florida_funk.jpgFlorida Funk: Funk 45’s from the Alligator State (Now-Again/Stonesthrow)
This is the third compilation of regional funk from the Now-Again/Stonesthrow label. This mix of tight grooves, nasty bass lines and smoking horn sections are a great example of the finest funk that the Sunshine State produced in the late sixties and early seventies.

amnesty.jpgFree-Your-Mind: The 700 West Sessions – Amnesty (Now-Again/Stonesthrow)
Yet another gem from Now-Again/Stonesthrow, this rare find was dug up while researching the Indianapolis funk scene. Free-Your-Mind is a remarkable example of the progressive funk style reminiscent of early Funkadelic with a very heavy psychedelic drone.

war_stories.jpgWar Stories – Lonnie Jordan (Fantasy Records)
This new album from founding member of the legendary group War is Lonnie Jordan’s first solo recording since 1978, and it is, as he describes, the first chapter in his “musical autobiography.” All the instruments were recorded live to tape with no samples and very few overdubs, so the grooves are fresh and shimmering. Check out Jordan’s spacey cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun.”

bad_blood_in_the_city.jpgBad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions – James Blood Ulmer (Hyena)
Ulmer’s most recent collaboration with producer and Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid (who also plays guitar on this recording) and the smokin’ Memphis Blood Blues Band. The whole album is built around a song cycle detailing the fallout from Hurrican Katrina. Ranging from deceptively light-hearted sarcasm to undisguised rage and pensive reflection, this album shows what 21st-century stories blues can tell.

planet_earth.jpgPlanet Earth – Prince (Artist)
Getting back to the guitar distinguishes this album from Prince’s many previous eclectic blends of pop from R&B to rock and beyond. Both smooth and heavy, soul-drenched and spectacular.


Posted by Heather O’Sullivan and Anthony Guest-Scott