“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! 🙂

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 118 Or Peaches, Where’s The Cream?

As the Shuffle Monkey & I ‘Fall upwards into the night’ – A line from a Don Marquis Poem, no less, describing – Intoxication – Well, we are certainly a little typsy what with our First Track today coming from our Great Chums The Bee Gees & they’re singing their Classic Weepie, “I’ve Just Gotta Get A message To You”!

Iggy Popp next with, “Nice To Be Dead” – which comes from His 2009 Album, ‘Preliminaries’! Followed by a GEAR CHANGE which slides us into the open arms of Petula Clark with, “Who AM I” – Great Stuff; & then we Have some Alabama Shakes with, “Boys & Girls”‘ which is followed into the Driftwood by the great, “I Fell In Love With An Air Hostess” by Clifford T Ward – Awesome!

The Classic Track – “Didn’t We” leads us into the next Segment of Tunes from Msr le Shuffle & on this occasion it’s an instrumental version from Acker Bilk; & then we have some very early EW&F with, “They Don’t See” – Which has got to come from around 1971 and is off their Album, ‘Last Days & Time’; & this is followed by Leonard Cohen with, “Death Of A Ladiesman” – Off His Great Album of the same name!! And this leads into a Live version of, “Domino” from Van Morrison – & this, of course, comes from the 1973 ‘Too Late To Stop Now’ LP!

Some Soul Now with a Capital ‘S’ from the Shuffle Meister with the great Five Stairsteps & the Totally uplifting, “O-O-H Child”; & Jack Jones follows with. “The Summer Knows” – Well, the Schools are back in Scotland & Autumn is just around the Bend, but How can we resist  the words, ‘Just One More Caress, Before You Take Off Your Summer Dress” – Thank you Jack for what ‘Oft Was Thought, But Ne’er So Well Expressed’ – & Thanks to Alexandra Pope as well, but enough of this Autumn stuff, Already!

Moving towards the end we have firstly from Brasil Sabrina Malherios with, “Sem Pressa”; Then Sado Watanabe from Japan with the Tres Elegant and Sophisticated Supper Club Jazz of, “My Romance”; Then the Shuffle Monkey plays for us what I think is the First Showing from the Mix for Roy Harper with Today, “Green Man” – Very Merry England – Fecund, Fertile – Country roads – Sleepy Rivers – Overgrown Rail way Embankments; Then we have & just as English, but from the Suburbs, The Who with, “I’m Free”; & for the penultimate song Today we have an Absolute Soul Gem from The Winstons &, “Colour Him Father”; & Last but not least for Blog 118 it’s the Wonderful  Julio Iglesias with, “Un Canto A Galicia” – So, Be awesome, Keep The Faith & Keep It On Shuffle 🙂

 

 

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 106 Or Getting It Wrong Is The New Getting It Right!

Oh, Save Us Please – The Fashionista’s are now saying that the Yummy Mummy’s don’t want to be seen as having it all sorted and looking just So anymore, just because they can afford to – Oh no, out goes the Boden styling (other labels of course may apply??) and in comes stuff to wear with an Edge and a bit of an Attitude, to show that they are down with the Poor(er) amongst ‘Us’ – So, it’s Ok then to now look like you haven’t got it all sorted – mmhm, Well, it passed the Monkey and Me by the first time round and we’ve had a Raft of Kids between us – although clearly not with each other – That would be a Werner Herzog film… Anyway, the Guff you can squeeze to milk some column inches – & we can say that as one of us used to be a Journalist, 100 years ago – & it weren’t the one with Paws in this relationship!

Still, something far more interesting to Msr Le Shuffle & I – &, far more likely to up your standing in the Pub Quiz Team – & a Shout Out for Inveralmond Brewery while we’re about it – Did you know that when it opened in 1897, The Connaught Hotel in London’s Mayfair was known as The Coburg? And they didn’t let Monkey’s in then and they still don’t now – even if they are wearing a Tie – We know,  we’ve tried!! Twice…

And so to Business, &, first off Today is Jane Birkin with, “Qoui” – Questions, Questions, So Many Questions; & to follow and still in French is Celine Dion with, “pour QueTo M’aimes Encore”; whilst Robert Plant barges in with, “Even This Shall Pass Away” – Highly recommended as He’s got quite a little groove going on & it certainly sounds as though Beck’s had an influence – which would close a circle as Jane Birkin’s daughter – Charlotte Gainsburgh’s latest Album was produced by Beck – We Know, You Know!! And behind Mr Plant, David Bowie crashes through the safety fencing with, “Always Crashing In The Same Car” – off the mighty and game changing Album, ‘Low’!

A Great GEAR CHANGE next with a Great Group and A Great Song – The Persuasions with an Acappella version of, “Up On The Roof” – Go Hear It!! And then a quick one-two into Euro Disco Land with Madileen Kane &, “You Can” from the aptly named Album, ’12” & More’ – You just couldn’t get away with it Now, could you… Well, perhaps not with a straight face – but the Monkey & Me are impressed – Not Hard!! And Major Lance comes and Lances that Boil with a Touch of Northern Soul called, “Don’t Fight It” – Majestic; And then we have The Velvet Underground coming down from a hard Saturday Night with a Trippy, “Sunday Morning”!

The Shuffle Meister digs even deeper next and pulls out some fantastic Jazz Fusion Funk with his Socks, from Brother Jack McDuff & this sweetie is called, “Ju Ju”; & the Jazz continues with the Japanese Group The Natives with, “Love To You”; & this is tailed by the Splendid Dusty Springfield &, “You Didn’t Have To Say You Love Me”!

A guilty pleasure follows and a return to Une Francais with, “J’attends Siffler Le Train” by Richard Anthony – &, of course, we know the Track better in English by it’s title, ‘500 Miles’!! And what better than a bit of DISCO next from the early 1980’s & BMP with, “Loc It Up” – & we don’t care if there is a bloody drum machine !-)
And Finally today four Super Tracks to play us out – Firstly, its’ Jimmy Ruffin &, “Tell Me What You Want” (Extended Mix) – Secondly, “It’s Your Love” by Ethel Beatty which of course originally appeared on Roy Ayer’s Uno Record Label; Thirdly we have some more Jazz Fusion with David Benoit &, “Life Is Like A Samba”; & Lastly we 2-Step out with the Mighty Gladys Knight & her band of little Pips singing, “Just Walk In My Shoes” – Well take ’em off first, we say!! So Be Awesome, Plant Your Feet, Keep The Faith & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 105 Or, We Won’t Grow Old Togther!

The Monkey & me have riffed on this before, I’m sure – There’s a French saying, ‘Nous Ne Vieillirons Pas Ensemble’ – & Today’s first Track is an absolute Corker – It’s called, “Has It Come To This”, but the Artist’s Unknown? The Lyrics though go, ‘We Cry More Than We Smile, We Frown More Than We Laugh, We’ve Even Stopped Referring To Each Other As The Other’s Half – We Talk More Than We Listen, We Take More Than We Give, There’s A Name For What We’re In, But Love Ain’t What It Is!’ – Of Course, You Need The Music, But it’s a Gem – I have a sneaking Feeling, &, the Shuffle Monkey’s nodding (or is he eating a Custard Cream), that it could be Regina Belle singing But if you know, let the Monkey know, &, He’ll tell me – You can Tweet @desfume!

Next up is Boz Scaggs with, “We’re All Alone” – & it’s a rather Good version, so Thank you Shuffle Meister – But I’m detecting a wee bit of a Theme here? Mmmhm, & to follow we have Peaches & Herb with, “We’re In This Together” – Come on wee shuffley thing – Square Up Your Beret, Adjust your Neckerchief, &, Get Down; Maybe not quite Yet though it would seem because Prince bursts through the Clouds with, “Purple Rain” – Which I think is maybe Prince speak for that feeling when you leave someone for someone else…; Clearly the Shuffle Monkey has stuck he’s wee paws in and is having a right Romantic Fug & next up he gives us Olivia Newton John with, “If Not For You” – Written of course, by Bob Dylan; & this is then followed by Beth Nielsen Chapman with, “Even As It All Goes By”!

And it looks as though we’re going to continue in this mellow moody for a Tad longer, as next up is Jimmy Webb with Linda Ronsdadt &, “All I Know” – Which Linda also covered with Arron Neville; & behind this is the Eagles with, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”: Ok. Ok Msr Le Shuffle where are we going Next? Ah Ha, it’s the Pigeons – How apt a follow to the Eagles?? & their version of Wilson Pickett’s, “In The Midnight Hour” – So the Groove Count is on the up; & this is followed by an even Groovier cut from Grey & Hanks with, “Dancin” – Oh Yeah, Shake Your Booty Down! Which brings us to our Final Track today and it couldn’t really get Funkier – Oh Yes, Yes, Yes, it’s Brass Construction &, “Movin” – & the CD this comes off is also signed by the Great Man Kenny Dope who remixed this version – So, Get Down on Your Good Foot, You All – & Keep The Faith, Be Awesome & Keep It On Shuffle 🙂