“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! 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 57 or A Big Shout Out for 2012 Luxury Soul & is Lifeskills An Art?

A Great Job by Expansion Records once again & they’ve pulled out All the Stops for this New 3 CD 35 Track Collection of many of the Artists who have performed at the Luxury Soul Weekender Events since 2003 – & They are all Here on the Shuffle already – Betcha By Golly Wow – Great Great Stuff Mr Searling & Mr Tee!

Now Let’s get down to Business & what’s first off the Blocks – Oh Yes, A Storming Slice of Northern Soul with the Whispers &, “Needle In A Haystack”; Oh My – A Swerve into Soft Country next and the Bearded One – Kenny Rogers serenades us with a pretty marvellous, “A Love Song (Dec 1981)” – Well, we All have our moments; Mmmhm a GEAR CHANGE follows & we go back to the 1970’s with Cilla Black – Paul O’Grady & I both agree – This Lady Rocks – & this Track is one of her best along with ‘London Bridge’ – But that’s just me, of course – Anyway, “Conversations” – Go Listen!!; Ah – What a Fabby Track next & straight out of the Curtom Stables (Curtis Mayfield’s Record Label – Me Thinks!) & Mystique blasts us away with, “Fill You Up (With Love)” – You Bet; Oh – Is this the first Outing from Elvis? – Well The King is certainly shaking us Around with, “All Shook Up”; And what indeed Can Follow that – Nicola Conte no less off his Set, ‘Love & Revolution’ & a Blistering Mash-Up, “Love From The Sun”; Next, Loleata Holloway – Yes – She, the Original Diva doing the Vocal Sample that made that Italian Cut from Black Box, ‘Right On Time’ such a Big Hit in the very early 1990’s – Now you know I’m not going to check any books, but I bet it was 1990?? – Anyway, here she is giving it Large with the Magnificent, “I’ll Be Standing Right There”; A Corker follows with Hubert Laws &, “Family” – Great Jazz Funk – I think it’s Sister Debra on the Vocals – & if my memory serves me right you’ve also got Bobby Lyle & Leon “Ndugu” Chancellor amongst others on that Track; & Finally today an early classic track from, ‘Madman Across The Water’ with Elton John singing , “Levon” – I do like Elton’s early stuff… Excellent – So, Please Keep The Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle 🙂

And as it’s her Birthday, Bless Her Cotton Socks – Here’s a picture of my Eldest Daughter with Papa… Oh Dear!!

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 52 or DISCO DISCHARGE – In Praise of Tom Moulton!

“Disco Music In The 70’s Was Just A Call To Go Wild & Party & Dance With No Thought or Conscience or Regard for Tomorrow” – So Said, Martha Reeves – Lead Singer with the Vandellas & Tamla Motown Legend, &, Who are we here At ‘Shuffle Towers’ to Disagree – To prove a Point though & Kicking Us off today is the O’Jays & “Love Train”, This version is straight off the new 2012 Compilation – Philadelphia International Classics: The Tom Moulton Remixes –  & it’s Fab, Fab, Fab – We also have The Philly International 40th Anniversary Collection coming soon to the Mix, Oh Yeah Baby!!; But what next I hear you Ask & Wow-O-Wow – It couldn’t be more different but rather proves the Fundamental Principle underpinning Le Shuffle – This Song & Artist I would Commend to you All, He’s worth discovering & believe me this Track is a Beaut! – Clifford T Ward from ‘Gaye & Other Stories’, singing – “To An Air Hostess” – Please Go & Listen – It’s Out There, &, It’s So, There!!; And What to Follow? Oh Yes, I have several versions of this next Track, but Today Mr Shuffle has selected the 1960’s close harmony group, The Peddlars doing their particular version of, “Stormy Weather” – How Cool Is Cool – & you can trace a direct line from these guys in vocal technique and style to Today’s Mario Biondi, &, a Host of Italian & Japanese Jazz Vocalists being put out through Nicola Conte et al – Marvelous stuff, both then & Now!; Norman Connors is up to the Plate next with a Luscious version of the Delfonics, “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time?” – & Definitely Smooch-Time!; We move into Real Japanese Jazz Territory now with, “Wind” by that consumate Jazz Super Group, Sleep walker – & this Track features the Jazzy (influenced) vocals of Yukimi Nagano; We Fly further into the Sun now with The Beatles firing a Great Track off ‘Revolver’, “Good Day Sunshine”; Next Up a Brilliant Latin Wig-Out provided by Jose Alfredo Fuentes & “Eva Solo Un Chiquillo” – NO, I haven’t got a Clue either, But Great, Great, Great!; A latter incarnation of the Whispers follows – They had moved on from their ‘Needle In A Haystack’ & ‘Where Is The Love’ Days, which put them at the Modern End of Northern Soul, &, were now Flying High in a Disco Groove & Mighty Mighty fine they sounded too – Just Listen to, “Rock Steady”! & Finally Today We sign-off with an early cut from The Jacksons, “Get It Together” & They certainly Do – I Didn’t Say I Couldn’t Be Corney, but that’ll come as no surprise! Keep The Faith & I’ll Keep It On Shuffle, Till Next Time 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog No. 30

Oh yes, Mr Leroy Hutson eases us in today with the oh so beautiful, “I Bless The Day” – Can it get any better than this? Check it Out!!; Well Mr Shuffle the Shuffle Monkey is having a bloody good shot of keeping it close to Soul Heaven (Capt) Norman Connors follows with, “We Both Need Each Other” – & Michael Henderson &, I think Jean Carn are doing the vocals – I should go and look, but if anyone knows why don’t you tell me!; No, No, No – Yes, Yes, Yes – Some More Great Soul next with the Ebonys & the fabby Summer Groove of, “Do You Like The Way I love You” – A Question none of us should never take for granted!; A very Strong Opening three then I’m sure you’ll agree & the next track up from the Shuffle Monkey would have almost won Mr Shuffle Game, Set & Match (Check out the Triology of the same name, by Len Deighton, as well!) – it’s herself, Cilla Black with, “Surround Yourself With Sorrow” – Fabby, Fabby, Fabby – But it had to be herself singing this in Italian – It’s in the Mix, somewhere – for the Big Prize! Never mind though, A valiant effort & we also have Sandi Shaw singing in both French & Italian for our future delight & when the Shuffle Monkey gets round to them! A lot of the 1960’s and early 70’s vocalists also recorded their stuff in French, Italian, Spanish – Mixed it up & Played Around with it – Early Days of Pre & Post EC Membership for the UK & all that, increased foreign travel and foreign holidays with Freddie Laker et al, & lucrative markets opening Up – There is a great version of Bowie singing, ‘Love You Till Tuesday’ in German & of course, he did ‘Space Oddity’ in both Italian & Spanish as well, &, Hero’s later in the 70’s in both German & French – Anyway, they are all at the disposal of Mr Shuffle, so Fingers & Toes crossed for the Future; And what to follow all that with then? – Oh Yes, The Van Dykes with, “Save My Love For A Rainy Day” – 4-To-The-Floor – This is Northern Soul & Saturday Night Forever & I’m Dancing, Yeah!; And it looks like there’s going to be no rest for me because now we have Nicola Conte – Big respects! – With, “Do You Feel What I Feel” – This should be on Spool, but that would be Cheating!! Anyway, the Tracks off, ‘Love & Revolution’, but I don’t know who’s singing – So Again, Anyone Out there who does Know?? A Heavy Storming Big Disco Number follows from Colonel Abrams with, “Trapped” – (12″ Vocal Mix) & very much of it’s time, but no less fabby for that!; & Finally today Michael Jackson & “PYT (Pretty Young Thing)” circa the Great ‘ThriKeep The Faith & I'll Keep It On Shuffleller’ Days – Do Keep The Faith Then & I’ll Certainly Keep It On Shuffle!! :))