Monday, July 13, 2009

Song of the Day - July 13, 2009

There is a lot of music in this big ol' world. Some of it you know intimately. Some of it you've probably read about. Some of it, you stumble on.

Many years ago at a flea market, I stumbled on Mandrill. I knew it was a funk band, but didn't really know much about them. They'd had a few hits, enough to merit an anthology, but I didn't ever really hear them on my radio growing up. The only R&B we got were the big, big hits. Mandrill never cross over to pop, so Mandrill never made the grade with music programmers here.

Truth be told, that Mandrill album I purchased didn't do it for me. The band, formed in the late 60s by three New York based brothers who were born in Panama, had clearly soaked up all of the major musical vibes going on in the big apple at the time, and I think that's why I underrated them. They brought too much to the table, so it sounded rather diluted to me. Also, they seemed to rely a little too heavily on the groove instead of melody. And I just didn't make a love connection.

That is until a few years ago when I was looking for funk to put on my iPod. I somehow heard Fencewalk from the Composite Truth album, and I was smitten. Well, with that song. I like how liquid and serpentine the funk is at the outset of the song, and how, when the vocals give way to the jam, the band gets down and dirty, pushing the funk very, very, very hard. It's a rather erotic bump and grind that resolves itself too, too soon for my liking, and rocks as hard as Black Sabbath or Zep in its own way. The link above is a live version from 2008, but it still smokes. No monkey business.

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