Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jade "Boodi Shakes Money / Paper Man" (Pesante)

"Paper Man" popped up on most people's radar after its inclusion on Dante Carfagna's deadly Black Rock mix Chains & Black Exhaust. It's a plodding sludge fest of layered guitars that would pummel just about any "hard rock" band of the time into submission. The steady percussion underneath, including an unrelenting cowbell, gives it just the right amount of funk to keep your head nodding.
"Boodi Shakes Money", though not quite as heavy, is equally impressive with the bass making its presence felt along with some infectious vocals. But don't fret; the fuzz guitar and cowbell haven't gone anywhere.
It's hard to believe that this is the same band that is best known for the Modern Soul masterpiece "Music Slave". If you're not familiar with Jade's breath taking album "In Pursuit" check out our pal Kenny Bloggenz's blogspot and give your ears a treat.
These two very distinct phases of Jade's career make them one of the most compelling and enigmatic bands to ever hail from the Commonwealth.
P.S. Special props to label head Joe Riley for using a picture of The Norfolk Scope in the Pesante label design!

Jade "Paper Man"

Jade "Boodi Shakes Money"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bernard Calvin "Greedy" (Tobacand)

The opening drum break on side 2 of this 45 leaves little doubt why Bernard Calvin was one of the most highly regarded drummers in the Richmond area back in the 70's. But it's the guitar work throughout that makes this one special. A definite touch of Hendrix, and a huge nod to Phelps Collins' astounding style on "Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved", whoever the guitarist was on these tracks, was a monster. Released on Hopewell's Tobacand Label, "Greedy" is a definite mind blower, especially towards the end of part two when the dubbed out vocals are in full effect.

Bernard Calvin "Greedy (Part 1)"

Bernard Calvin "Greedy (Part 2)"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Deceptions "Of All The Hearts / People" (Brooks)

The Deceptions were nothing but the truth! A three piece vocal group formed in 1968 and consisting of Malcolm Mason, Jimmy Williams, and leader Daniel Goldstone, they released three phenomenal singles: "You're Gonna Run To Me" recorded at Brockington & Guess Studios in Norfolk and released on the Peace label, "Of All The Hearts" for Walter Coleman's Brooks Records out of Hampton, and "Success" for Goldstone's own Stone Gold label, located in Newport News at the time.

"Of All The Hearts" appears to have been the more successful of the three outings, meriting two pressings. With it's distinctive harmonies, catchy chorus, moody guitar and up front drums, it's no wonder this uniquely beautiful beat ballad would have caught some ears. Interestingly, there is another version of this song done by the group Black & Blue on the Charlotte, N.C. label Game. The Black and Blue record lists Duke Hall as the song writer, while Daniel Goldstone is credited on the Deceptions version. We still haven't been able to get to the bottom of this discrepancy, and while the Black and Blue version is quite polished and seems to be better known, we prefer the Deceptions' more direct, stripped down approach.

On the flip side "People", we find Goldstone and company attempting to unify the worlds of R&B and Rock stylistically and lyrically. "You might be White/ You might be Black/ But don't let that hold you back/ We all want the same things in life/ So don't be ashamed/ To do it!" "People" reflects the upheaval of the changing times with a heady blend of searing guitars, funky drums and social consciousness. A heavy dose of Psychedelic Soul that serves as an indelible snapshot of a turbulent era, as well as carrying a message that's still relevant in today's world.

Their third single, "Success", as well as being the initial release for the newly formed Stone Gold label, would mark the final record under the name The Deceptions. Shortly after, the group would become Peace, Justice and Equality. PJE released two albums, It's Time (1976) and At The Disco (1978), both on Stone Gold. In fact, the exact same recording of "Success" appears on It's Time as well as reworked versions of "People" and "Of All The Hearts", with "People" evolving into an anti-drug track "Gettin' High".
The prolific Mr. Goldstone has had a hand in nearly every aspect of the music business for decades now, and has recently resurrected Stone Gold Records.
Special thanks to our friends at Virginia's Music Soul for the great group photos and info. Check out one of the web's best kept secrets!

The Deceptions"People"

The Deceptions"Of All The Hearts"

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ray T Jones "That Norfolk Sound" (Wee-Too!)

What is it? Folk-funk? Psych-soul? Well, it's from 1975, but sounds more like '68, a fuzz infused ode to the Norfolk, Virginia club scene, where "fists flying in the night" was nothing out of the ordinary.
Ray Jones is best known amongst funk aficionados for the killer 45 "Beat The Knees", also released on Wee-Too a year later. Despite that track telling the tale of a guy from Norfolk named Leroy, with a flip side entitled "Take Me Back To Norfolk Town", the label shows a Philadelphia address. Turns out that Mr. Jones is a Philly native who relocated to the Hampton-Roads region while serving in the U.S. Navy. Judging by these songs Norfolk made a lasting impact on Mr. Jones. "Come on down to Norfolk, and get some ghetto in your life."

Ray T. Jones "That Norfolk Sound"