Classic Melting Pot

Rock Steady!

Rock Steady!

Byron Lee – Rock Steady
Byron Lee – Can You Hear Me?
Byron Lee – Soul Ska

After having two DJs who I respect tremendously, namely O-Dub & Music Man Miles, recently inquire about this record after playing it out on Sundays, I thought it would be a good choice for Dig Deep. Byron Lee was one of the great ambassadors of Carribbean music and his group was one of the first to popularize Ska, Rock Steady and Calypso sounds throughout the world. (more…)

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

Kitty, Daisy & Lewis – Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A

This record has been out for a while, but I only got a chance to hear it during our recent fundraiser at KCRW.  Siblings Kitty, Daisy & Lewis clearly favor 1950s vintage sounds, but have some interesting song choices, including a version of Canned Heat’s “Going Up The Country.” The song I’ve chosen is my favorite from the record, “Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A.”

As an added treat, here’s their recent session on Morning Becomes Eclectic at KCRW. Highly recommended viewing…

Breakdown: August 19th on KCRW

August 20th, 2009

Many thanks to all of you who supported the station during our recent fundraiser. We raised a pretty penny for KCRW and have close to 20,000 subscribers to thank for it. Lots of new music this week and more funky tunes than normal. A call from O-Dub of in the first hour may have influenced that, but hopefully you don’t mind. (more…)

Vampi Soul's latest collection of Soul En Espanol

Vampi Soul's latest collection of Soul En Español

Los Bravos – Rudi’s In Love
Los Kifers – El Sol Es Una Droga
Los Roberts – El Saltamontes

This second volume builds on the deep sounds from vol. 1 and, for my money, exceeds the original volume, a feat fairly rare in the reissue game. Vampi Soul has for years been digging up obscured artists from Spain and Latin America, but they’ve really out done themselves with this series, with extensive notes on each of the artists on the comp and pictures of each of the LPs / 45s. That in itself will be a great help to collectors, crate diggers and DJs who love to play soul sounds from around the world. (more…)

Gris-Gris A Night of Musical Hoodoo

Gris-Gris A Night of Musical Hoodoo

It’s been a couple weeks since we started doing Gris-Gris at La Cita. Soul Marcosa has now joined me as a co-resident for the night and we have a stellar line-up of guest DJs for the next month or so:

August 16th: Clifton aka Soft Touch (Funky Sole / Underground / Sonic)
August 23rd: Alberto Sol (Soul Syndicate)
August 30th: Mathieu Schreyer aka Mr. French (KCRW / Tuesdays @ Bar Marmont)
September 6th: Music Man Miles (Breakestra / Funky Sole / Root Down)
September 13th: Greg Belson (SoulSide)
September 20th: Renato (Supercuts / Funky Sole)
September 27th: O-dub ( / Boogaloo[la])

Above is our latest flyer, designed by Soul Marcosa. So far, we remain a hidden gem downtown in Los Angeles, a perfect spot to come and chill on the back patio, kick back at the loooong bar, or groove out on the dance floor.

I hope you’ll join us one of these Sundays and come dance to the best mix of soulful, funky and rockin’ sounds in all the land…

Gris-Gris At La Cita

Breakdown: August 12th on KCRW

August 14th, 2009

It’s fundraising week here at KCRW and even though we don’t get phone volunteers or snazzy premiums for the midnight shows, I feel compelled to do my part to raise money for this station. So, I’ve put together a show which features a number of CDs that are available within 4-packs put together by the “stars” of KCRW, including Jason Bentley, Tom Schnabel, Anne Litt, Henry Rollins and Chris Douridas. If you can, please  support KCRW, you can do so online right here. (more…)

The Incomprable Johnny Hartman

The Incomparable Johnny Hartman

Johnny Hartman – I’m Glad There Is You

Generally, I like to choose brand new releases or reissues for my Heavy Rotation feature, but today is our 5th wedding anniversary and posting this would be what is most truthful to the concept of “Heavy Rotation.” This record (originally released in 1955 and Hartman’s debut as a leader) has been in heavy rotation for our entire relationship and it’s also been a frequent addition in the soundtrack to our dreams virtually every night. It’s in especially heavy rotation today on our anniversary. This track simply says it all…

Phoenix Performs on KCRW

Phoenix Performs on KCRW

It took me a little while to jump on the Phoenix bandwagon, but it’s hard not to like this band, great melodies, fun punchy electro rhythms, English lyrics for all the Yankees to sing, but with slightly French phrasing, so it still cooler than any “regular” American could sing. In fact their sound can be so enticing, that you might not pay attention to the lyrics. Case in point, is “Countdown.” The first 4 or 5 times I listened to this song, I was pretty convinced that it was all about sweet remembrance of youth, perhaps youthful discretions or other reckless behavior that just seems right when you’re young and oh so wrong once you turn 30. (more…)

Spiritual Jazz From Billy Harper

Spiritual Jazz From Billy Harper

Billy Harper – Priestess
Billy Harper – Calvary
Billy Harper – Illumination (excerpt)

A little earlier I reviewed the Spiritual Jazz collection on this blog and this record by saxophonist Billy Harper definitely exemplifies that style of music.  Harper is one of my favorite living saxophone players, with an extremely full and warm tone, in a post-Coltrane style while also marking out his own territory as a soloist for some 40 years now, beginning most prominently with Max Roach. (more…)

Been away for a week, Jason Kramer filled in for me last week, and it was very nice to be back with you on KCRW. Started off with a classic from Dr. John and the new name (“Ju Ju” was spoken for already…)  for my brand new Sunday weekly dance party here in Los Angeles at La Cita, “Gris-Gris”! (more…)

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