Guitarist POV in Funk Origin

SoulfulDetroit.com FORUM: Archive - After July 12, 2003: Guitarist POV in Funk Origin
Top of pageBottom of page   By Keane (209.87.128.124) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 01:02 pm:

Forum Members: As a sixties teenage guitar player
I gave up guitar after trying to play I Just Wanna
Testify--just had trouble hitting down on the upstroke or up on the downstroke.
When I hear about the origins of funk, mostly I
hear about what the bass does.
What do our forum guitar fans remember about the origins of funk from their perspectives? When did
that funky beat appear for them and what are guitar roles in funk?

Keane

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy (80.0.251.122) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 02:52 pm:

Keane
You have brought up a topic close to my heart.
It's difficult to pin-point who, what or when funk guitar first started. My personnal view is that it evolved in stages. if you think about the beginings of rock guitar, they probably go back to the 1930S and before that, with Robert Johnson.This does not mean the guitar was used in a 'funky' style, but the classic shuffle rythym was evolving right through to the 1950S when rock and roll was popularised.
The next person who i'd credit with a developing a funky rythymic style was Bo diddley allthough that type of sound could become a little tiring.
In the early 60s out of nowhere there seemed to be an explosion of soul/funk guitar. the style seemed to be quite sparse at first relying on little more than the classic backbeat 'chink'as heard on Stax and motown records.
By the late 60S/early 70s The style has reached it's peak as several guitarist started using the guitar virtually as a percussion instrument. If you listen to records by Sly,the tempts,and james brown they virtually define what is funk guitar.In the 70S there were several influencial funk guitarists since who fused jazz chords with funky rythyms.
The role of a funk guitar player is twofold, firstly it provides a basic rythymic foundation. and secondly any lead solo work has to complement the the other players without overpowering the song, in many cases the best funk solo riffs are played on the lower part of the neck, because that way they do not clash with the other instruments.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (24.56.235.100) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:01 pm:

Keane ;
for me, "Testify" was also one of the early funk ear-grabbers. That intro , in particular, is tricky- I don't remember if that's Dennis Coffey or Eddie Willis. James Brown records , beginning with "Cold Sweat' and for the next 4-5 years were also huge guitar favorites of mine. His guitarist Jimmy Nolan laid a lot of the groundwork for funk guitarists but my all-time classic example of funk gtr might be Phelps Collins' work on JB's 'Super Bad'. The Sly Stone songs 'You Can Make it if you Try' and "Thank You..." are also full of interlocking gtr lines that I like alot. A lot of funk is about leaving space and putting the right lick in just the right spot. Like you say, the guitar lines are often overlooked because they 'seem' simple compared to the usually busier bass lines but its about doing the right thing at the right time.....an underrated style of guitar, for sure.

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By john c (12.2.233.107) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:27 pm:

Jimmy Nolen's 9th chord "solo" in Papa's Got A Brand New Bag and Phelps Collin's guitar in Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine (great title!) is my idea of the origins of funk guitar. Gotta have a loooose wrist.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Livonia Ken (136.1.1.101) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:40 pm:

For, me, Phelps Collins' playing on the "Love Power Peace - Live at The Olympia, Paris, 1971" James Brown CD is the last word in funk guitar, or "strummed" lead guitar for that matter. He takes a lot of solos on that gig, and absolutely smokes.

Regards,
Ken

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 03:58 pm:

That's an interesting topic, Keane. When we talk about funk bass, the jazz influence always comes up. But as far as guitar roots go, I always thought there was a stronger country influence. Just a few examples:

All that chicken pickin' on the JB sides

"Clean Up Woman"

"Soul Man" (there's a guy in the backgroundplaying country licks through the whole tune)

"Funky Broadway"

"Chain of Fools"

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (24.56.235.100) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:12 pm:

Steve;
I agree on the country influence-those are great examples, too ; "CleanUp Woman" is like a fugue or something with the three distinctive interwoven parts. That's Joe South , by the way, on 'Chain of Fools', the amazing Little Beaver on 'Cleanup...'-maybe THATS my favorite funk gtr tune

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By Sue (63.85.105.20) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:16 pm:

Oh, that guitar on "Clean-up Woman" ...great stuff.

Most of the stuff we're talking about was recorded in either Memphis or Muscle Shoals. The JB stuff, where, at King?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:18 pm:

Not that it was a very successful record, but when Sonny Sanders produced Swingin' Kind when I was in The Sunliners. We presented him with a lilly white rock song and he made it funky. It was a real eye opener for me to see the value of a talented producer and he taught me a lot about getting funky. God bless you Sonny.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:23 pm:

There's another strain of funk rhythm guitar playing I always loved, and the best guy I can think of that did it was Jimi Hendrix. I'm not talking about his electric lead guitar stuff, I'm talking about "Wind Cries Mary" type of things where he plays beautiful funky chord stuff. Definitely a throwback to his Isley Bros days, but he made that style is own and you still hear it all over the place today.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (24.56.235.100) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:39 pm:

Steve; that Hendrix syle you talk about is a kind of gospel-jazz fusion. I think the firsr time I heard it in a secular music was maybe "People Get Ready" by the Impressions. Mayfield played in an odd open-tuning (I'm thinking open "A") -odd to me, anyway. The best example of that I've ever heard is the version of "Little Wing" by Hendrix on "Live in the West" (though the Axis-version is cool too). In fact Hendrix' expertise in that style is what puts him over the top as my favorite guitarist as thats probably my favorite guitar style. the 2nd best example of that stuff I can think of is Shuggie Otis on a song called "Lookin For A Home" on an album he did with Al Kooper. Cornell Dupree's awesome guitar on "Rainy Night In Georgia" is related.

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:50 pm:

Steve K - You're absolutely right, "People Get Ready" is a great call. And speaking of Cornell Dupree, there's an Aretha album I'm going to have to dig up with her and a big band, and Cornell plays this stone country lick all through a great version of "River's Invitation".

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (24.56.235.100) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 04:52 pm:

Another good example of that style is "No Man Is An Island" by the Vandykes

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By john c (12.2.233.107) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:01 pm:

Little Wing is a great example of the Hendrix Lead/Rhythm style which is beautiful.

Anyone knows who plays guitar, especially the opening lick, on Funky Broadway? I know Tommy Cogdill plays the great bass line.

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy (80.0.251.122) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:10 pm:

I forgot to mention Hendrix, he is often associated with the heavy rock sound, but he could have easily played the funk role, listen to 'wait until tomorrow'
Another influencial funk guitarist that people often forget about is the meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli (spelling),listening to him is an education in itself!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:14 pm:

Interesting thing is that Motown is probably the exception to all this. I really don't hear any strong country guitar influence there. Joe Messina and Robert White were jazz players and Eddie Willis was a blues player, so I guess that makes sense.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (24.56.235.100) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 05:57 pm:

Some fills here and there at Motown had some twang to 'em though . The first one that comes to mind is the licks (Eddie Willis, I believe) plays on "I Was Made to Love Her". Of Course with C.K. laying down such a heavy bass line, (kidding, kidding).......

Steve the K

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 07:43 pm:

You had me going for a minute Steve. I'm Thinking...CK?...CK?..

Top of pageBottom of page   By Des (217.42.9.37) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 07:46 pm:

I thought I read somewhere that Marv Tarplin was from a C&W background - no?

I'm no musician and can't contribute to the technicalities,but I'd like to offer a few later dated guys that I've always admired for some of the qualities touched upon already (plus I'm looking for help in recalling some of their names from the clues I'll throw out):
Nile Rodgers
Mike Sembello (with Stevie and George Duke 72-76 time)
The guy from Rufus
John McLaughlin on Bitches Brew was soooooo funky without me being able to explain why....that albums grooves were from another world.
Robbie Robertson
In modern music,I think Raphael Saadiq's been writing great songs with those kinda guitar parts in 'em....best example - "Fine" by Whitney...there's a space where the guitarist(don't know if it's Raphael himself) lays a little,I dunno,motif right on the money - awesome.I loved and identified that one immediately -- anybody feel the same on Raphael?
Des

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (68.41.250.190) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 08:12 pm:

Good call, Des - I always thought Marv Tarplin sounded a lot different than the other guys at Motown. A case in point - Tracks of my Tears, he's playing with his right hand fingers, while Messina and Willis used a pick and Robert White used his thumb. He's playing in more of a folk guitar style than you'd normally hear from the Funks.

I saw him on a Smokey TV special a few years ago and was really surprised. He had a long solo intro to "Tracks", and instead of playing it like the record, he totally revamped it and played it in the Wind Cries Mary / Little Wing style we were just talking about. It was terriffic.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 09:49 pm:

Des;
Nile Rogers is a serious funker, for sure. Robbie Robertson-thats another cool, interesting choice. It's significant how , as he developed as a songwriter, he made his guitar playing serve the song more and consequently evolved into a style that fits this thread. His earlier work, with Bob Dylan and even more so on a John Hammond album called 'So Many roads", he plays more in an all-out blues/rock style, similar to guys like Mike Bloomfield.
Speaking of Bob Dylan and Joe South ( a few posts up) South plays some very fluid soulful fills on Dylan's "Memphis Blues Again"

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Thursday, July 31, 2003 - 09:54 pm:

Steve;
Good observation about Marv Tarplin using his fingers on that intro. Curtis Mayfield also played fingerstyle; I remember seeing him on TV ,probably late 60's; He was playing one of those Fender Mark VI 'six-string basses' (more like baritone gtrs) capoed high on the neck like Pop Staples. I'm pretty sure thats a Strat on "People Get Ready ' and "I'm so Proud" though.

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy (81.103.86.215) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 12:17 pm:

The great thing about Funk guitar playing is that it can be blended into just about any style to create great sounds,for example it can be used in a traditional R and B envoironment. mixed with jazz it becomes jazz-funk, and when mixed with a country/memphis style you get something that approximates steve cropper.More recently it's been used in a indie-rock style like you get with the red hot chilli peppers. There just no limit to the possibilities!

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 12:35 pm:

I totally agree Soulboy. Have you heard any of Tuck Andress' funk stuff on solo acoustic guitar? He does "I Wish" and "Clean Up Woman" among other things. Unbelievably cool.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Des (81.152.238.39) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 01:29 pm:

Hey,Steve
I completely forgot about Tuck Andress !!! So great of you to remind me of him.
I kinda stopped buying T&P cd's after "Learning How To Fly"(1995) - but I have all their catalogue to that point,including his solo album "Reckless Precision"(1990).
I love his "I Wish" but I've never heard "Clean up Woman" --- is it on later cd's?
Tuck&Patti I cited on another Thread as "underrated" and I've not listened to them/him for some time now.......guess where I'm headed on 'Phones this evening ? (whilst monitoring Soulful Detroit,of course).I've been checking my cd's and there's virtually no info about his 'hardware' until the 1995 cd and it's stated he uses a 1953 Gibson L-5ces/Ernie Ball strings -- then a whole raft of technical info.He seems to just use this one guitar and I always loved his pretty unique 'metallic' sound and,as you so rightly put it,his cool,rhythmic style.
A couple others that came to me in jazzfunk mode :
Ronnie Jordan
Stanley Jordan
Great Stuff
Des

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (209.219.207.3) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 01:57 pm:

I don't know if Tuck ever actually recorded Clean Up Woman. He sometimes does it live and in clinics. I saw it on a snippet of an instructional video he did that someone showed me. He does it as an example of playing bass, funk rhythm and the line all at the same time, and he breaks it down, one part at a time. Seems kinda mechanical when he explains it, but it sure sounds great. His take on I Wish absolutely kills me.

BTW - His Funk roots are pretty well established. He was the original guitar player in the Gap Band - I guess they all came out of Tulsa together.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dennis Coffey (152.163.252.68) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:13 pm:

Hello everyone. That was me on the low string part and Eddie Willis on the chords in the record I Want to Testify. You may find this site interesting. http://www.funkguitar.org/

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:36 pm:

Thanks Dennis; we were just talking about some of your HDH era elctric sitar stuff on the Ray Monette 2 thread. When will the American publication of your book be happening?

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 08:39 pm:

Dennis;
I see on the "Strange instruments" thread you mentioned the Condor Innovator. I bet those are quite the collectors items now. By the way did you ever play through one of those ARP Avatars? Man, talk about cumbersome effects units...pretty limited too, in my opinion

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keane (209.87.128.124) on Friday, August 01, 2003 - 10:43 pm:

Dear Forum: I am sure glad I opened this thread.
It seems funky chords are a different thing than a
funky beat. For me funky mostly means beat. That
accented off-off beat. In "Testify" the rhythm
guitar part was the part I couldn't get because
of a gap in the triplets at one point per bar. I was always on a down stroke and I had to wait one
triplet, then accent the next triplet and start
the pattern from an upstroke. It was more like patting my head and rubbing my belly.
If Soulboy is the Philly Soulboy, I wonder if
that stroke was invented on his watch, there seemed to be so much happening in Philly then.
I thought when Mr. Coffey mentioned on another thread that the Muscle Shoals or Memphis guitar players used country funk, that he meant that rolling-blues-boogie-bass-string-hammering-on that
Wilson Picket got in Muscle Shoals, and was quite different than the Joe South stuff and more funky from what I've heard.
Funky chords are to me just modern r+b chords.
In the previous archive I asked Bobby Eli a "Soul-Guitar" question and he told me that the Curtis Mayfield style was based on "fourths". I looked it up and learned that unlike normal chords that are l-3-5 pattern out of the traditional do-re-me
scale a chord of fourths is 1-4-7 and that some guitarists tune their guitars to this pattern.Perhaps, LTLFTC, that capo Curtis Mayfield
was using was to get effects from fourths. I've read somewhere that Wind Cries Mary was in the Curtis Mayfield tradition. Myself I dunno, but its interesting, though.

Keane

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dennis Coffey (64.12.97.7) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 08:57 am:

Hi Steve K. My book revisions and additions for the US version are complete. Guitars, Bars and Motown Super Stars will be released the spring of 2004 by the University of Michigan Press. I have not played an ARP Avator.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dennis Coffey (64.12.97.7) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 09:13 am:

Hi Keane. The fourths Bobby Eli was referring to are used in two string guitar fills or little melodies and riffs between the lyrics. Rainy Night in Georga is an example of this. In Detroit they called those types of fills Country and Western fills. Eddie Willis and I played them at Motown. In LA we played the same kind of fills but used more thirds than fourths and sometimes added a gliss (sliding up the strings) to them. We never changed our tuning or used capos to do this. We also played Impression (Curtis Mayfield) type fills which were done by playing chord arpeggios and usings hammers and pulls with the little finger. The record Last Date by piano player Floyd Cramer in the fifties is an example of a Country and Western fill in the melody.

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 09:32 am:

Dennis;
thanks for the info on "Guitar, Bars...." I look forward to picking it up.
Also, I think your song "Sad Angel" is a beautiful example of the "jazz/gospel/country" Mayfield type guitar style we've been discussing.

Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 11:06 am:

Wow Dennis. Floyd Cramer's Last Date. I'll never forget learning that song. At first thinking geeez..listen to this thing. And then discovering I could pull it off. It was a great lesson for me. I'll never forget that song.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dennis Coffey (205.188.209.109) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 01:01 pm:

Hey Ralph. One time I did a Midnight Special in LA and backed Frankie Avalon, The Fleetwoods, Bobby Vinton and Fabian. They had just chord charts. When I played the exact part from Venus by memory, Frankie Avalon told me he was amazed. I did the same thing on the guitar solo for Rock Around the Clock when Bill Halley sat in with us many years ago. He was surprized that I knew the solo. I guess there are some things you don't forget.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli 6 strings (205.188.209.109) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 01:34 pm:

Hello Funksters!!

Here are some examples of some Philly guitar lines relative to the aforementioned styles played by "yours truly".

Only the strong survive..Jerry Butler..3rds and 4ths

Backstabbers..Ojays (bridge) 4ths

When the worlds at peace..Ojays..funk chords

Do it any you wanna..Peoples Choice..Muted funk guitar doubling the bass line

Love I lost..H. Melvin & B. Notes..Slide type blues/rock guitar bend on intro and during song.

Kiss and say goodbye..Manhattans.."country style"
crying guitar bend, intro and throughout.

Engine # 9 Wilson Pickett.. Fuzzed out funk-rock style.

Who am I..O'jays..Pick strumming up and down the bridge with echoplex( cricket sound)
After that one everyone wanted "them crickets"

Then came you..Dionne & Spinners..Fuzz-Wah

For the love of money..O'jays..Low strings doudling bass accents(Ronnie Baker) with fuzz on Condor unit and overdubbed wah wah part.

I just cant stop dancing..A.Bells & Drells.."Tighten Up style" rhythm part.

Showdown..A. bell & Drells..3rds

Get up get funky..Teddy P. muted basline double and funks chicken scratch with phaser

Those are just several examples of NUMEROUS sessions.


As far as other non Philly guys are concerned, I loved Steve Croppers country blues fills,
Cornell Duprees trademark bended fourths,
Dennis Coffeys tasty, multi dimentional variations
in style,
Reggie Young's Memphis country-esque fills,
Jimmy Nolen's trademark "chicken-scratch,
Ike Turner's blues funk style
Phil Upchurch's Chicago funk.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keane (209.87.128.124) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 02:20 pm:

Boy! It's gonna be pretty hard picking up all these recordings. Thought I had alot of records, but most of the stuff mentioned on this board: Cleaning Woman,Only the Strong,Teddy P. by himself...etc. Have to get a second job and a bigger house.

I hope r+b guitarists of the future are taking note here, this information is excellent.

Keane

Top of pageBottom of page   By LTLFTC (12.210.76.205) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 02:35 pm:

Eli;
Thats a mighty impressive list of credits (including a few I didnt know about). Hey, if you never did anything after "Only The Strong Survive' , your rep would be aces with me ( thats one of the all time underrated great guitar songs). Your partner Norman Harris was a bad man too ; I think I've mentioned here how great and underrated I think the gtr stuff you guys did on "Be THankful for What You've Got" is. I used to rip off your intro to "Love I Lost" with a cover band I played with in the late 70's. I was cool with it until the lick right before everything else comes in. I used to stink that part up pretty good, so I modified it.....

By the way , I asked Dennis Coffey if he ever played that ARP Avator guitar/synth effects monster (he hadnt) - did you and if so , what did you think?

Also, what was Roland Chambers role in your guitar section there. If I remember correctly , his name didnt seem to pop up as often as you and Norman. Did you guys do a lot of three man stuff or was he more of a 'specialist'?


Steve K

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS (206.135.204.254) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 03:17 pm:

AGREE WITH SOULBOYS POINT...FUNK GUITAR IS A BLENDING OF BLUES...R&B...AND JAZZ WHEN PLAYED RIGHT!!!...PLEASE REFER TO EDDIE WILLIS!!!...STUBASS

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli 6 strings (205.188.209.109) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 04:16 pm:

LTLFTC,

Very early on we did a lot of three man sessions.
Kenny Gamble basically knew Roland as a kid from the old neighborhood(52nd and Irving sts)
so he had Roland play on some stuff.
Roland was an excellent guitarist, especially on acoustic and classical guitar which he mostly played in the studio.

T.J. Tindal was another guy that was used at times for his "specialist" rock edge and Dennis Harris came in in the late seventies to fill in for Norman(no relation) when he was busy on other projects.
But the bulk of the sessions were played my myself and Norman Harris.


Here is another partial list of sessions on which I was featured, although not considered "funk guitar".

Didnt I blow your mind, and afterward...Delfonics
backbeats and overdubbed electric sitar

Stop Look and Listen, You are everything, People make the world go round, You are everything, You make me feel brand new, and all Philly Stylists records...backbeats and overdubbed electric sitar

All of the Salsoul Records as in Double Exposure's Ten percent and My Love is Free, muted and heavily phased figures ,wah wah parts and effected leads,
The Salsoul Orchestra, same kind of parts as above

William Devaughan ..Be Thankful..wah wah and scratchy rhythm part

Spinners..all of Thom Bell stuff..backbeats and effected parts
Ojays..all of the PIR stuff
Teddy P.. all of the PIR stuff
H.Melvin & the Blunotes.. all of the PIR stuff
" " w/ Sharon Paige..Hope that we can get together soon..all guitar parts
Billy Paul..all of the PIR stuff

Barbara Mason..Yes Im ready..and all the Arctic and Buddah stuff except for the Curtis stuff

Cliff Nobles..The Horse..rhythm
Fantastic Johnny C..Boogaloo Down Broadway..Rhythm

Elton John..Mama cant buy me love and the Thom Bell sessions...fuzz and all effected parts and backbeats.

To be continued....

Top of pageBottom of page   By Keane (209.87.128.124) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 04:23 pm:

Mr. Bass: New Orleans radio has alot of links and
associated sites, and of course those folk will maintain that they invented funk out of their"second line" effects. You know, the late
beat by one group of musicians, that was said to
develop out of the parade style of playing.

They speak of it as only a rhythm thing, like the
reggae rhythm thing which is claimed to be related
to their style as well.

Maybe pro musicians used the term before we the public did and they used funky in its original sense--down in the alley...but we the general ignorant public note that spectacular syncopation as our meaning of funk. Well I did, at least, and
so do the New Orleansers.

Keane

Top of pageBottom of page   By STUBASS (206.135.204.254) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 04:28 pm:

AGREED KEANE...AND I GUESS THERES ALWAYS SOME CONFUSION WHEN CERTAIN MUSIC FORMS BECOME HYBRIDIZED!!!...EVERYBODY COMING AT IT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE...SO I GUESS THESE "BOXED IN" DEFINITIONS SOMEWHAT LOSE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS...AND IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE'S INDIVIDUAL INTREPRETATION!!!...STU

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (205.188.209.109) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 04:59 pm:

The roots of the word "funky" are African in origin.
The word, I believe was Fonqui(not sure of the spelling) and it had to do with bad odor, hence its use relative to foul smell and its use in musical context.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 05:23 pm:

AHA!! That makes sense Bobby. Whenever Teddie and I hit on something during the course of a session that we feel is particularly funky, we look at each other while pinching our noses.

Top of pageBottom of page   By SteveS (68.41.250.190) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 05:42 pm:

Bobby,

On a lot of the Philly stuff, I seem to recall that the guitar solos were done on a nylon string guitar. The only one I can think of offhand is "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love", but I'm pretty sure there were others. Was that you?

What about the octave stuff that was used a lot on intros ("I'll be Around", "Love Won't Let Me Wait", "Mrs. Jones")?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson (12.93.85.46) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 08:14 pm:

I was fascinated to learn recently that Mother Maybelle Carter was taught the guitar and her very influential picking style by an African American neighbor who she had grown up with. There's almost no "country & western" guitar that doesn't have its roots in "funk!" By the same token many of the great southern black guitar players frequently mention the Grand Ole Opry as their childhood inspiration for taking up the instrument.

The truth seems to be that rural American poor-people's music was pretty integrated until a bunch of marketing people in New York and Chicago decided that white artists ought to be be sold to whites as "country & western" music and black artists ought be sold to blacks as "race" music.

Imagine how different things might have been had the artists been running things instead of the marketing bozos! Heck, imagine how different things would be today without the intrusion of racism in marketing.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson (12.93.85.46) on Saturday, August 02, 2003 - 08:21 pm:

Ralph,

Come to Nashville and I'll arrange for you to play "Last Date" on THAT very piano,
it still sounds the same!

Top of pageBottom of page   By soulboy (81.103.86.215) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 04:00 am:

Bob O, i think you are right in what you say about the difference between country music and funk, the fast picking style of many country rock guitarists could easily be changed to make some serious funk, there's not that much difference musically, both use the blues scales and a lot of double notes. The main difference is that funk is played against usually a minor chord, Where in country they generally use straight major chords.
I think musicians can learn a lot from studying different the styles of music even if it isn't the music that they prefer.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (64.12.97.7) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 07:53 am:

Steve S,
The solo on Could it be....was played on a Clavinet by Thom Bell.
The octave stuff that you mention was Norman Harris.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 10:58 am:

Bob,
Thanks for the invitation. I would love to play that piano. can you tell me the make?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dennis Coffey (152.163.252.68) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 11:27 am:

Hey Eli. I did a few sessions on Wilson Pickett with Reggie Young in the late sixties in Nashville. He is a great player. It sounds like you were pretty busy yourself. We all had our specialties but we played whatever was needed to get the job done.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (152.163.252.68) on Sunday, August 03, 2003 - 11:33 am:

Hey Dennis,

I think that you and I were the like "swiss army knives" of guitarists, being that we were always prepared for and could tackle any job be it funk,r&b rock, country, folk, pop, you name it.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Bob Olhsson (12.93.85.169) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 01:04 am:

Ralph, here's the skinny on the piano:

From: Wolejsza, Margaret
To: Michael Janas
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 10:55 AM
Subject: RE: Steinway Dating & Ownership

According to our records this piano is a model B grand in ebony finish. It was manufactured in our New York factory on September 17, 1942 and sold to National Broadcasting Co., Inc. 41 West 50th Street in NYC, NY on August 17, 1943.

Top of pageBottom of page   By Dennis Coffey (152.163.252.68) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 06:45 pm:

Hey Bobby. I think you are right. It kept us working didn't it?

Top of pageBottom of page   By Eli (205.188.209.109) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 07:30 pm:

Hi Dennis,
I cant wait to hook up and break out our"swiss army knives"!!

Top of pageBottom of page   By Ralph (209.240.198.62) on Monday, August 04, 2003 - 07:47 pm:

Bob,
Thanks for the info. The Steinway B ( 7 ft.)
although 2 ft. shorter than the Model D concert grand, is considered concert size and is an exceptionally fine piano. Those built in the 40's had a lighter touch than the B of today and would have been perfect for songs such as Last Date.


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