“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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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 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 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 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead – Blog 124, Or Never Trust A Hippy!

Unless He’s called Harry, of course – as Bobby Womack boots us off Today with, “Harry The Hippy”; But the ‘Never Trust…’ line is taken from a Ronnie Woods Biography & the second track from the Shuffle Monkey is, “Painter Man” by the Creation which was one of Ronnie’s earlier groups in the Swinging Sixties – &, of course Ronnie studied Art at Ealing College and is no mean Painter Man himself – Nice one Monkey! But Blow our Cotton Socks and Bib off, we have Marie Mayrim next with, “P’Tit Homme” & it’s a Corker!
And then double blow our socks off, coz now we have Linda Ronstadt singing, “Tumbling Dice” – which of course was from the Majestic and Swaggering Stones period -in all their Pomp & Glory – before Ronnie Woods joined in 1975 – but He was always going to Join ’em, wasn’t He – Some things are inevitable – Immutable Laws of the Universe! And this is followed by Leon Russel & Elton John with, “Dream Come True”; Followed by, “Sara” – Originally a Bob Dylan song, but done here by ~Barb Jungr; & then the Shuffle Meister beats us over the Head with, “Fxxk You (Le Castle Vania Remix)” by Cee Lo Green!

A Beautiful slowie now from The Commodores in all their Motown Glory and with Lionel Ritchie on the vocals of, “Sweet Love” – & they had a run of Fantastic smoochies between 1976 – 78 – We danced to ever one – & sometimes a dance turned into a romance…; & then we have The Beatles from ‘Abbey Road’ singing, “Oh Darling” – It’s definitely a Broad Church with Monkey Madness; & Who is knocking at the Door, with a Yelp – it’s Michael Jackson with, “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” – And, quite Frankly, we Get It!!

Boom Bang A Gong & T.Rex eviscerate us with the brilliant, “Jeepster” – & you don’t get too many of those to the Pound! Nor, the next High Calibre player in our Game of life, Love and Ralph Waldo Emmerson – as Un Francais and Ex-Playboy cum Actor/Singer – Jacques Dutonc serenades us with, “Les Playboys” – And We Have a Big Poster of Msr Jacques with a Big Cigar here at Monkey Towers! & then we have the Mark Ronson/Amy Whitehouse version of, “Valerie”; Which is followed by a Song that only The Monkey could pull out in the Mix to follow, “Don’t Cry Out Loud” – the Elkie Brooks version – & Listen to those Words & think of Amy – Life’s Bitter Irony?

And Finally Today we Firstly have Minnie Ripperton – another wonderful Singer who also died Tragically young, although in her case from a Brain Tumour – & Here she’s singing with Jose Feliciano on a great Blue Note version of, “Light My Fire”; Followed by some Great Piano led Jazz from Ramsey Lewis with, “So Much More”; & then we end with a Storming Millie Jackson & a, “Moment’s Pleasure” – Oh Yeah, Right Now The Rap’s supposed to come in, but… We are Speechless, so – Be Authentic, Be Awesome, Don’t buy anything off any Shopping Channel – Keep The Faith, Smoke, Drink, Lighten Up – & Keeeeeep It On Shuffle, Coz Mamma We’re All Crazy Here 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 108 Or It’s Too Late To Stop Now!

The Shuffle Monkey has only gone and got himself a legit job at the National Office For Statistics (NOS) – He tells me though that he’s only there to make up the numbers!!

Seriously though – He knows his stuff and we both agree to agree that, ‘It’s Too Late To Stop Now’ – Van Morrisons Live LP from 1974, is quite possibly the best Live LP ever… Contentious? Perhaps, though it certainly has its’ fans in the know, including Kevin Rowland of Dexy’s Midnight Runners & Today the Shuffle Meister opens with, “Bring It On Home” – from that Album, which of course was written and originally recorded by the late great Sam Cooke: Well, that’s Awesome in itself, but it looks as though we’re in for a Double Dose of Awesome Today, as the next track comes off Dexy’s latest Album, ‘One Day…’ which we were raving about a few weeks ago and this track is called, “You” – Fantastic!!

Pavement follow and they’re right up our Street with, “Carrot Rope”; & then we have A wee shuffley GEAR CHANGE with a Laura Lee classic, “Dirty Man” – A True Chess Diva; & Msr le Shuffle throws in another GEAR CHANGE for the next track as we swan dive into a Guilty Pleasure – &, it sure is with Neil Sedaka singing, “Laughter In The Rain” – & Neil will be touring the UK in the Autumn!!

The Beatles bounce in next with, “Michelle” off ‘Rubber Soul’; & a bit of a Star Funk groove ups the beat count next with Rocket &, “Here Comes My Baby” – Oh Yeah!; & this Glides into some Snowboy produced Jazz Funk with Pete Escovedo &, “Cabo Frio”!

Big GEAR CHANGE follows with Andy Williams & a live version of, “May each Day”; & then General Johnson storms across the floor & straight out of the Soul Cellar with, “Don’t Walk Away”!

And finally Today, three great tracks to play us out – Firstly, ‘Autobahn” – That’s Senor Coconut’s version, not Kratwerk’s original; Secondly we have the great Yarbrough & Peoples with, “Wrapped Around Your Finger” – & we are still looking for, ‘What’s That You Slipped Into My Wine’, here at Shuffle Towers; & lastly we have the mighty Beach Boys with, “God Only Knows” – Be Awesome, Plant your feet and square up to life, &, Keep The Faith, Coz the Monkey & Me are Keeping It On Shuffle 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 107 Or Our Night With Maude!

And who better to start us off Today after we’ve left Maude sleeping then, Betty Wright &, “I Love The Way You Love” – Oh Yeah! Of course, the Monkey & Me are actually riffing on the Eric Rohmer film, ‘My Night With Maude’ – with that guy Jean Tring-something, who was also in, ‘Un Homme et Une Femme’ – You know the film with the theme tune with the coda – dum dum dum, da da da da da, da da da, da da da, da da da da da… Anyway, it had a Cinema run again a couple of years ago and the Shuffle Monkey & I caught it at the Cameo in Edinburgh – Always support your local independent Cinema – & now it’s out on DVD…

Next up is First Choice with a banging piece of Salsoul Disco, “Let Me Down Easy”; & this is followed by the wonderful Jacques Dutronc with, “Thomas” (Instrumental); & Lee Garrett storms up behind this with, “You’re My Everything” – This is the sound of a hot summer in the 1970’s & it’s got a great Bee Gees key change in the last third – Magic!!

Willie Nelson saddles up and follows with his version of, “Midnight Rider”; & then The Beatles mosey on down with, “Norwegian Wood” – which of course is off the ‘Rubber Soul’ Album!

Scritti Politti agit-prop propels us into the 80’s with, “Absolute”; & I hope your buckled in as the Shuffle Meister drops us back into the 1970’s with a tasty slice of Soul from Barbara Mason &, “Give Me Your Love”; & coming quickly behind this is that old cowboy Kenny Rogers & Dotti West with, “We Love Each Other”; & then we have a fab and groovy Gear Change into Queens Of The Stoneage – Promise me you couldn’t have imagined a Kenny & Dotti to the Queens follow-on in your wildest dreams, but the Monkey can – & this track from these Seattle Grunge Heads is, “Little Sister”, taken from the aptly named Album – ‘Lullabies To Paralyze’!!

Chicago can’t be ignored and they blow our House down next with another slice of Pure Pop Balladry called, “What Kind Of Man Would I Be” (Single Version) – Masterful; & another masterful Live performance follows from Mel Torme with, “What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life” – Magic! And then the Mighty George Benson pops over with, “I Remember Wes”!

And two mighty Tracks from the 1970’s to plays us out and what Crackers – Firstly, The Spinners with, “Ain’t No Price On Happiness” – Pure Soul Magic – Go & Listen! And lastly, the Mighty Mighty Tavares Brothers with, “The Mighty Power Of Love” – Oh Yeah!!

So, Be Awesome – Keep The Faith – & here at Shuffle Towers we’ll Keep It On Shuffle, Promise 🙂