“The Dutch Have A Word For It Shuffle Monkey!”

“Pronkstillevens”, they say around Old Amsterdam, as Old Bertolt & Bowie & Brel have been want to Sing, &, it means in Painting Terms, “Sumptious Still Lifes” – But The Shuffle Monkey is All Jackson Pollock if anything & in His little Abstract Heart there’s nothing remotely Still Life about what this Simian throws down & Today is no exception as he starts us off with The Originals, & “Californian Sunset” – rather moody, Pacific West Coast Soul. Followed by Dazz &, “Brick”; & then Father’s Children &, “Hollywood” and Chain Reaction with, “Hogtied” – Chain reaction of course were Bruce Ruffin (‘I’m Mad About You’) Dave Collins – Brother of Ansel (‘Double Barrel’ – no less) – & the other one who I should remember, but I can’t and The Shuffle Monkey’s no hope with His Banana addled Brain!!

Next it’s Bowie with, “Everyone Says Hi” – a more contemporary track, but excellent; Interesting – Danny Wilson next with, “Mary’s Prayer” – Lighters’ Aloft!; & back to some Soul now with ZZ Hill, who has one of those Voices & this is just one of those Deep Soul Songs, “Make Me Yours” – 4-to-the-floor; Speeding up a little, but still on the Soul Side comes Arthur King, with “Fear”; And now a real Corker, The Supremes with“Bad Weather” – We have several versions of this great track in the Shuffle Monkey’s Mix-Bag, but check the groove on this cut and Blow Your Whistle!

GEAR CHANGE – Some Reggae with Bunny Wailer &, “The Oppressed Song”; GEAR CHANGE, Again – Rose Royce &, “Get Up Off Your Face” – A Tad Darker & Heavier than Car Wash; Followed by “Tite Rope” Harold Alexander blowing His Funky Horn; then another GEAR CHANGE & a bit of ‘Blue Grass’ Beatles, or rather, I should say Handsome Hank swinging “Back In The USSR” – Hey, Hey, Hey! Airplane Landing!!

Duke Pearson follows that and whilst I catch my breath I must ask – How did we get here? But it’s fabby – Cool, Piano Driven Samba, with a great vocal, “Sandalia Dela”; & finally today The Man, Mark Murphy with, “Love Is What Stays” – Some of Mark’s stuff has been more recently remixed by Nicola Conte and works really well – This cut though is a straight ahead take! I had the pleasure of seeing Mark Murphy play in Edinburgh a while back – Another Story, like The Gil Scot Heron “Birmingham’ Adventure, which will feature in a Future Blog – Anyway, Catch Mark, if you can, while you still can!! And Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle… Oh Yeah! 🙂

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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! 🙂

 

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 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 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 129 Or A Big Shout Out For All New Followers On Facebook & Twitter Et Al!

We are very pleased to announce that we have had a surge of new Followers to the Shuffle Monkey’s Blog, so we thought another timely reminder about what this is All About, Alfie would be Just the Ticket!

The Shuffle Monkey & I now have over 11,600 tracks & rising, loaded onto the iPlayer.
Each carefully chosen & that’s now nearly 35 Days of Soul, Funk, Jazz, Jazz Funk, Disco, Country, Power Ballads, Northern Soul, Philadelphia Soul, Nu Soul, Classic Rock, R&B, Rap, Pop, Punk, New Romantic, Old Romantic, & Just Plain Romantic, Ska & Lover’s Rock & Rare Groove from the ‘Diggin Deeper’ crate, to name just a few of the genres covered – spanning The 1930’s through to Today & drawn from All Four Corners of the Globe. It’s an eclectic, quirky, populist & inspiring Mix that’s ripe for a Mash-up in the capable hands of the very capable  Shuffle Meister!

So, let’s press Shuffle to set the wee shuffley thing going and see whether today’s journey will strike a chord with “Whatever’s In Our Head & Your Head”!

Of course, the journey’s not just about the music, but the order in which the tracks randomly play and their Juxtaposition, &, just like Proust’s “Madelienes”, it’s the memories and the remembrances they inspire – The very Soul & Essence of the Human Condition, the Human Spirit – & The Essence of Love as Jose Feliciano so rightly sings about!

As an adjunct then to whatever else you may do, I hope this will inspire you to go and search out and listen to today’s tracks through whatever medium you can when we list them in the order they play as part of an almost Daily Blog.

Do so in the same order because that is where the real surprise and the real delight will be – right there in that change between one type of music, mood & tempo to another. Go with the flow and let that track that comes right out of left field catch you and put you right back in a moment when… And maybe you’ll even get introduced and hooked onto some new new, or some new old stuff that you hadn’t heard before and will now wonder from here on in, “How did I ever live without’!!

Happy traveling on your “Whatever’s In My Head” journey & if you “Keep the Faith”, The Monkey & I will Certainly “Keep It On Shuffle” – Saturday Night Forever, Oh Yeah!

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 119 Or La Madrugada!

The Spanish dedicate so much of their lives to enjoying themselves that a word actually exists to describe the span of time between Midnight and 6AM, when ordinary European mortals are safely tucked up in Bed – ‘La Magrugada’ – The Hours before Dawn, who as we know because Homer tells us, “Comes early with rosy fingers’ – & the Shuffle Monkey starts us off Today with a Track from Prevet – who represented Spain in Eurovision in the 1970’s – & it’s rather Lovely and called, “Que Voy A Hacer”; Which in turn is followed by some Down Home Soul from Darrow Fletcher singing, “Hope For Love”; & then a more Contemp slice of Soul Sauce from Kuh Ledesma with, “Dreaming” – A Great Start!

Michael Jackson whips up a Frenzy next with a Track off His Album ‘Thriller’ called, “Wanna Be Starting Something”; Which is followed by a Mighty Fine Norther Soul Golden Double Header with firstly The Dells &, “There Is”; & secondly, Tami Lynn with the Great, “I’m Gonna Run Away From You” – Keep The faith!!

Van Morrison then Trips in with a Studio Version of, “These Dreams Of You”; Which then leads into a great track from Khemistry called, “I Can’t Loose With The Stuff” – & they used to have a Great Set – Get It? No, Ok, but Saturday Night Forever!! And then we fall into the Fluffy Pillow of Nancy Wilson singing, “The Other Side Of The Storm”!

GEAR CHANGE now with The Who and, “Magic Bus” – Our Bus to Wolverhampton, in fact! & Chairman Of The Board follow with a Blistering, “Finders Keepers”; And another GEAR CHANGE follows that takes us into some great Jazz from Oscar Peterson & Nelson Riddle with, “A Sleeping Bee”!

We Rock Out next as Jimi Hendrix powers through with a Double Blistering, “Purple Haze” – off his Album ‘Voodoo Child’; & another GEAR CHANGE as we slip into the sweetness of the Love Affair &, “So Sorry”; & Our Final Track Today takes us right into Club Land & the Shuffle Monkey’s certainly been mixing His Genres as Olive belts out, “You’re Not Alone” – Very Ministry of Sound – So, Keep The Faith, Be awesome & Keep It On Shuffle, Until Next Time 🙂