KEB DARGE AND LITTLE EDITH’S LEGENDARY WILD ROCKERS 3.

KEB DARGE AND LITTLE EDITH’S LEGENDARY WILD ROCKERS 3.

It doesn’t seem like a year since I was telling you about the delights of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s latest compilation Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 2. However, a year has passed and during the previous twelve months, Keb Darge and Little Edith have been compiling another compilation. This is Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3, which will be released by BBE Music on 10th June 2013. Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 features twenty slices of the rarest rockabilly and surf music from the fifties and sixtes. Now if Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 matches the quality of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 2, then this compilation will be a must-have for music lovers everywhere. Is that the case though? That’s what I’ll tell you, once I’ve reminded you about the lift and times of Keb Darge DJ, record collector extraordinaire, compiler and founding father of “deep funk.”

Keb Darge was born in Elgin, Scotland, and from an early age, was absorbed in music. His first exposure to music was as a record collector. Having accumulated an impressive record collector, DJ-ing was the next step for Keb. He travelled around Scotland and eventually, to Wigan. The road to Wigan was a well travelled road for Scottish soul fans. Most headed to the Wigan Casino, whereas Keb landed a DJ residency near the casino. He continued to DJ until he was twenty-two, then decided to move to London.

After moved to London, Keb quit DJ-ing. Promoters persisted in asking him to DJ. Eventually, he relented, allowing London’s club-goers to experience the Northern Soul sound. Then disaster struck for Keb in 1987. His divorce saw him forced to sell his beloved record collection. Obviously, without records, a DJ-ing career wasn’t feasible. Heading out into civvy street, Keb tried various jobs to make ends meet. Then, when he rediscovered some records in his loft, this would change his career, and life. 

The pile of records that Keb discovered in his loft were what Keb called “junk records.” They included what was the beginning of what would become “deep funk.” Keb took this junk records to the Wag Club in 1989. Although this was the height of the Acid House’s popularity, the Wag Club was best known for Acid Jazz.  After the night ended at The Wag Club, Keb met fellow DJ and record collector Snowboy. This was the start of a long and successful partnership.

Snowboy and Keb transferred their deep funk night to another venue. Due to the popularity of house music, the night never gathered momentum. From there, they headed to Soho. This was the perfect venue. Their Legendary Deep Funk night became hugely successful. It was so successful that the new venue quickly establishing itself as a club. Keb continued to DJ at the Legendary Deep Funk night lasted until 2010, when he decided to quit. He still continues to DJ at a variety of venues, spinning his own unique brand of Northern Soul, rockabilly, early R&B and jump-blues. However, by 2010, Keb’s career was heading in different directions. Not only was he busy compiling compilations for various labels, but was running Kay Dee, a label he founded with Kenny Dope.

By 2010, Keb Darge had compiled various compilations, including several volumes of his Legendary Deep Funk, plus Soul Spectrum, Funk Spectrum and Lost and Found with Paul Weller. 2010 saw the release of the first of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s collaborations. In 2010, Keb Darge and Little Edith released Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Rockin’ R&B. Then in 2011, came the first installment in Keb and Little Edith’s new compilation series. 

Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers was released in July 2011, with Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 2 following in July 2012. Now just eleven months later, Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3. Given how critically acclaimed Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 2 was, Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 has a lot to live up to. Can Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 somehow surpass the quality of its predecessor? That’s what I’ll tell you, once I’ve told you about some of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 highlights.

Choosing the perfect track to open any album of compilation is never easy. Keb and Little Edith’s decision to open Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 with Gamimian & His Oriental Music’s Come With Me To The Casbah, is a masterstroke. This is a track from the 1959 album Come With Me To The Casbah, which was released on Atco Records. After an intriguing introduction, a scorching slice of frantic R&B, with blazing horns driving the arrangement along, unfolds. Irresistibly catchy, funk, jazz, blues and world music crammed inspire and influence this track.

Anyone who loves surf music will love Angie & The Citations’ Headache. Quite simply, this is a track you must hear once in your life. That’s easier said than done. Only 150 copies of Heartache were pressed in 1963, when it was released by Angela Records. Some of the band didn’t even get a copy of Headache. They’re missing a stunning slice of surf music. After an understated introduction, the track literally explodes into life. Waves of music pour out of your speakers, and your taken of a magical, joyous musical journey. So good is this journey, that once it’s over, you can’t stop yourself reliving it again.

The great thing about compilations like Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3, is that you’re able to hear tracks that are extremely rare for the price of just one CD. Another of these tracks is Johnny Knight’s Rock & Roll Guitar. It was released in 1958, on Morocco Records. From the opening bars, the track is an explosion of energy, emotion and power that’s best described as rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly combined.

Choosing just a few tracks from Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 isn’t easy. After all, the quality of the music is so high. Indeed, on another day I might choose different tracks. One track I’d still choose is Tony & Jackie Lamie With The Swing Kings’ Sunset Blues. Released in 1958, on Sunset Records, country and rockabilly meet head-on, creating one of the compilation’s highlights.

Ever wondered where The Beatles got the inspiration for Magical Mystery Tour? Well, listen to the opening bars of The Shindigs’ Thunder Reef and you could have the answer. The similarities may be brief, but like Magical Mystery Tour, Thunder Reef is quality all the way. Rather than psychedelia, it’s surf music The Shindigs specialise in. Thunder Reef was the B-side to Wolfman, a single released in December 1964 on Mustang Records. Ironically, Thunder Reef was a much better track than Wolfman, never reaches the same heights as the flip side. Quite simply, Thunder Reef is a hidden gem and much better than Wolfman.

Johnny Powers With The Band Of Stan Getz & Tom Cats’ Rock Rock is another B-side. It was the B-Side to Johnny’s second single Long Blond Hair is, Red Rose Lips, which was released on Fox Records in 1957. Good as the A-side Long Blond Hair is, Red Rose Lips is, the irresistible and infectiously catchy Rock Rock surpasses it. So, it’s no wonder that Johnny enjoyed a long and successful musical career, signing to Sun Records and then Motown.

Eddie Gaines And The Rockin’ Five’s Be-Bop Battlin’ Ball was was the B-side to Try This Heart For SIze. It was released on Summit Records, in April 1958. Best described as raw, explosive and emotive, instantly, you’re transported back to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll by this vintage slice of vintage rockabilly.

The best way to describe Ray Taylor & Alabama Pals’ Connie Lou is a real fusion of musical genres. There’s elements of blues, rockabilly and country during this three minute track. As for Ray’s vocal, it’s not dissimilar to Johnny Cash in delivery and sound. While Connie Lou was the B-side to My Hamtramck Baby, it yet again demonstrates that you should always check the B-side to a single. If you don’t, you’re liable to miss hidden gems like Connie Lou.

Joe Lee and Orchestra’s Hang Out is quite different from other tracks on Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3. It was released on 1959, on Fernwood Records. Produced by the legendary Scotty Moore, again, it’s a captivating and dramatic, fusion of influences, including jazz, rockabilly and exotica.

Fittingly, my final choice from Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 is the final track from the compilation. This is The Country Dudes’ Have A Ball. Released on 1959, on Dallas’ label Azalea, Have A Ball features a weary, wistful vocal from Clay Allan as seamlessly, The Country Dudes fuse country and rockabilly. Given the vocal and the lyrics, this is the best track on Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3.

Earlier I wondered whether Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 would match or better the quality of their previous compilations? That’s a question I also posed a year ago. This year I wondered if this was possible to surpass their previous efforts? After all, they’d set the bar high. To do this, would be the musical equivalent of a Fosbury Flop. Then I wondered whether the previous volumes of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers had exhausted their supply of hidden surf and rockabilly gems?

Thankfully, having set the bar high, Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 surpasses the quality of the two previous volumes. This is testament to Keb’s encyclopedic knowledge of music. Quite simply, he knows where to dig for hidden gems. Keb knows where there are a few musical treats lying undiscovered, including many of the twenty slices of surf music and rockabilly that feature on Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3. It seems that Keb Darge and Little Edith haven’t exhausted their supply of hidden gems. Not at all. Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 features another twenty glistening rockabilly and surf gems for your enjoyment.

Indeed, whether your preference is for rockabilly or surf, there’s plenty there for you to enjoy on Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3. From the opening bars of Gamimian & His Oriental Music’s Come With Me To The Casbah right through to the closing notes of The Country Dudes’ Have A Ballyou’re enthralled, captivated and in awe of Keb and Little Edith’s flawless musical taste. During Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3 you’ll continually wonder where this music has been all year life? However, many of these tracks are extremely rare. Even if you could find copies of the twenty tracks, you’ll need a second mortgage to buy them. Thankfully, you can save yourself the money, time and effort by buying a copy Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3, which will be released by BBE Music on 10th June 2013. If you can’t wait that long, you can always investigate the delights of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers and Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 2. By the time you’ve savored their delights, then it’ll be time for the release of Keb Darge and Little Edith’s Legendary Wild Rockers 3. Standout tracks: Angie & The Citations Headache, The Shindigs’ Thunder Reef, Joe Lee and Orchestra Hang Out and The Country Dudes’ Have A Ball.

KEB DARGE AND LITTLE EDITH’S LEGENDARY WILD ROCKERS 3.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: