“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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keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead – Blog 87 or For Your Eyes Only!

Well – I’ve fessed up to you and the Shuffle Monkey re my Favourite Bond Book & Film – ‘Goldfinger’ & ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ respectively – & now I’ve admitted to both Dame Shirley’s, Swirls & Twrills, “Diamonds Are Forever’ & Sheen Easton’s, ‘For Your Eyes Only’ being my sort of joint favourite Bond Movie songs – so, what’s our first track today under the guidance of Msr Le Shuffle? – Yes, you’ve guessed it – “Purple Haze” The Jimmy Hendrix Experience – I know, me too! I do also have a soft spot for Roger Moore in the role though!! And Jimmy is followed in great style by Will Young &, “Leave Right Now” – You couldn’t make it up! – A lovely song though and we will always remain true to the whims of the wee shuffly thing – If It’s In The Mix, It’s In!

Next up and hey Ho, we’re into SCHOOL DISCO time with a veritable cornucopia of ’70’s Tunes – Firstly, David Cassidy with, “Daydreamer” – We’ve had the French Version and the Modern Soul versions already, but this has got to be my Favourite & I used to have my Hair like that – Sans Partridge Family – Thought it suited me better than a Ziggy… But Second-up is the Character who followed Ziggy under the Guiding Hand of David Bowie, &, it’s a Classic rendition of, “Diamond Dogs” – Which also introduced the Jene Genie, ‘In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch… young girl, they call him the Diamond Dog” – Third-up are the Real Thing with not one of their usual ones, but still very much a Classic mid-70’s, Summer Groove Real Thing, Thing – “Lady, I Love You All The Time” – & Fourthly come The Jacksons with the Classic, “I’ll Be There” – Extra points if you remember the Cartoon series they featured in with The Osmonds – & No, I’m not making it up! And thanks to the great Philadelphia International Records 40th Anniversary Collection, we now have even more Jacksons’ tracks to add to the Mix – Not so with the Osmonds though I’m afraid – We already have all their little goodies in the Monkey’s Bag!!

Jazz Funk time now with some laid back Bobbi Humphrey &, “Just A Love Child” – London in the Summer, Oh Yes! And this is followed in ultimate style by Al Green singing, “Your Heart’s In Good Hands”.

Two great Back-to-Back GEAR CHANGES next with firstly Aerosmith &, “Love In An Elevator” – which seques nicely into Levon Helm singing the Excellent, “Single Girl, Married Girl” – Just Love His voice, which has got even more Corn-Husker since The Band – & Thank you Shuffle Monkey for such an inspired Juxtaposition!

Mark Murphy scats into Town next with, “Be Bop Lives (Boplicity)”; & a Righteous Summer Groove follows from Malo with, Suavecito” – Beautiful! Whilst the Final Two Tracks to play us out Today come from two Motown Girl Groups – Firstly, The Supremes with, You Can’t Hurry Love” – enough said; & Secondly High Inergy with another of my Favourite Tracks ever – “You Can’t Turn Me Off” – Slap Dab in the Middle of Turning Me On – & ‘Slap Dab In The Middle’ is also a great Disco Track in it’s own right sung by Jackie McClean – What You Say Monkey, Soon! So Keep The Faith & We’ll Keep It On Shuffle 🙂

keepitonshuffle@whateversinmyhead.com – Blog 66 or I Am A Fiat, No I’m A PANDA With An Extra Gear!

Firstly, apologies for the typos in the previous Blog – It was that iPad again – Balanced on my Knee, whilst traveling at Speed (As a Passenger) on my way to something, or other – I must stop getting so excited though when Msr Le Shuffle comes to Play!!

Firstly today another Big Shout Out for All new Followers who have recently joined the proverbial Bus To Wolverhampton, &, I can’t wait to see what Mr Shuffle has in mind for us… Irma Thomas kicks off with some rousing Boogie & Brass that is, “Cheater Man”; Whilst Next – Well Fliptastic, it’s Billy Hawks with, “Oh Baby, I Believe I’m Loosing You” – & this is right out of the same Stable as Irma, though with a great Hammond Organ propelling things along nicely, rather than a Chugging Brass Section – Oh Yeah!

The Next Three Tracks are Classics and All little Beauties – Starting with Odyssey (But not the same Group that gave us, ‘Native New Yorker’ & ‘Ever Loving Sam’) – Oh No, This Odyssey were signed in the early 1970’s to Motown’s ‘Mowest’ subsidiary, which took the Sound of Detroit (Motor City) out to the West Coast of the USA and then allowed the Eclectic West Coast Grooves to wash all over Berry Gordy’s product – A sort of Mamas & Papas melding together with the Supremes & Four Tops Sound, &, Boy does it Work – The Tag Line for the Mowest Label was, “Our Lives Are Shaped By What We Love” & enjoined to the Berry Gordy philosophy of “Create – Make – Sell”, a New Soul Fusion sound was Born – Frankie Valli, Syreeta, Thelma Huston & The Commodores all recorded tracks on Mowest & I’m pretty sure that all their Product is available to the Shuffle Monkey – So much to look forward to in the Future then, But Here & Now the track we are hearing is called, “Broken Road”: The Second great track is the 12″ Version of, “Snapshot” by Delores Hall & I defy you not to Dance to this one; & Third up is Ted Taylor with, “Ghetto Disco” Msr Le Shuffle has got himself into a bit of a Boogie & Soul Groove, Bless His Little Cotton Socks!!

A major, but excellent and inspired GEAR CHANGE next with Judy Garland singing, “Smile” – which is the Live Version from The London Palladium, circa 1963! And next back into Soul with two Uber Soul Ladies & both are in Fantastic Voice – first, Esther Phillips gives us, “SOS” & secondly, Ty Karim blows us all away with, “Lightin Up” – Incomparable!

Funky Funky follows with the Bar Kays &, “Let’s Have Some Fun (12″ Version)” and when this was first recorded and released they would have been setting down the Gauntlet (Great Clint Eastwood Film) & the Template for the likes of the Ohio Players & early Kool & The Gang with this Stormer! Masters At Work (MAW) quickly jump in next with a Re-Tool of, “To Be In Love” – & it’s the ’99 Remix, although I still think it has India on Vocals!

And finally today we fall into the Soft-Pillow Arms of the Golden Age of Northern Soul & The Carstairs serenade us with, “He Who Picks A Rose” – Righteous & Keep The Faith Coz I’m Keeping It On Shuffle – Right Monkey!! 🙂