Sunday, 16 February 2014

Funk For The Folks: The Soul Searchers' Salt Of The Earth (1974)

soul searchers flyer
soul searchers salt of the earth front
The Soul Searchers

''Salt Of The Earth''
( LP Sussex Records, 1974 )
Catalog # SRA-8030

Tracklisting & Hide Credits:
A1 I Rolled It You Hold It 4:38
A2 Blow Your Whistle
Composed By – C. Brown, M. Kidd 3:01
A3 Close To You
Composed By – B. Bacharach, H. David 4:23
A4 Funk To The Folks 4:14
B1 Ain't It Heavy 5:58
B2 Windsong 5:00
B3 Ashley's Roachclip
Composed By – L. Pinchback 5:36
B4 We Share
Composed By – D. Tillery 2:49
B5 If It Ain't Funky
Composed By – C. Brown 3:39

Personnel & Credits:
Bass – John Euwell
Composed By – J. Buchanan (tracks: A1, A4 to B2, B4)
Congos, Bongos – Lino Druitt
Drums – Kenneth Scoggins
Flute, Saxophone – Lloyd Pinchback
Guitar, Lead Vocals – Chuck Brown
Organ – Bennie Braxton
Percussion – Donald Tillery, John Buchanan, Kenneth Scoggins, Lino Druitt, Lloyd Pinchback
Producer – Carroll Hynson, Joe Tate
Trombone, Piano, Synthesizer – John Buchanan
Trumpet – Donald Tillery
Vocals – Bennie Braxton, Donald Tillery, John Buchanan

Format:Vinyl, LP
Recorded at American Star Recording Studio, Falls Church, VA.

soul searchers salt of the earth back

''Ashley's Roachclip''

The second Soul Searchers LP expands the band's music into deep and dark new dimensions. While boasting an even funkier street-smart approach than the previous We the People, Salt of the Earth achieves new levels of jazz-inspired sophistication as well. The much-sampled "Ashley's Roachclip" and "I Rolled It, You Hold It" are brilliant evocations of mind-warping psychedelia, but the group also slows down and gets straight with a shimmering reading of the classic Bacharach/David love song "Close to You." Between those two extremes lurk angular yet soulful grooves with all the widescreen power of contemporaries like Earth, Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang, but with a structural complexity all their own.
By Jason Ankeny (AMG)

This album wins because of professionalism: you can tell by listening how tightly produced it was. The horn section is super-tight & clean-sounding, and it is such a tickle to hear all those beats & samples you grew up with in hip-hop played in their natural original state. total win, worth every frikkin' penny.
This is extremely well rounded funk. Here, the Soul Searchers blend jazz funk with soft soul.
Though not quite as musically complex as Amnesty of LA Sound Carnival, this music does have interesting progressions that make the songs uniuqe, but these could still work on 1970s AM radio.
"Ain't It Heavy" could be a Spinners track, except that the chords twist and turn far more than on Gamble and Huff work, and the singers work around these changes, almost like jazz cats. Like a lot of this, it's very chromatic, working up and down all the sharps and flats of the scale rather than just the tonics.
There is a rendition of the Carpender's "Close To You." Well done, but considering the rest of the sophistocation of the rest of the music, it does not need to be here.
Still, you can't go wrong with this.
From Amazon

Another Funk classic from the revered Sussex label released by the good brothers Pragnell at Soul Brother! By 1974 the band had seriously developed their brass section and had honed a definitely more horny funk sound. Again, there are 5 tracks on here I adore. The one that really floors me is the old sampler's favourite. And, to be fair, what good taste they have too. The oddly titled “Ashley's Roach Clip” (no, me neither!) has featured on many a rap classic – even some I liked back in the day! Remember classics such as Eric B & Rakim's “Paid In Full”, LL Cool J's excellent “Jack The Ripper” and PM Dawn's “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss”. Along with Funky Drummer that has to be one of the meanest and baddest drum loops EVER!
A big song on the two-step scene is the mellow cover of Bacharach & David's “Close To You”. This is not my cup of tea, but I know many will really want this track. “Blow Your Whistle” is a mean groove and does cut the mustard for me, and is one you can really get into!
“Ain't It Funky” sure is a funky outing and “Funk To The Folks” develops into a very tuneful and soulful effort – it really is a great track from a great album. Over 30 years old, this does not sound dated or passé whatsoever, and to me that is the calling card of quality writing, production and musicianship. “Windsong” makes up my quintet of funky classics here. If listened to amongst today's releases it really does offer a genuine breath of fresh air. Both releases are worth picking up. Not a CD to overlook.
By Barry Towler (SoulExpress)

soul searchers salt of the earth label

''If It Ain't Funky''

On Line:
Groove Collector
Soul Express

Original post: 16/03/2008

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