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6 Sep 2016

Brother To Brother ‎ “In The Bottle” 1974 US Funk Soul

Brother To Brother ‎ “In The Bottle” 1974 US Funk Soul
This is a record that I have wanted to do since the inception of Flea Market Funk. I’ve since bought multiple copies, after not seeing it in the field for a while. It was a record I probably got back in the early 2000’s sometime. I knew it was a cover, so I scooped it up. I’m glad I did. Before I get into this record I want to give a shout out to The Get Involved Club for bigging me up on their site. I’m glad they feel that “my inspirational blog about crate digging, is quite frankly, awesome.” You guys look like you have a good thing going over there. If you need somebody for an all Funk and Soul set, ring me up chaps. Also, thanks for the input on my site, I’ve added some stuff on the front page to fill up that space. Good looks! Ok, kids, here’s Brother to Brother with “In the Bottle” from 1974 on Turbo Records. 

All that I could dig up about this band was that it was formed by Michael Burton out of St. Louis. He gathered some studio musicians: Frankie Prescott, Billy Jones, and Yogi Horton, and the band was born. They would release Bottle to Bottle, Let Your Mind Be Free, and Shades In Creation on Sylvia Robinson’s Turbo Records, a subsidiary of the All Platinum label. Robinson, of course would go on to found Sugar Hill Records, which is said where a few of these musicians went on to play at, as well as go on to make some Reggae records. If anyone has some more info on this band, please contact me. Thanks. 

This a great cover of Gil Scot Heron’s original. In fact, I like the vibe that Brother to Brother went for on this cut. Just because they were from St. Louis doesn’t mean they couldn’t be socially conscious, no? The flute, which I love in a Funk record, is killer. It adds a slightly Latin tinge to the side, and I dig it. The groove they’re keeping is tight and this was their highest charting record before they all went their separate ways. When I put together a Flea Market Funk Covers mix, it’s definitely gonna be included. See you Friday with some cool show announcements in New York City. Keep Diggin’! …by flea markt funk…. 

Brother To Brother was formed in St. Louis in the early 70’s by Michael Burton and a group of studio musicians. “In The Bottle” was the band’s debut album, and they would go on to release two others on Turbo Records. The head of Turbo was Sylvia Robinson, founder of Sugar Hill records later in the decade, so the group was in good hands musically. “In The Bottle” is a fairly typical album for this period - funky, with some nifty jazzy touches and a club groove feel. Wood, Brass & Steel (also with Turbo) provided back-up. Highlights of the set include the title track (a fantastic cover of the Gil Scott-Heron original) and Norman Whitfield’s “I Wish It Would Rain,” along with “Big Brother” and “Mother Earth.” ….by funky covers…… 

Great groovy stuff including Brother to Brother’s fabulous cover of the Gil Scott-Heron track “The Bottle” done here with a cool flanged vocal chorus on the lyrics, and a tight jazzy groove that reproduces the feel of the original, but adds some soulful female vocals! A lovely cover of N. Whitfield’s “I Wish It Would Rain” and “Hey, What’s That You say” a cover of Wood, Brass & Steel. 

Far and away the greatest album that Brother To Brother ever cut – and a monster record that’s satisfying all the way through! At their roots, the band have an ensemble funk style similar to many other 70s groups – but they also add in a lot of jazzy changes and a nascent sense of a club groove that’s shown to best effect on their great cover of Gil Scott Heron’s “In The Bottle”, done here with sweet flanged-out vocals, electric piano riffing, and the same sort of flute solo heard in the original. Other tracks include “Mother Earth”, “A Love Of My Own”, “If He Can Do It”, “Trespassing”, and “Junkie”. Wood Brass & Steel back the group up — and the instrumentation is similar to the work on their own album for Turbo. (Dusty Groove) ….. 

A1 In The Bottle (3:10) 
A2 Hey, What’s That You Say (3:04) 
A3 Big Brother (3:31) 
A4 I Wish It Would Rain (6:24) 
A5 Junkie (2:19) 
B1 Trespassing (3:37) 
B2 A Love Of My Own (3:38) 
B3 Mother Earth (4:50) 
B4 If He Can Do It (You Can Do It) (3:22) 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..