Chapter 8, The Fatback Band, Lafayette Afro Rock Band – We Love You Shuffle Monkey!!

cally & matts wedding 16th august 102What a fantastic start from Mr Shuffle today – The Soul Super Group Chapter 8, which featured both Gerald Lyles and Anita Baker, kicks us off & it is Anita doing the heavy lifting with, “I Just Wanna Be Your Girl” – Marvellous Stuff & Beyond Brilliant! – If you like Anita Baker, &, I’ve seen her live several times, Check this Track out!; Next up is the mighty Fatback Band & the mighty, “Wicky Wacky” – We’re Looking For The Party People, Oh Yeah! A great funky beat and also a spooky coincidence as this Blog is now being followed by the Fatbacks on Twitter as we mentioned previously, so Respect & keep the groove, You-All, &, let’s hope, “This Is The Future” – Arguably one of the first Rap Records (?) features soon as well!!.

Coming right up to date (almost) now we have a showing from Neil Finn’s Pajama Club which he set-up with his wife and they’re singing, “Tell Me What You Want” A driving, sensual beat & they’ve got an “Itch, I can’t scratch” – Loved this when I first heard it on Jools Holland’s “Later” last year, but it has a bit of an abrupt end!; And Next we have the brilliant Lafayette Afro Rock Band with “Right Foot” – Funky-ee! And what a great double bill they’d make with the Fatback Band, Oh Yeah, Party!!; Following on we have a true Masterpiece of Modern Soul with James Carpenter &, “(Marriage Is Only) A State of Mind” – Not quite mate, it’s sometimes a stone cold reality!!; & then We are heading back to Clubsville circa 1983, with Johny Chingas & a chugging Bossa groove which tells us this is, “Phone Home” – Get Down with ET, Oh Yeah!!!

And YES we are getting down even further with the great Gregg Diamond & Bionic Boogie & “Hot Butterfly” – With Luther Vandross of course guesting on vocals (he was a very busy boy in the late 70’s early 80’s, what with CHANGE, Mascara, Gregg Diamond, Georgy Porgy, his own stuff and producing Aretha Franklin’s brace of fine Albums) & of course this is a Right Cracker too!

Some Righteous Reggae next – The Real Gear, with Delroy Wilson & “Going To The Ball” – certainly Trojan and Ska influenced, &, it so takes me back to that Winter I once spent in Tabago, before Child 4 & 5 came along…; Finally & hold on now, this is really spooky and no fix, but in real time Mr Shuffle has just come up with The Fatback Band again, &, yes it’s, “Is This The Future” – Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?? – Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!!!

So, Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & me & the monkey will Keep It On Shuffle, Till Next Time! 🙂 🙂

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Keep It On Shuffle Whilst The Shuffle Monkey Hosts A Sunday Night ‘Fish Fry’!!

Before I had the pleasure of first meeting the Shuffle Monkey – He was up a Tree, I was Looking up – You know the story, “Le Singe Sur L’Arbre” – Anyway, before that, I spent not a little time in the Tobago, &, Sunday Evenings was always the ‘Fish Fry’ on the Beach – A righteous Ho-Down in the Cove – And what did they used to play? Well I actually first heard our opening Track today right there – Frank Sinatra singing, “Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars”, which of course was written by Antonio Carlos Jobim who hailed from a tad further down the main Continental Seaboard – Pure Magic though on a Warm Starry Night, even if you’re not in Rio – & I wasn’t complaining!!

Next though we have Five, Yes Five, Back-To-Back Disco Tracks which when I think about it all relate to different Clubs I frequented once upon a Time – First off is, “992 Arguments” The O’Jays, which is off their ‘Backstabbers’ set – & if you Listen you can Hear the similarity – & this would be ‘MurrayfField’, circa 1974 – Next is, “Fopp” Ohio Players, & this is ‘Tracys’, Ipswich, 1976 – “Why Did I Choose You” follows from the Great Marvin Gaye & this is the ‘Copford Windmill’, Essex, circa 1977 – & Sade used to go there before she broke big in the early 80’s – Ingram next &, “Mi Sabrina Tequana” Which is the ‘Global Village’ underneath the Arches at Charing Cross, London, circa 1978 – & Finally Julio Iglesias with, “Un Dia Tu, Un Dia Yo” – Which is most definitley the ‘Andromeda’, Colchester, circa 1980 & there were also some great pictures of Serge Gainsburgh on the walls as I remember! Boy, that’s a Lot of Dancing – So big thanks to the Shuffle Meister for stringing that little lot together from his ‘Bag of Tricks’ – & the wee shuffley thing then goes and cools us down with, “Just Can’t Stay Away” Leroy Hutson!

So, Is the Shuffle Monkey going to now throw down something else a little less infectious to give us bit more of a Breather – heck not – It’s Disco Connection time next form No 1 Deejay &, ‘Goody Goody” – Which is of course, Vincent Montana & The Philly Groove Orchestra mash-ing it up!! And we glide into a Raw Power Gear Change with Iggy Pop & The Stooges & the marvelously titled, “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” – This is Not A Love Song, then?

And Finally today, an Interesting Sandwich with a Double Filling to play us out – Top Slice is the Mighty Issac Hayes with a great version of one the Monkey & My Favourite songs, “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” – The Two Fillings are then made up of Demis Roussos with, “Love Is” (Dimitri from Paris Sunday At The Loft Remix) & this really builds in to an uplifting Goody – With The Kinks & another great (lesser known track) & sounding a lot like The Beatles’s ‘Lady Madonna’, but this is called, “Susannah’s Still Alive” – And the Bottom Slice is some elegant Jazz from the Blue Note Bossa Imprint & its’ Stacey Kent with, “Samba Savavah” – Cool-As! So, Keep The faith, Be Awesome & Keep It On Shuffle – Oh Yeah! 🙂

 

A Merry Merry Christmas from the Shuffle Monkey & His Chum – Keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com

Who should drop by Today, but the Shuffle Monkey & His Chum – The Cat in the Red Hat – The Wee Shuffley Thing says they are both Very Very Busy – I said, I Bet, &, that we were Still ‘Keeping it on the Good Foot’ & The Right Side of the Beat – The Cat in The Red Hat said ‘Pass The Peas’ – I said ‘Big Blow’ – We All then said, Yo Ho Ho, ‘Christmas Wrapping’ – Amazing what a Drop of Sherry can Do, particularly if taken with an Oxymoron! Not too Dry though 🙂

I also told the Shuffle Meister that we had lots of New Chums All keepingitonshuffle @Desfume & while he was here He dropped us a Few Tunes for Old Times Sake, starting with Judy Garland & ‘Zing Went The strings Of My Heart’; Folllowed by The Rolling Stones with, ‘Sweet Virgina’; Then a Little Un Francais & Jacques Dutronc giving it some Welly with, ‘Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi’; & Finally a rocking Sunstreet &, ‘Lovin’ – Then He & the Fella in Red went South to the Sound of bells and much Commotion.

Be Awesome Y’All This Christmas, in 2013 & Beyond – & Who Knows The Shuffle Monkey just might pop around again Soon!!

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – 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! 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – 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 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – 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 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – 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 🙂