HARD TO EXPLAIN-MORE SHATTERED BLUES-FUNKY BLUES 1968-1984.

HARD TO EXPLAIN-MORE SHATTERED BLUES-FUNKY BLUES 1968-1984.

Nearly three years have passed, since BGP Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records, released Funky Blues and Shattered Dreams 1967-1978. It was released to widespread critical acclaim in early 2012. No wonder. Funky Blues and Shattered Dreams 1967-1978 featured blues greats like Lowell Fulson, Albert King, Buddy Guy and The Johnny Otis Show. They sat side-by-side with lesser known names like Smokey Wilson and Freddie Robinson. These tracks, were just a tantalising taste of the music on Funky Blues and Shattered Dreams 1967-1978. Since then, we’ve been awaiting the followup to Funky Blues and Shattered Dreams 1967-1978. Thankfully, the wait in over.

Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 was released by BGP Records, a subsidiary of Ace Records. It features twenty funky blues released between 1968 and 1984. This includes Lowell Fulsom, Albert King, Icewater Slim and The Fourth Floor, Earl Wright, Tommy Youngblood and Jimmy Robbins. That’s not all. Freddie Robinson, Artie “Blues Boy” White, Obrey Wilson, Big Daddy Rucker and Adolp Jacobs all feature on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. The twenty tracks on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 come from a time when blues music was in the doldrums. 

As the sixties drew to a close, blues music was no longer as popular. It had enjoyed a brief resurgence in popularity, after the latest generation of rock musicians, including The Rolling Stones, Cream and The Yarbirds, name checked the blues musicians that influenced them. Suddenly, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and T-Bone Walker’s music was being heard by a new generation of music lovers. This didn’t last long.

Despite the decline in popularity of the blues, soul music was still popular.  Soul was popular right through until the the dawn of the disco era. After that, soul’s popularity declined. Just like the blues, soul music was no longer as popular as it once been. So much so, that some high profile soul singers, including Bobby Womack, were left without a recording contract. This trend would continue, right through the seventies and the early eighties.

During this period, many blues musicians were struggling to make a living. They were finding it tough to adapt to the changes in musical tastes. While rock groups played huge venues, blues players were relegated to playing some of the many smaller, run-down clubs that could be found in every part of America. Many of these musicians raised on the blues, stubbornly refused to change their style of music. Eventually, it became a case of adapt or die.

If blues musicians didn’t adapt, the music risked dying. It would become a relic of music’s past. If this happened, the future looked bleak for a generation of blues musicians. So, they had to adapt to survive. 

During their sets, some blues musicians decided to adapt. They didn’t want to. This went against the grain. Despite this, they started throwing in some funky licks, soulful hollers and screams into their music. It became hugely popular with their audiences. The funky licks, hollers and screams added an element of showmanship to the music. Suddenly, their was a resurgence of interest in blues music. This music is still as popular.

Since then, crate diggers and collectors of funk and blues music have been collecting these funky blues’ tracks. Twenty of these funky blues feature on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. Many of these tracks on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 are real rarities and hidden gems, which I’ll pick the highlights of.

Freddie Robinson’s The Creeper opens Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. Written by Freddie and Jamo Robinson, it was released on Checker in 1966. This is the perfect introduction to the Memphis born blues guitarist. With braying horns  for company, Freddie and his band combine blues, funk and soul with sass to create a sultry sounding track.

Artie “Blues Boy” White was a latecomer to blues music. He didn’t release his first single until 1968. After that, his music combined blues, funk and soul. That’s apparent on Gimme Some Of Yours. It was released on Gamma Records in 1970, and is a fusion of three musical genres. A bluesy harmonica and funky rhythm section provide the backdrop for Artie. His vocal is a mixture of blues and soul, as he struts his way through the sassy Gimmie Some Of Yours.

Although Larry Davis released the original version of You Upset Me Baby, in 1968, it was Stevie Ray Vaughan’s version most people remember. However, Larry’s version of You Upset Me Baby is well worth revisiting. It was released on the Duke label. Featuring blistering blues guitars, and a vocal tinged with heartbreak, it’s a hidden gem that oozes emotion.

Finis Tasby features twice on  Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. The two tracks are taken from his album Blues Mechanic. It was meant to be released on Big Town in 1977. Big Town was a label founded by the Bihari brothers. They owned Modern and Kent Records. That was the past. Blues, they thought, was the future.  Sadly, that proved not to be the case. Sadly, once the album was completed, Big Town closed its doors. For Finis Tasby, and many other blues musicians, this was a disaster. His album was never released until Ace Records reissued Blues Mechanic. Walk On and Find Something Else  To Do are two of the highlights of Blues Mechanic, and a tantalising taste of what Finis Tasby was capable of.

By the time Ray Agee released It’s Hard To Explain on Romark, in 1972, he was a blues veteran. His vocal is lived in and full of hurt and sadness. Against a dramatic, piano lead arrangement, Ray lays bare his soul. As he does, blues and soul melt into one. The addition of lush strings are the perfect finishing touch to this blues opus.

Lowell Fulsom is one of the biggest names on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. His contribution is Lovemaker, the title-track from Lowell’s 1978. Released on Big Town, Lovemaker was a return to form from a blues legend.

In 1970, Albert King was a giant of the blues. He was up there with Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, T-Bone Walker and B.B. King. Albert was signed to Stax, and released Can’t You See What You’re Doing To Me as a single. On the B-Side was a cover of James Brown’s Cold Sweat. The track is a revelation. It features what can only be described as a blistering, blues guitar masterclass from the man that should’ve been King.

Smokey Wilson is another artist that features twice on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. His contributions come from the time he was signed to the Big Town label. Go Go Train is from his 1977 album Blowin’ Smoke. I Want You is from Smokey’s 1978 album Sings The Blues. Both tracks feature Smokey as his music evolves in an attempt to stay relevant.

From the opening bars, Big Daddy Rucker’s He Made You Mine epitomises everything that’s good about the blues. No wonder. He Made You Mine was written by Big Daddy Rucker and  Johnny Otis, who produced He Made You Mine. It was released on Hawk Sound, in 1972. Accompanying Big Daddy Rucker is The Johnny Otis Show. They’re responsible for an arrangement that’s slow, moody and full of sadness and emotion. Meanwhile, Big Daddy Rucker’s vocal is a mixture of regret and hurt.

Getting Down With The Game is the perfect showcase for Adolph Jacobs guitar playing. He’s a hugely talented blues guitarist. On Getting Down With The Game, which was released on Romark in 1972, he’s accompanied by a washes of bluesy harmonica. The result is three minutes of driving, dramatic blues. This is a real find from Adolph Jacobs, who before he got the blues, was one of the original members of The Coasters.

Tommy Youngblood wrote and recorded Hey Little Girl for his album The Soul Of Tommy Youngblood. It was released in 1970, on United. On Hey Little Girl, Tommy fuses blues, funk and soul. He literally vamps and pleads his way through the track, as a crack band provide a funky, bluesy, driving backdrop.

Closing Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 is Jimmy Robbins’ Its Real (Part 1). Written by Jimmy, it was released in 1968, on the Chicago based Jerhart label. It’s a quite beautiful song. Jimmy fuses equal parts  emotion and drama. His vocal is a mixture of power, hope and emotion, as blues and soul unites. The result is a track that’s guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings.

The recently released, Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 is the perfect followup to Funky Blues and Shattered Dreams 1967-1978. It might have been three years in the making, but it’s been well worth the wait. Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 features twenty funky blues released between 1968 and 1984. This includes contributions from Lowell Fulsom, Albert King, Icewater Slim and The Fourth Floor, Earl Wright, Tommy Youngblood and Jimmy Robbins. That’s not all. Freddie Robinson, Artie “Blues Boy” White, Obrey Wilson, Big Daddy Rucker and Adolp Jacobs all feature on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. Familiar faces, cult classics and hidden gems sit side-by-side. The result is Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984, a captivating collection of funky blues. 

Hard To Explain-Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 was compiled by Dean Rudland. He’s had to dig deeper than he’s dug before. For that, Dean deserves the utmost credit. After all, crate digging takes patience and persistence. When it pays off, it’s well worth all the disappointment that’s gone before. It’s certainly paid off for Dean Rudland.

He has rediscovered, and rescued, many long forgotten tracks. For far too long, they’ve lain unloved in the dusty vaults of record companies. Not any more. They now feature on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984 and are the perfect introduction to  eighteen blues musicians. Hopefully, these tracks will be the start of a musical journey.

After hearing Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984, hopefully you’ll head off on a musical journey. During that journey, you’ll discover more from the artists on Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984. That, for me, is the joy of buying compilations. It allows you to discover music from artists you’ve never heard before. This could be the case when you buy Hard To Explain-More Shattered Blues-Funky Blues 1968-1984, which was recently released by BGP Records, an imprint of Ace Records?  Let’s hope so.

HARD TO EXPLAIN-MORE SHATTERED BLUES-FUNKY BLUES 1968-1984.

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R-4146854-1356855306-1890

R-3510973-1333320554

R-1940172-1380993781-6255

R-1974848-1256111284

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