Monday, 14 May 2018

Skip Mahoaney And The Casuals “Your Funny Moods” 1974 US Soul Funk,Deep Soul


Skip Mahoaney And The Casuals “Your Funny Moods” 1974 US excellent Soul Funk,Deep Soul
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+  Land Of Love (1976)

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Skip Mahoaney And The Casuals were one of the best vocal groups working in the independent soul market in the 70’s, and although they had a few small chart hits, most of their work on vinyl is always pretty darn hard to find, and has never been collected properly. The group have a cool mellow soul vibe, like the Whatnauts or The Montclairs, with rough harmonies hitting a deep groove – and workin equally well on ballads or more uptempo tracks…..~


The Casuals were born accidently one spring evening in 1965. Ejected from a house party in Northwest, DC, Skip and his fellow over imbibers sought solace under the proverbial street lamp. A passing car, blasting Billy Stewart’s “I Do Love You” prompted then 15-year old Mahoney to pipe the tune a cappella. Stunned by their hood mate’s s sudden burst of raw talent, the fellas (George Norris, James Morse, Franklin Radcliff and Morris Moore ) quickly chimed backing vocals. The birth was quick and painless. Several sessions later, swelling with confidence, the group adopted the The Casuals as their moniker. 

The original Casuals included George Norris (from the original a cappella group on the street corner), Roger Chapman and Billy Jones (Skip’s cousin). Players stepped forward offering to audition for membership in the backing band. The dream was taking shape. What followed was many years of toil, triumph, sweat and tears. Casuals keyboardist, James Purdie began constructing chords to match lyrics written by Skip. But it was group roadie, Sonny Jones who unwittingly provided fodder for the first record by Skip Mahoney and the Casuals (the name was changed because of another group by the name The Casuals). 

Jones complained of a girlfriend and her “funny moods.” In 1973, finally recording for D.C. International Records, a local indie in search of the Next Big Thing, “Your Funny Moods” b/w “I Need Your Love” was released. Local radio programmers familiar with the group, provided air play for both sides of the 45. It was the B-side “I Need Your Love” which lit up the radio request lines and gave the group a Washington/Baltimore hit. An album, also titled Your Funny Moods, sold over 100,000 copies in it’s hometown but did not find a substantial national audience…..~


A firm Mr Bongo favourite, and some of the finest deep soul ever made in our opinion. Beautiful song writing, strings, vocals and lush layers, yet quite raw at the same time. ‘Town Called Nowhere’ and 'I Need Your Love’ are especially heavy. Solid album too….~


Harrison Hoaney grew up in the rough Southwestern quadrant of the District of Columbia know as Ladroit Park. Populated with unsavory, if not criminal, characters, Harrison’s neighborhood reminded him of the film serial The Bowery Boys. Leo Gorcey portrayed the titular ne’er-do-wells’ leader “Slip” Mahoney, and noting the similarity in their last names “Skip” Mahoney stuck as his nickname. Together with fellow Francis Cardozo hall-dwellers George Norris, James Morse, Franklin Radcliff, and Morris Moore, the Casuals were formed in 1965. In 1969, the group solidified around its best known line-up: Roger Chapman, Billy Jones, and original member George Norris. When their first single for D.C. International came back from the pressing plant, the group was dismayed to find itself billed as Skip Mahoney & the Casuals, after being a vocal group for nearly a decade. Chapman, Jones, and Norris quit in disgust, but their complete R.G.B. recordings were collected on 1974’s Your Funny Moods LP. Unfazed, skip rallied Tracy Reid, Jerome Rodgers, and Allen Morgan to join him in support of the album, taking the group to realms outside of D.C. International’s limited regional scope….~


This is the story of a man who, after this recording, lost not life but the letter “a” in his surname: Mahoaney became Mahoney. 
This is the story of a man who, after this recording, was angry for life with the group he had founded nine years earlier, one spring evening: the Casuals, yet united to life to death, did not support that the name of the vocal lead appears on the poster … and that their names are not even mentioned on the back of the cover. 
This is the story of a great Sweet Soul album magnified by two great rivers that irrigate both sides of their majestic courtyards … 
“I Need Your Love”, the first, the magister, is a piece that made me discover the unique world of Harmony Soul where beauty and emotions blend into an ideal world, where the tragic is interstices a silk sheet. 
Just listen to the first seconds, the cry of the seagulls over the waves that crash on the rocks, it is immediately the total immersion: the Bay of Mont-Saint-Michel and its faded colors escaped from a movie by Terrence Malick. Eight minutes of passion, eight minutes euphoric! 
“Your Funny Moods”, the second, opens the B side as the philharmonic violins open the ball at the Kursalon Vienna, and nothing funny … 
On the contrary here everything is tension, the silence just before the storm, in the eye of the tornado, maintained by choirs who, like tightrope walkers, are on a red wire from which it is easy to fall … 
Besides these two opus, the rest may seem anecdotal, but if you have a little time, taste the funky “Town Called Nowhere” and his devilish guitar, the Eschylian “Struggling Man” and the poppy “ We Share Love ”… 
And all that was created not under the effect of a magic wand, but “What followed was many years of toil, triumph, sweat and tears”. 
Skip Mahoaney and James Purdy (keyboards and future producer) took almost a year to compose this album, Skip abandoning (temporarily) the Casuals on their exhausting tours, then they took almost a year to find a label to finally fail on the tiny DC International Records. 
And let me tell you one last word: 
What about this light pouch: beautiful as a heart, beautiful as an icon of Sweet Soul!…..by…..Revpop ….~


Credits 
Bass – Ira Watson 
Drums – Russell (Butch) Deyo* 
Flute – Alvin Fisher 
Guitar – Alvin Alexander, Gary Hunt (6), Otis Brown (6) 
Strings – Eddie Drennon




Tracklist 
A1 I Need Your Love 7:24 
A2 Town Called Nowhere 4:31 
A3 Struggling Man 4:44 
B1 Your Funny Moods 7:11 
B2 I’m Looking Away From My Past 2:33 
B3 Seems Like The Love We Had Is Dead And Gone 3:32 
B4 We Share Love 2:46 

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