DJ SNOWBOY PRESENTS THE GOOD FOOT.

DJ SNOWBOY PRESENTS THE GOOD FOOT.

Mark Cotgrove was just fourteen when he made his DJ-ing debut. This was at Deanes School, in Thundersley, Essex. The future DJ Snowboy assisted his metalwork teacher on the wheels of steel. This could’ve, and should’ve, been the start of his DJ-ing career. It wasn’t.

By the time Mark was seventeen, he’d enrolled at a graphic design course at Southend Art College. This was in 1978. Post-punk and and jazz funk were de rigeur. The Essex music scene was thriving. However, Mark had stopped going out. 

Each night, Mark stayed in. He spent his evenings listening to fifties rock ’n’roll. His love of rock ’n’roll was inspired by his elder brother, Paul. Rock ’n’roll became the soundtrack to Cotgrove brother’s lives. Then one night, some of Mark’s college friends convinced Mark to go along to a local club, Crocs.

Initially, Mark wasn’t bothered about going out. However, he was starting to feel lonely. He also didn’t want to be left out. So he agreed to go along to Crocs. His visit to Crocs was a life-changing experience. It was at Crocs Mark first heard Donald Byrd, Funkadelic, Brainstorm, George Benson, Weather Report and P-Funk. Originally, this was something of a culture shock. After all, Mark was listening to fifties rock ’n’ roll. His taste would soon change.

In October 1978, Chris Hill was one of the top DJs in Essex. He was playing at the Goldmine, in Canvey Island. He was playing everything from disco, funk, jazz, P-Funk, Philly Soul and Salsoul. This was a whole new musical world for Mark. He dived head first into this brave new world.

Soon, Mark was feverishly collecting everything from disco, funk, jazz, P-Funk, Philly Soul, Salsoul and street funk. Before long, Mark became evangelical about the music he had collected. He wanted to share his love of this new music with other people. So with just sixty or seventy records to his name, Mark hired out the Goldmine and the Mad Marx Roadshow made its debut in October 1978. Since then, Mark has made a career out of DJ-ing.

Mark has spent much of the last thirty-six years DJ-ing. At the last count, Mark has played in thirty-three different countries. He has also run a number of successful club nights.

One of Mark’s most successful club nights is at the Good Foot, in Soho, London. At the Good Foot, Mark plays what he describes as vintage music. He has been doing this since 4th June 2010. Since then, Mark has built the night into one of London’s most popular club nights. People come from far and wide to the Good Foot club night. For those that can’t make the journey, DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot, which was recently released on BGP Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records is the next best thing. DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is the latest compilation Mark has compiled, during his thirty-six year career, that started back in 1978.

From the very first night the Goldmine, in October 1978, the Mad Marx Roadshow was a huge success. The popularity of the night grew and lasted right throughout until 1983. Then in 1979, Mark met Dr. Bob Jones who Mark credits with influencing his musical tastes. 

Throughout his career, Mark’s musical tastes would continue to evolve. Mark’s tastes are best described as eclectic. Afro-beat, electro, go go, Tex Mex, rap, jazz and funk would all inspire Mark musically. Similarly varied has been Mark’s career, since he dawned the roll of DJ Snowboy.

For anyone not yet familiar with the career of DJ Snowboy, he’s a man with many strings to his bow. Not only is he a highly accomplished Latin percussionist, but a band leader, recording artist and DJ. 

Not only did DJ Snowboy’s DJ career start back in 1978, but this was the same time as he started learning percussion. He released his first single Bring On the Beat in 1985 as Snowboy and The G.L. Band. By the late eighties, DJ Snowboy signed to Acid Jazz Records. 

As Snowboy and The Latin Section, Ritmo Snowboy his 1989 debut album was released. After that, Snowboy and The Latin Section released seven further albums between 1991 and 2008. That’s not all.

Away from Snowboy and The Latin Section, DJ Snowboy has found time to compile numerous compilations. However, there is much more to DJ Snowboy than musician, band leader and compiler. 

Back in 2009, DJ Snowboy, using his “real” name Mark Cotgrove, wrote The History of The UK Jazz Dance Scene. This put Mark’s encyclopaedic knowledge of music to good use. A year later, so did Wayne Hemmingway. 

In 2010, Wayne Hemmingway was looking for a curator for the first Vintage Festival. It was due to be held at Goodwood. Various names were banded about. Then Mark’s name came up. It was then that Wayne Hemmingway realised he had found his curator. Given Mark’s love of the vintage scene, he was the perfect person to take on the role of the curator to the Vintage Festival at Goodwood. However, Mark’s first love was DJ-ing.

DJ Snowboy is now into his fifth decade as a DJ. Over the years, he has run a number of successful and long running residencies and club nights. His latest successful club night is held at The Good Foot, in Soho.

At the Good Foot, DJ Snowboy plays what he describes as vintage music. Just like Mark’s musical taste, the playlist is eclectic. Blues, funk, R&B, rare groove and soul. Some nights, DJ Snowboy will even throw boogaloo, mambo and ska into the mix. He has been doing this since 4th June 2010. Since then, Mark has built the night into one of London’s most popular club nights. Given the eclectic and open minded music policy, it’s no surprise that people come from far and wide to the Good Foot club night. 

For those that can’t make the journey, DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot, which was recently released on BGP Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records is the next best thing. DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is the latest compilation Mark has compiled. Featuring Etta James, The Dynamics, Jimmy Norman, Luther Ingram, James Carr, Aretha Franklin, Z.Z. Hill, The Contours and Mark Murphy. They’re just a few of the twenty-three tracks of the eclectic delights on DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

Opening DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is a medley from Little Eva Harris. She begins with William Robinson’s anthem Get Ready. before moving onto Uptight. It was written by Henry Cosby, Sylvia Rose Moy and Stevie Wonder. Released in 1968, on Spring Records, this was six years after her biggest hit Locomotion. Although the single failed to chart, it was a reminder of what Little Eva Harris was capable of.

Not many artists enjoy the longevity that Etta James enjoyed. Her career began in the sixties, when she was signed to Argot Records. In 1964, Etta recorded I Can’t Shake It, for Chess Records. Sadly, it was never released. Instead, it sat in the Chess Records’ vaults. That’s where it was discovered by Kent Soul. It featured on the 2011 Etta James compilation Who’s Blue? Rare Chess Recordings of the 60s & 70s. Belatedly, this joyous, carefree song found the wider audience it deserved.

In 1963, The Dynamics released their debut single Misery. Written by Gary Stratton and Andy Wilson, it was released on Big Top Records. Soulful, funky and laden with emotion, Misery was the start of The Dynamics’ career. They released a series of singles and two albums. Their debut album was 1969s First Landing. Four years later, What A Shame was released. It spawned a trio of singles, Funkey Key, What a Shame and “She’s for Real (Bless You). However, the single that launched The Dynamics’ career was Misery.

Sue Ann Jones’ released I’ll Give You My Love in 1968. It was written by Dave Hamilton and James Moorman. Released on the TCB label, this is a deliciously funky slice of Northern Soul. Sadly, it failed to give Sue Ann Jones the hit single she deserved.

Jimmy Norman released his sophomore single I Don’t Love You No More (I Don’t Care About You) in 1962. Released Little Star Records, it was penned by H.B. Barnum. In Jimmy’s hands, the tracks is a fusion of funk, R&B and soul. Unfortunately, the single disappeared without trace. That wasn’t the end of Jimmy’s career. It continued and in 1987, he released his debut album Home, on Bad Cat Records.

Luther Ingram is another artist who has enjoyed a long and successful career. He cowrote Respect Yourself for The Staple Singers. Then in 1972, Luther enjoyed the biggest hit of his career with (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right. Thirty-six years later, hi career was  still going strong. He released Oh Baby Don’t You Weep as a single on Kent Select. Bluesy and soulful, it’s a reminder of the hugely talented Luther Ingram.

The Barrino Brothers have been around since the sixties. They released their debut album Livin’ High Off The Goodness Of Your Love in 1973. Four years earlier, they released a single that’s a true hidden gem, Just A Mistake. It was written by Ray Barrino and Wardell Montgomery Jr. Just A Mistake is The Barrino Brothers at their soulful best. A heartfelt, impassioned vocal and cooing harmonies play their part in glorious fusion of funk and soul.

The story of James Carr is a case of what might have been. Ill health robbed soul music of one of its most talented sons. Coming Back To Me Baby was released as the B-Side to his 1966 single Love Attack. Penned by Qiunton Claunch, Come Back To Me Back featured on James’ 1967 debut album You Got My Mind Messed Up. A stomping beat provides the accompaniment to James needy, lived-in vocal as he delivers a soul masterclass.

Way before Aretha Franklin was crowned the Queen of Soul, her career was struggling. Her first two albums failed to chart. So did her third album The Electrifying Aretha Franklin. Released on Columbia Records in 1962, The Electrifying Aretha Franklin features Rough Lover, which was written by John Leslie McFarland. It features a sassy, feisty vocal powerhouse from Aretha. It’s a long way from her gospel roots, but gives more than a hint of what Aretha Franklin was capable of.

Still, Z.Z. Hill is one of the most underrated soul singers of his generation. That seems strange, when you listen to You Don’t Love Me. Z.Z. wrote and recorded this song fifty years ago. in 1964. It was released as a singe on Kent, and in 1965, featured on his The Soul Stirring Z.Z. Hill album. It’s an album that oozes quality. However, one of the highlights is You Don’t Love Me, where Z.Z. lays bare his soul for all to see.

In 1962, Hank Mart released The Watusi Roll as a single on Federal Records. What follows is a masterclass on the Hammond organ. Hank proves to the Hendrix of the Hammond. Flamboyant flourishes are unleashed as he gives a truly barnstorming performance.

My final choice from DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is The Contours’ Do The See Saw. This was a track that The Contours recorded when signed to Motown, where they spent much of their career. It was also where they recorded the best music of their career. They recorded much more music than they released. This wasn’t unheard of. Record companies liked to stockpile music. Do The See Saw was an example of this. It’s a dance track that lay undiscovered until 2011, when Kent Records released Dance With The Contours. 

The twelve tracks I’ve mentioned are just a some of the highlights of DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot. There’s much more to DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot than these twelve track. I could just as easily have mentioned contributions by The Ikettes, James Brown, Little Willie John, The Shirelles, Little Johnny Taylor, Mark Murphy and Willis Jackson. That’s how good DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is.

A lot of thought and care has gone into compiling DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot. That’s the way it should be. Sadly, not every compiler takes the same care as DJ Snowboy. He has taken care to ensure that DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is representative of a night at The Good Foot. 

At The Good Foot, DJ Snowboy plays what is best described as eclectic selection of vintage music. DJ Snowboy’s playlist is eclectic. Blues, funk, R&B, rare groove and soul. Some nights, DJ Snowboy will even throw boogaloo, mambo and ska into this eclectic mix. Equally eclectic is DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot. It’s a snapshot of the eclectic musical taste of a veteran DJ. 

DJ Snowboy is also a veteran when it comes to compiling compilations. He’s previously compiled several successful compilations. DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot, which was recently released by BGP Records, an imprint of Ace Records, is the latest compilation from DJ Snowboy. It’s one of his best and most eclectic.

Having listened to, and thoroughly enjoyed DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot, The Good Foot sounds like one of the final bastions of good music. The Good Foot started out in June 2010. Since then, The Good Foot has been growing in popularity. Given how good the music on DJ Snowboy Presents The Good Foot is, that’s no surprise.

DJ SNOWBOY PRESENTS THE GOOD FOOT.

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