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9 Sep 2016

Midnight Movers “ Follow The Wind” 1974 US killer soul Funk





Midnight Movers “ Follow The Wind” 1974 US  killer soul  Funk….recommended…!!
The second, and last, album by the magnificent Midnight Movers. Whereas their premier release, 1970’s ‘Do It In The Road‘, is a bit rougher and rawer, ‘Follow The Wind’ nonetheless is another amazing funk fest, crucial for Mama Earth’s funkadelphians….. 

The title-track was the band’s biggest hit, a no-holds-barred jam propelled by chanking guitars, stutter stepping drums and those gorgeous blaxpo-style horn/flute riffs. Deep, thick, muddy bass here, too… Basically an instrumental, the group chants the song’s title a few times, but leaves most of the room to be taken up by the groove. Weird ‘siren’-like, feedback guitar line in there too… 

“Mystery Woman” is funk rock at its finest: pumping drums and bass, tambourines, piles of horns and a droning clavinet in the back. A groove that just won’t let up, featuring some snappy drum breaks and firebreathing guitar licks… like the boys sing, ‘fly on, with ya bad self!’ 

That same swampy, greasy rock vibe is all over the frantic “Can’t Stand the Heat“, whereas “Lost for Words” constitutes the mandatory slow jam, with its breezy, flute-based groove and Earth, Wind & Fire-esque vocal harmonizing. Side A nonetheless concludes with another wah-wah’d floorshaker in the guise of the jubilant “Party“. 

The flip opens with a very interesting spin on Edgar Winter’s rockzillian opus “Frankenstein“, which is snazzily followed by a band original, the equally stupendous stomp “Blackenstein“. 

It’s back to the funky swamps with the cruisin’ head-bobber “Mississippi Foxhole“, a well-oiled instrumental where organ, flutes and that omnipresent, crackeling electric guitar play the piece’s leit motif in unison. Features a sick sax solo, as well. 

The Movers further up the ante with the hard rockin’ gospel/funk hybrid “Long Train Running“, with Patterson in his gruffy, raw vocal bag. I’m pretty sure the guitar pattern on this thang has been sampled to death in the Age of Hip Hop. 

With “Sacrifice“, there’s time for a breather. Probably the most ‘mellow’ of the batch, although lyrically pretty deep, there’s acoustic guitars here (to my knowledge the only place on the disc) set against that wall of brass. A bit of folksy funk rock… 

The album ends the way that it began, however, and that’s with a UNK of FUNK. The frenetic feel-good message driven “Flight to Freedom” is an apt closer to this wonderful, underappreciated rock-solid outing by a shamelessly underrated group of funkateers. 

Been meaning to rip this since I pulled it out as a reference for the Robin Kenyatta post a while back because he played on this recording. Other illustrious contributors include session regulars Jimmy Godwin (Betty Davis), George Moreland (Isley Brothers), John Mosely (Isleys, Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity), Daniel Ben Zebulon (Ubiquity, Stevie Wonder, Richie Havens, Labelle) and Earl McIntyre (Taj Mahal, Thad Jones, Norman Connnors, Gil Evans, Stevie Wonder and many more). (Note: Since originally posting found their compilation Truckin’ at San Pasquale) 

MySpace Bio 
There are arguably no continuously working groups more intertwined with American soul music. Like the “Funk Brothers” - the collective of musicians who played on all the recording sessions at Motown Records - the Midnight Movers made their mark behind the scenes, backing up, touring with, producing, and arranging many of the genre’s most famous artists. You’ve heard the famous wah pedal guitar work of original member Charles “Skip” Pitts on Isaac Hayes’ “Theme to Shaft,” as well as Curtis Pope’s signature horn lines on the Isley Brothers crossover hit, “It’s Your Thing.” The band produced legendary Stax vocal duo, Sam & Dave, and its members have recorded with countless groups in all the major centers of American Soul music–Detroit, New York, Memphis, and Muscle Shoals–receiving national acceptance in an era marked by distinct regional sounds. 

The band is perhaps most famous, however, for its decades-long collaboration with “wicked” Wilson Pickett. It was on the road with Pickett that the band perfected its compelling stage show with high-stepping choreography, seamless medleys, and playful approach to performance. Wilson Pickett’s famous song, “I’m a Midnight Mover” was the inspiration for the band’s name–a name under which the band released two full-length records of their own–‘Follow the Wind’ (1974) and 'Do it in the Road’ (1970). “Wilson Pickett and the Midnight Movers” perfomed all over the world until 1997, when the Movers struck out on their own. Since then, the Movers have continued to hone their reputation as the best live soul band in the world playing outdoor festivals, weddings, corporate events, and private engagements of all kinds. 


Dusty Groove review 
One of THE psychedelic funk masterpieces of the early 70s – a guitar-heavy set with a very fuzzed up feel – one that’s halfway between the work of Fugi and some of the best early sides on Westbound Records! But more than just guitar-heavy funk, Midnight Movers also have a fair bit of a groove – a well-produced sound that’s almost in the best funky Curtom mode of the early 70s – with plenty of grit in the mix, but also a top shelf level of arrangements that brings the music into hiply sophisticated territory! 

Bits of horns and keyboards are added in just the right doses to sweeten up the sound where needed – but never in a way that loses the overall intensity of the groove. Titles include the great 2 part “Frankenstein meets Blackenstein”, plus “Party (With Every Muscle in Your Body) (parts 1 & 2)”, “Mississippi Foxhole”, and “Follow The Wind” 


Soul Strut review 
I have a 45 by the Midnight Movers, Unltd. that I liked a lot, so I was hoping their album would be more of the same. The album gets off to a good start with Follow The Wind that has a nice build-up. The rest of the first side however is party Funk that doesn’t quite work for me. There’s a nice vocal loop at the beginning of Lost For Words however. Every song on the second side has something from the powerful instrumentals Frankenstein Meets Blackenstein and Mississippi Foxhole, to the cover of Long Train Running. Even the mellow song Sacrifice has feeling. The instrumental parts in Flight To Freedom are also quite good. 


Tracks 
A1 Follow the Wind 3:25 
A2 Mystery Woman 3:28 
A3 Can’t Stand the Heat 4:20 
A4 Lost for Words 3:55 
A5 Party (With Every Muscle in Your Body) Part I 3:15 
A6 Party (With Every Muscle in Your Body) Part II 2:16 
B1 Frankenstein 2:47 
B2 Blackenstein 3:03 
B3 Mississippi Foxhole 4:36 
B4 Long Train Running (Without Love) 4:06 
B5 Sacrifice 3:39 
B6 Flight to Freedom 5:05 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..

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