Good to be back in the woodshed with Ray Romain on Hammond B3 (and the late, great Tony Thompson’s ride cymbal).
Behind the scenes writing session for The Du-Rites (with some help from Bassman Bill and Bongo Bruce). Gamma Ray Jones, our third LP, drops mid-November.
Very proud of The Du-Rites‘ third album in just as many years, Gamma Ray Jones. Pablo and I are honored to provide the musical score for the lost pilot episode (“Get This Turkey Outta Here”) of 1972 TV detective show Gamma Ray Jones. It sat for 46 years with no music because it was dropped by the network in favor of “Banacek,” “Cool Million,” “McCloud,” “McMillan and Wife” and other detective show comp. Apparently Gamma Ray Jones was too violent and the overhead for hospital bills and crashed Cadillacs caused network execs to drop the show. All violence was real – Gamma Ray Jones didn’t believe in stuntmen and Pedro “Gamma Ray” Jones was a real life detective in NYC, not an actor. (Zoom in on back cover in slideshow for the whole story). The album drops Nov. 23 (a week or so earlier on our Bandcamp) with Redefinition Records doing the vinyl. Hopefully the show with the music locked to film sees the light of day. Much more to come, including a mini-documentary on “cop show funk”. Suitable for broughaming!
I’m fortunate to have played drums on half this album and to be doing shows Ben and Co. Had an audition for the band in 2016, my first ever. Nervous as hell because the musicians were really good and figured at best it’d make me better at auditions. Interviewed Steve Ferrone of Average White Band earlier that day and he gave me some pointers. To my surprise I got the gig and it’s been a great ride and made me a better musician and listener. Super soul, go git it! Buy it here or stream on YouTube below.
New The Du-Rites single out today! “The Mean Machine” b/w “Corinthian Leather”. Let the stank of the Cadillac interior guide you! It’s also on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and all that stuff. But pick up the 7″ wax and be a champ. Pablo and I have been working hard to get our sound down – our third album, Gamma Ray Jones, drops this fall!
Here’s a new cut from The Du-Rites, titled “Corinthian Leather”.
Dig it on Spotify and follow us on there while you’re at it so we can go from making $0.00000000007 to $0.000000000008 next royalty statement. Ricardo Montalban would be happy.
I can guarantee it’s the funkiest thing you’ll hear all week. There’s no funk genre option on Soundcloud, Tunecore or Distrokid, so take that for what it’s worth. 7″ wax will be out next week (with “The Mean Machine” on the A-Side) so get your turntables ready!
My Give the Drummer Some column returns with an interview with great studio drummer Leslie Ming, who joined BT Express as a teenager and went on to play with Kashif, Madonna, Evelyn Champagne King and more in the 80s. This one is one of my favorites just because of how I met Leslie. Long story but a crazy one.
The doctor who delivered me was the financial backer for funk bands Brass Construction and BT Express, so my parents had both bands’ albums in the crib just because. As a kid I would get into the albums and BT Express’ Energy To Burn album always stood out because of how good the drumming was (I was a bass player then) and how wild the outfits on the back of the cover were. Always wanted the outfit Leslie had on – it was straight out of the Willie Dynamite pimp meeting, man. 20+ years later, he was one of the drummers who inspired me to start playing. A few years later, I’m driving through my neighborhood and pass a brother in a Guitar Center drum-off t-shirt standing in front of his crib. I recognize him but don’t know from where. He looked like the same dude on the BT Express album cover but obviously a bit older and in normal clothes. At the risk of coming off as a psycho, I got out the car, approached him and asked him if he was who he was and it was a huge shock to us both! A story I can’t make up. Leslie became a friend and mentor over the years and has shared countless rhythms (I got a Du-Rites groove or two from him), crazy stories from the music business and life advice in general that has helped me get to where I’m trying to go. So it’s only right he’s among the greats I’ve interviewed thus far.
I was nervous as hell covering a Booker T & The MGs tune but The Zone Identity stuff has been grooving. “Melting Pot” on the B-Side, Frankie Seay’s “Soul Food” on the A. On Fraternity Music Group / Soul Sauce records. Pick up a copy on my Bandcamp, they’re moving fast. Put em up last night with no promo and blew through half my allotted copies! Dig.
Ed Littman: Guitar, Bass
Bennett Paster: Organ
Ray May: Congas
Stream it on Soundcloud if you’re lazy: