Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun.

Label: BBE Music.

Format: CD.

Release Date: 31st March 2023.

Last year, BBE  released the critically acclaimed compilation We Are The Children Of The Sun. It was one of the best compilations of 2022 and was compiled by DJ and renowned crate digger Paul Hillery.

He’s also one of leading lights of folk-funk scene and has compiled Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun. It’ll be released by BBE on the ’31st’ of March 2023. Just like We Are The Children Of The Sun, this latest compilation offers a tantalising taste of a genre that many music lovers will be unfamiliar with. That’s a great shame as there’s a veritable feast of hidden gems awaiting discovery.

Just like origins of many genres, much debate sounds when the term folk-funk was coined. Musical historians continue to debate this, but it may be as long ago as 1967.

That’s when an article written by Chuck Boller for The Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, in Rochester, New York, and he used the term folk-funk. He was writing about The Kingston Trio who were at the heart of the late-fifties folk revival that began in American colleges. After that, folk music began to evolve, and a new sound became prevalent. This the writer referred to as “folk-funk.” However, he didn’t define this new genre.

By then, a number of artists had already made their mark on what would later be called folk-funk. This included Chicago-born Terry Callier and David Crosby who were part of the folk scene and headed to New York where they became familiar faces on the Greenwich Village folk scene. Later, they would be hailed as influences on the folk-funk genre.

So would Bob Dylan, and especially when he plugged in at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. This landmark performance and the electric folk sound was a game-changer and influenced everyone from The Byrds right through to CSNY.

Soon, other artists were playing their part in shaping the folk-funk sound. This included The Last Poets, Gil Scott-Heron and LeRoi Jones who who combined elements of jazz, proto-rap, poetry and social comment. 

Other influences included sixties sunshine pop whose origins can be traced to California. The music was influenced by the past and its lysergic sound was shaped by the counter culture. However, towards the end of the sixties optimism gave way to pessimism as the music took on a darker sound.

Partly, this was because of the looming threat of nuclear war as the Cold War began. It was no surprise that other influences began to influence what later became known as folk-funk.

This included a variety of genres including early seventies Christian music which soon evolved into Xian in an attempt to interest a younger audience. Soon, a variety of genres that included elements of folk were being released and later, would become part of folk-funk scene.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in Britain the folk scene had changed as groups like Pentangle, Fairport Convention and Sunshine Superman Donovan were transforming folk music. To do this, they plugged in and added a lysergic sound to their music. One artist pioneered this sound.

This was John Martyn who released his debut album London Conversation, in October 1967. His music began to evolve and on his 1971 album Bless The Weather he used an Echoplex tape delay on Glistening Glyndebourne. The followup Solid Air, was released in 1973 and was genre-melting classic that showcases the future folk-funk sound. So did his other classic album, 1977s One World. Especially the groundbreaking and timeless title-track which showcases a lysergic, dreamy sound by an artist who pioneered the folk-funk sound.  

In 1973, the same year that John Martyn released Solid Air, the San Francisco Examiner used the term folk-funk to describe concerts taking place in the city. 

Then a year later, in 1974, the duo Brewer and Shipley were being described as folk-funk by music critic Pete Bishop in The Pittsburgh Press. Suddenly, the term was being more widely used.

By then, Jon Lucien and Terry Callier had combined soul and folk and had helped to shape the new genre which grew in popularity in the late-eighties. 

That was when sample hungry crate diggers and DJs started to search for folk-funk hidden gems. They were played in clubs and the funkier cuts were sampled by producers for their drum breaks. Suddenly, these tracks were taking on a new lease of life.

With folk-funk’s popularity continuing to grow, it was no surprise that during the nineties and noughties that record labels started to release compilations of what was being referred to as a new genre. 

Meanwhile, there was a resurgence of interest in many artists that had influenced the folk-funk genre. This included Terry Callier, Jon Lucien and Susan Christie. 

Since then, folk-funk is still a popular genre with compiler, crate digger and DJ Paul Hillery one of the leading lights of the UK scene. Yet again, he showcases his impeccable taste on Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun. 

He’s handpicked eighteen eclectic tracks on Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun. This includes a mixture of folk-funk, AOR, blissed out Balearic beats, funk, jazz-funk, soft rock, soul soft fuzzy electronica and contributions from trippy troubadours. 

As The Day Grows Tired opens Once Again We Are The Children Of The Sun. The track featured on the brothers eponymous debut album. It was released in 1980 on No Mountain Records. By then, the song was a favourite when the pair played live. It’s no wonder. Crystalline acoustic guitars combine with an  impassioned vocal and soaring harmonies on this beautiful, cinematic song that paints pictures and sets the bar high for the rest of the compilation.

Crazy Days was a genre-melting track that closed Forest’s eponymous debut album when it was released in 1978. It was a private press which nowadays, is highly sought after by DJ, collectors and crate diggers. The group combine AOR, jazz-funk, rock and a soulful vocal on this hook laden hidden gem.

Wendy Grace was born in Sydney, Australia, and learnt to play the guitar as a teenager. Soon, she was writing her own songs. It was almost inevitable that she would embark upon a musical career. She started working as a receptionist in a recording studio and progressed to an in-house vocalist and musician in 1975. That year she released her debut album Backyard Of Blue. Six years later she recorded the Don Reid composition More Than Hope. The lyrics are full of social comment as Latin, jazz, rock and a heartfelt femme vocal is delivered by a truly talented singer who should’ve enjoyed a successful career.

In the mid-eighties, the cultural relations department of a bank in Cologne decided that they would produce a compilation of ten songs by local amateur bands. The results was Rock De Cologne-Die Sieger ’88. One of the groups chosen was Corill. Most of their songs were instrumentals. This included Soul Shadow where a slap bass and searing rocky guitar play leading rolls as funk, jazz and rock combine on this uplifting instrumental.

New York-based Varela originally recorded Come and Take Me by the Hand in 1977. It then featured on the band’s 1978 eponymous debut album. However, this folk song was rerecorded for the group’s 1980 sophomore album A New Plateau. It’s moody, wistful and pensive but also beautiful. This oft-overlooked track is a welcome addition to the compilation.

Having moved from Wisconsin to LA, soft rock band Just As released their debut album Just A Thought in 1977. This private press was based around positive thinking and the energy of the sun. The title track heads in the direction of folk rock and features a cosmic message about positive energy, purity of heart, where we came from and where we’re going. It’s thought provoking track that’s still relevant today.

The Freeze Band from Phoenix, Arizona, released their eponymous debut album on Vista Records, in 1978. It featured the reflective Going Back In Time which epitomises everything that’s good about the folk-funk genre.

Orion was British folk duo who, in 1987, had just finished recording their debut album Jack Orion. It was released later that year on Gypsy Records and featured Moonshine. This understated and laid back instrumental meanders along gradually revealing its secrets. It’s perfect late night listening and would be perfect to watch the sun set with the one you love.

Peace Train featured on Garth Fletcher’s 1979 private press Songs… It’s Serious. It’s an uptempo and upbeat song with a message where rock, funk and soul seamlessly combine to close his debut album. Sadly, this was his only album. However, it’s a tantalising taste of a talented singer-songwriter.

Closing Once Again We Are Children Of The Sun is If Life Was Like A Ferris Wheel by Italian singer-songwriter. It featured on the B-Side to his 1975 single A Day In The Blue.  However, the flip side is the standout track and finds the loved-up troubadour reminiscing about a short romance he had during a trip to England. His heartfelt and sometimes soul-baring vocal is accompanied by an arrangement that’s soulful, funky and features rocky guitars. It’s the perfect way to close the compilation.

For many newcomers to the folk-funk, We Are The Children Of The Sun was their introduction to the genre. This carefully curated compilation was the perfect starting point.

Then later in 2022, Paul Hillery returned with Folk Funk and Trippy Troubadours Volume One. It featured another tantalising taste of this oft-overlooked genre and featured hidden gems aplenty. So does his latest compilation on  BBE.

This is the much-anticipated Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun. Once again, DJ and crate digger Paul Hillery’s taste is absolutely impeccable. The compilation  features an array of hidden gems that showcase everything that’s good about folk-funk. It’s an eclectic compilation that includes a selection of genre-melting tracks which rub shoulders with others from private presses. There’s tracks that were released in the seventies and eighties, while others were recently released. However, they all have one thing in common, quality.

This includes the contributions from trippy troubadours and femme-folk singers. The artists on Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun tre responsible for a collection of folk-funk, AOR, blissed out Balearic beats, funk, jazz-funk, Latin, soft rock, soul and soft fuzzy electronica that’s the perfect post club soundtrack, and also for early mornings sitting on the beach watching the sun rise.

Once More We Are The Children Of The Sun.









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