Monday, February 1, 2010

Dirty South Week: Dorsey

The past week I've hit a pretty big Funk/R&B zone, particularly looking at New Orleans inspired music. It's been cool, and pushed me to find a lot of new tunes outside of my usual sphere of influence. I've stumbled across so much goodness that I'm going to subject you to a whole week (read: 2 days) of it.

The first one is a bit of a cheat. Lee Dorsey was born in New Orleans, however, moved to Oregon at a young age. He was in the navy for a while and actually was a lightweight prizefighter right before he was discovered by producer Allen Toussaint. While his music was classified as R&B in the early 60's, one could hear him forming the early foundations of funk, right along side Rev. James Brown. He had a number of massive hits (Working in the Coal Mine, Ride Your Pony) and became quite popular, but never attained the legacy stardom of Brown.

I spent a lot of time listening to Dorsey last week and while I really enjoyed the grassroots groove feel of the songs, I found Toussaint's song writing became too repetitive after a while. Dorsey's music is the kind of thing you can throw on at a party and listen to for an hour or so, but after a while, you're going to need the DJ to be ready with a switchover.

-You're nobody's angel but your own