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R&B Hipshakers Vol 2 Freddy King Rudy Ray Moore
  • R&B Hipshakers Vol 2. Scratch That Itch   (2lp)-1 R&B Hipshakers Vol 2. Scratch That Itch   (2lp)-2 R&B Hipshakers Vol 2. Scratch That Itch   (2lp)-3
    2LP VAMPI 151
    20,00€ NOT AVAILABLE
  • R&B Hipshakers Vol 2. Scratch That Itch   (cd)-1 R&B Hipshakers Vol 2. Scratch That Itch   (cd)-2 R&B Hipshakers Vol 2. Scratch That Itch   (cd)-3
    CD VAMPI CD 126
    13,00€ 9,75€ buy
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A long fingernail, calamine lotion, a Rudy Ray Moore back scratcher, this set of wild King and Federal rhythm-and-blues songs: what do they all have in common? Why, itch relief, of course! If volume 1 of our series ("Teach Me to Monkey") left you with an acute case of R&B pruritus, we at Vampisoul are here to dispense 20 more doses of musical medicine to help you SCRATCH THAT ITCH!

We clawed our way into the King Records vaults again to come up with more virtuosic instrumentals ('Marsanova' rhymes with "bossa nova", more or less, if you pronounce organist supreme Hank Marr's surname with the right accent; Freddy King raises Mr Marr two dance crazes in 'Bossa Nova Watusi Twist'); more classy love songs with a hook ('Burnt Toast And Black Coffee', besides being the epitome of that particular subsubgenre, is highly elusive and expensive on an original Federal 45 and much in demand in the R&B dance parlors of Western Europe; kudos to the gong banger on the plaintive 'You Have My Blessings'); more unholy dances ('Monkey Tonight' is one of Eddie Kirk's more restrained performances, believe it or not; this compilation's title track describes a dance that, like so many of the worthwhile ones, might get you escorted from your high-school prom in handcuffs if you tried it); and more holy nonsense ("My name is Puddentane," declares the prolific and wonderful Lula Reed, an earthily appropriate reply to Hank Ballard's to-the-point pick-up line 'What's Your Name'; if 'Whiz-A-Shoo- Pepi-Dada' meant anything, would it get your hips shaking quite so violently?). Then there's the record that's almost always in my DJ box, one of my favorite 45s ever - so exciting when its drums and taunting female chorus kick in over a loud system in a sweaty club, only to be answered by Johnny Watson's blistering voice and guitar: "I say, I love you." The women singing "Get them women off your mind" - confusingly, I can't get them off my mind.

And the capper? A strong contender for Greatest Song Ever, in its best incarnation: Otis Redding's 'Shout Bamalama'. The custodians of the King vaults couldn't come up with this recording for us; for some reason, they found only a tamer mix. I had to dub it off my well-worn 45 (speaking of scratches!).

Mr Fine Wine
WFMU's "Downtown Soulville" show

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