, “Stand” – Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah!

Be Awesome & Serva Fidem! Meanwhile the wee shuffley thing & me will Keep It On Shuffle, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah 🙂 – Blog 135 Or Andy Williams RIP!

Sadly Andy Williams passed away yesterday at the age of 84 – Fashion Soundtrack, also followers of this Blog, posted a very good Tribute a wee while ago and the Shuffle Monkey & I would also like to pay our respects! A legendary talent, with a marvelous voice and a fair few Hits, along the way &, of course, we have many of his best songs at the wee shuffley thing’s Paws in the Good Old Mix!

Our first Track today though s from Amy Winehouse & its’, “You Know I’m No Good” – Now we agree that her passing was tragic – both in it’s manner and given her young age and all that she could have gone onto to achieve – but both the Shuffle Meister & I do rather feel that she was a Tad over-hyped! And we’ll never know what might have been – So, based on her output how does she rate against so many of the great female singers that the Shuffle Monkey has to hand – Of course, it’s subjective, a matter of taste, but does she go Toe-To-Toe with the much less lauded, yet brilliantly talented and versatile singers like Jean Carne, Phylis Hyman, Karen Pree, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Patti Labelle, Melba Moore, Millie Jackson, Ann Pebbles, Ann Sexton, Kiki Dee (The Fontana Years), Carol Woods, Jackie Woods, Betty Swayne, Betty Everet, Donna McGee, Aretha & that’s just scratching the surface… Some will say we are not comparing Apples with Apples, others might say that Mark Ronson & Amy Winehouse only had one song in them which they more or less did 7 or 8 times on the ‘Back To Black’ Album & it was a winning formula, shifted a lot of product, no denying – But here at Monkey Towers though we bet that she could have gone on to Surprise us and we really hope that if things had of been different that would have very much been very much what would have happend!

Anyway, next up is a visit from Robbie Dupree with, “Steal Away” – & not sounding unlike Malcolm Macdonald; & then we Blitz into some Swing from Bobby Darin with a scorching, “Long Ago & Far Away” – Oh Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!And then we are into some Soul Seduction from Mary Wells (Another great singer) with, “You Beat Me To The Punch”; Followed by Jack Jones with the Classic, “Who Can I Turn To” – So, as usual we are all over the Shop!!

Gil Scott-Heron next with the lovely & enigmatic, “A Very Precious Time” – from the Album, ‘Winter In America’; & then we have Merle Haggard no less swaggering in All Red Neck on us with, “Okie From Muskogee”; Followed once again by Mr Sammy Davis Jr with, “This Is My Life (Album Version)” – & it has to be said, whilst absolutely a Power House of a Song, it’s as Camp as, well a Coffee substitute!

“Wild Man On The Loose (Album Version)” swings for us next with Mose Alison tinkling the ivories; & then a righteous slab of Jazz Funk from Norman Conners & Aquarian Dream with, “East 6th Street”; & behind that lurks Todd Rundgren with, “We Gotta Get You A Woman”; Followed by Monk Higgins with the Blue Note Trip of, “Gotta Be Funky” – A Lotta Lotta Gotta in that there Mix, Msr Le Shuffle!

And Finally Today – Big Disco Alert, as Mascara Chris Hills Super Soul/Disco Group – Fly in to the Hangar from Germany where they were originally recorded with, “I Feel So At Home Here (Featuring Ula Heldwig)” – & Another Awesome Female Vocalist!! And that track, is of course, from the Fantastic Album – ‘See You In LA’, which of course has Luther Vandross guesting on lead Vocals – So, Keep The Faith, &, Keep It On Shuffle, Just like the Shuffle Monkey & Me 🙂 – Blog 134 Or How, How, How, How?

As John Lee Hooker so momentously said in a moment of inspired Bluesyness, No Doubt! And first out of the starting blocks today & How, is an absolutely frantic to compete Darrow Fletcher with, “The Rising Cost Of Love” – which of course we also have in the Monkey’s Mix in it’s original cast by Millie Jackson; & next up is a Bill Withers take on the Classic, “Who Is He (And What Is He To You)” – It was, in fact, this version that appeared on the Jackie Brown soundtrack, although it was Creative Source who had the big Hit with it that stormed around the mid-70’s Discos!!

The Newcomers now sing in perfect harmony with, “Mannish Boy”; Followed by Willie Hutch singing, “Love Power” – Oh, give us some of that Willie! And this is from the Album, ‘Ode To My Lady’; & then something from the Nippon Girls with Mari Atsumi &, “Suki Yo Ai Shotes”! And we then move to find Blur with, “Good Song”!

Joe Thomas next as we flow into a Jazz Groove with, “Caught You Lying Again”; Followed by, “It’s You I Need” from that Funk Soul Sister Denice Chandler! And then into some great Bossa from the Blue Note label as Lou Rawls is caught in the Mix by the Shuffle Meister singing a live version of, “The Girl From Ipanema”; & then Tom Jones powers in with, “I’m Alive” from His recent Album, ’24 Hours’; & then it’s a Dozzy with Serbia’s 2011 Entry for The EuroVision Song Contest – “Coroban” – You probably don’t remember it, but it’s surprisingly Good, &, it was sung by – Nina & Nina,no less!

Blur again next, well well well – We don’t have any Blur for ages, then the wee shuffley thing piles it on, &, this time we’re hearing, “Bed Head”; & then a switch to some Great Samba (Bossa, What a Lotta) from Rosalia De Souza singing the aptly named, “Samba Lounge”; & we then seque into a great Power ballad from Journey – & this is what the 1980’s were all about for some – & the song of course you’ll know coz it gets a fair few plays these days post Glee is called, “Don’t Stop Believing”; & then Bobby Taylor asks the simple Question, “Does Your Mama Know About Me” – So, Late Night Motown, Pure & Simple!

And we now move through to the final two tracks for Today, with firstly, “The Spirit In It” from Patti Labelle; & then Mr Lionel Ritchie with a re-working of the Commodore’s Classic (although it was always He doing the Vocal) – “Sail On” & this comes off His very recent Album, ‘Tuskegee’ and is, in fact, done as a Duet with that Man in a Hat, Tim McGraw – Ride ’em, Cowboy!! And Rock On Tommy, while Keeping The faith as We keep It On Shuffle here at Shuffle Towers 🙂

I love Hotels To Which At 4AM You Can Bring A Midget, A Bear & Four Ladies Back To Your Room & No One Cares At All!

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310W

The Monkey & I both, although He’s more into Midgets & Bears, Bless… But, of course, this was so famously said by Leonard Cohen of the Chelsea Hotel where he met Janis Joplin in a lift and they then spent the night together – Well it was the 1960’s – She though had been looking for Kris Kristofferson as one would – & this was before Rita Coolidge, Just… & the Good, sometime Buddhist Monk & full-time French Canadian, as well as erstwhile Troubadour & Poet, nee Mr L Cohen, had in fact been been looking for Lily Marlene. Well it all makes sense then, if we put it like that, eh? – & the song he ended up writing based on this ‘Encounter’ was, of course, “Chelsea Hotel”.

May I also be the first to say Msr Le Shuffle what a Start – “We Fell Into Each Others Arms Through Some Divine Process Of Elimination Which Makes Compassion Out Of Indifference – I Remember You Well In The Chelsea Hotel” – & at least one American President’s daughters has been named after that Hotel – Answers on a Postcard, but please NO, Bill & Hillary – You already know the Answer!!

Bitter Sweet, Maybe, but next up is the mighty Rolling Stones with, “As Tears Go By”: & then we fall into some sophisticated Jazz Funk from Webster Lewis with, “Boston” – Which is itself a Hymn D’L’Amour to the Home of The Red Sox & deserves a special shout-out too to @souljazzfunk! And then we sweep into, “Comme Un Manouche Sans Guitare” from Thomas Dutronc – the Son (Mon Fisce’) of Jacques Dutronc! And to tie up this segment we have The O’Jays with a Great Philly Classic, “This Time Baby”; Followed by the Original Version of, “Red Red Wine” by Jimmy James & The Vagabonds & not the re-done ‘Boys On Benefits’ (UB40’s) remake of the Tony Tribe classic reggae version!

A welcome return from Tom Waits next with a Classic track from his Classic Album (some many Classics, We feel quite faint), ‘Closing Time’ called, “I Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You” – Of course the monkey & I think, as we contemplate our glass of Stout, that He’s rather wistfully hoping he does! But you know the score – We are Both – Primate & No-mates – Incurable Romantics -And then we are Hit, Full-on the Nose, by the marvelous Omara Portundo singing, “Poema Lxvi” – Enough, Enough, but there is more with Patti La Belle & The Bluebelles with, “Dreamer”; & Finally Today we close up with Eli “Paperboy” Reed with, “Am I Wasting My Time” – Only if you Confuse your Blessings with your Lessons, we Say!! Awesome Stuff, So Keep The Faith & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle! – Blog 132 Or Ces Bottes Son Faites Pour Marcher!

Two Bottles & The Girl

Un Francias et Les Plus Grandes Chansons avec Jean Ferrat et, “Le Montagne” – Oh My Msr Le Shuffle; & this is Followed by Gregg Perry with, “A Taste Of Love” from His Classic Album, ‘Smokin’; & then we return to Une Francais with, “Danez-Vous” from Pink Martini!

Next up are The Crykle with, “Red Rubber Ball (Album Version)”, you’ll be pleased to know; & then our man on the Coast Boz Scaggs &, “We Were Always Sweethearts” & this sorta reminds me of a) The Greyhound Public House in Ipswich & b) Van Morrison; & then some Storming Nu Gospel Funk from Josh Milan with, “Wake Up”; Which leads into a body swerve as Prefab Sprout give us, “Cars & Girls”!

The Fantastics welcome us into the next segment courtesy of Msr Le Shuffle with, “Cecil’s Slide”; & then a great track from The Mayberry Movement, “Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right”; which in turn is followed by James Taylor with, “You’ve Got A Friend”; &then R Dean Taylor with, “Indiana Wants Me”!

And then we Tailspin into some Glorious High-end Northern Soul with Gabrilla Cilmi singing, “On A Magic Carpet Ride” – Which of course featured on the Soundtrack of the Movie ‘Soulboy’ – & originally it was sung by Kiki Dee back in the mid-60’s; & this is then followed by the stupendous The Spinners with, “Since I’ve Been Gone”; & then we have some, “Valentine’s Love” sung by Jean Carne & Michael Henderson & recorded for Norman Connors; & Finally today some melting Hot Chocolate with the Shuffle Monkey’s theme song, “You Sexy Thing” – Oh Yeah! Keep The Faith & We’ll keep It On Shuffle! 🙂
 – Blog 130 Or If Love Is A Poem, Does It Have To Rhyme?

We start today with a Sweet Taste Of Sin from Our Cat in the Hat Mr Johny Guitar Watson singing, “If I had The Power” – Oh Yeah! Then, it’s Betty Moorer who follows with, “It’s My Thing” – & she can get a Tad territorial, so Stand well back!! And in the Spirit of True Appreciative Inquiry we then have one of our Favourite Italians here at Shuffle Towers as Zucchero bounds in to serenade us with, “Blue”!

As we Pitch our Tent and reach Cruising Speed, Richard Harris no less strides on Stage with a Fabby rendition of Jimmy Webb’s epic Hymn D’LAnmour, “Didn’t We” – Majestic, Mighty – those words & what a Question…’And If Love Is A Poem Does It Have To Rhyme, We Almost Made The Pieces Fit This Time’ – Oh Yeah! The Monkey’s Puzzled but our next Guest today is not as Ty Karim follows through with, “All In Vain” – She didn’t look at the Picture on the Box then? And onwards as we Pinball into the Singing Sixties with Don Partridge busking merrily away on, “Rosie”; then Ably accompanied by the Mighty Kinks once again with, “Better Days”!

Some storming Jazz Funk next from Push with, “Walk In The Park” – & they’re certainly a Band on a Mission! And this is followed by the Late Great Webster Lewis & another Jazz Funkateer with the Fantastic, “Give Me Some Emotion”; & then we Hit the Wall at Speed with NWA &, “Express Yourself”!

GEAR CHANGE into Sergio Mendes next as He lights up a Cigar and Blows smoke in our face with, “The Look Of Love” – Smooth As; & then we have John Prine – & look, only one Track removed from NWA, with, “Hello In There” – You couldn’t make that up! And then a short interlude follows from The Beatles with, “Honey Pie”!

“I Ain’t Superstitious” Powers though the Mix now from Jeff Beck with a Young Rod The Mod Stewart giving it He’s all on Vocals; & then we slip into the Smooth Philly Groove of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes with Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals on the classic, “Satisfaction Guaranteed (Or Take Your Love Back)” – & that’s no Bargain Basement offer! And to Follow that Loverman Sales Pitch we round off today with firstly Sara Petrie &, “Baby Let Me”; & then some sophisticated DISCO HOUSE with, “Why Do I Love You (DJ Red Greg Edit)” from Andy Crown – & that is what The Shuffle is All About – Keeping On Keeping It… Be Awesome, Keep The Faith & The Monkey & Me will Keep It On Shuffle 🙂