Friday, 1 July 2016

Not to be missed: Black Nasty - Talking to The People (Heavy Funk'n Soul US 1973)


Size: 82.2 MB
Bitrate: 256
mp3
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Excellent heavy funk from Stax! Black Nasty were one of the heaviest groups on the label – with a rock-solid guitar-based groove that went even farther than the Bar-Kays, who were no slouch in the guitar department themselves! The grooves are all slow to midtempo, with the band coming down hard on the downbeats, jamming away in a style that sounds more like heavy Detroit Westbound than sweetly soulful Memphis. Most all cuts have vocals – sung in a shouting style by the band that works well with the tripped-out hooks of the songs. This was the only album the band ever cut, but it's become a fast favorite among those who like their funk raw. Tracks include "We're Doin Our Thing", "Rushin Sea", "Booger The Hooker", "Black Nasty Boogie", "Nasty Soul", and "Getting Funky Round Here". 


Like Rare Earth and early Funkadelic, Black Nasty took a very rock-minded approach to Detroit soul and funk -- probably too rock-minded for many program directors at black radio. And at the same time, Black Nasty was too funky and soul-oriented for FM rock radio. So Black Nasty fell through the cracks in the early to mid-'70s, although it enjoyed some commercial success after evolving into the ADC Band and recording the major funk hit of 1978, "Long Stroke." The band's only album as Black Nasty, Talking to the People, was a commercial disappointment but a creative triumph. Those who savored the Motor City funk/rock experiments of Rare Earth and early Funkadelic will find a lot to admire about gritty, hard-edged smokers like "Nasty Soul," "Getting Funky Round Here," and the single "Black Nasty Boogie" (which brings to mind John Lee Hooker's work with Canned Heat). To its credit, Black Nasty has no problem turning around and providing silky, mellow slow jams such as "Rushin' Sea" and "I Must Be in Love," both of which feature singer Audrey Matthews. It is Nasty's other lead singer, Terrance Ellis, who handles the more up-tempo gems. 


Black Nasty were a little-known but decent group in the early-'70s Detroit funk scene, following the path of the Parliament/Funkadelic crowd in mixing rock, psychedelic, soul, and funk influences. They recorded a fair album for Stax that was released in 1973, but wasn't a heavy seller. After losing their contract with Stax (which would soon go out of business anyway) in 1975, they changed into different R&B acts that would have a little more commercial success.

Black Nasty's mentor was Johnnie Mae Matthews, a singer who owned several independent Detroit R&B labels, including Northern, Reel, Audrey, Jam, Art, Big Hit, and Tank. Matthews also recorded more than two dozen singles under her own name. 

Though none were notable successes, she continued her involvement in the artistic side of the music business by encouraging her drummer son, Artwell, when he formed a band in the mid-'60s with his cousin, bassist Mark Patterson, and friends. Originally called Raw Integrated Funk, there were prominent rock elements at the outset (Ted Nugent was an early member), but under the influence of Johnnie Mae Matthews, they broadened their style to include more R&B. After putting out a cover of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hanging' On" on Tank, they were signed to Stax, for which they recorded three singles and an album between 1971 and 1974. 

The Stax sessions (all of the singles also appeared on the album) were produced by Johnnie Mae Matthews and Sir Mack Rice, the minor but noted Detroit soul singer. Rice had recommended Black Nasty to Stax after starting work at the label as a songwriter. While their records were more promise than payoff, the album did have an interesting mix of funk with hard rock guitar, soul ballads on which Johnnie Mae Matthews' teenage daughter Audrey took lead, and some socially conscious compositions that reflected black urban life of the early '70s. After the album made little impact, Stax dropped Black Nasty, which changed their name to Nazty and recorded a couple of singles for Excello. After some personnel changes, the group became ADC Band, getting an R&B Top Ten hit with "Long Stroke" in 1978 and recording as late as the mid-'80s.

01. Talking To The People  02:43
02. I Must Be In Love  03:42
03. Nasty Soul  03:38
04. Getting Funky Round Here  02:43
05. Black Nasty Boogie  05:46
06. Where Doin´ Our Thing  03:45
07. I Have No Choice  03:35
08. It´s Not The World  03:35
09. Rushin´ Sea  03:36
10. Booger The Hooker  03:25

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2 comments:

DoKtor Alphonzo said...

very nice find - thanks for posting this one Chris

Regards
Alph

John said...

James Blood Ulmer does not play on any of these tracks though he is pictured at left on the back cover. He was apparently out of the group at the time the album was recorded, a pity because I think his incredible avant-garde influenced playing would have helped a lot. Not that it's a bad album, would have been better though!