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Retro Lounging with The Soulful Strings

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The Soulful Strings : Within You, Without You
taken from the album “Groovin With The Soulful Strings” on Cadet (1967)

The Soulful Strings : Soul Message
taken from the album “Another Exposure” on Cadet (1968)

The Soulful Strings : Listen Here
taken from the album “In Concert” on Cadet (1969)

My high school art teacher (an accordian-playing, thick-rimmed -glasses-wearing, Reno-born, black-haired-stringbean-of-a-woman) is one of the few characters that I find myself increasingly influenced by, and appreciative of, the further I grow into my own quirkiness. For a substantial part of my Junior and Senior years, I would stay at work in the art studio, bumping music from a box that I rarely allowed out of my control, until 6 or 7, when sports practices were finishing up. My driver’s license was tragically taken away from me by an unruly state of bureaucratic affairs, and so I often relied on getting rides home from post-sports-practice folks. During these delicious hours of acrylic paint and charcoal smudges, my art teacher became my closest “older” friend. Kooky indeed, she spent almost an entire year working on a dark, pre-renaissance, life sized self-portrait with a crow’s face in place of her own. Visiting the apartment where she lived with her equally amazing and creative boyfriend (last I heard, he was painting backdrops for Spongebob Squarepants), always entailed a thorough schooling from their inspirational vinyl collection. The eating of pot brownies would not be out of the question and I was certain to walk away with a new mixtape that would continue to enlighten and awe at least until the next installment.

The point is, my art teacher and her boyfriend, who had lived in Chicago together previously, were the ones to teach me about Cadet records and the brilliant work of Richard Evans. To this day I’m diggin after items that I have on tape from their collection- like both of the Dorthy Ashby albums that make any proper beatfreak flip. Before those albums were reissued, I wasn’t sure if they even existed outside of my art teacher’s abode. Anyway, here are some other fine things that Evans was behind. Highly cutting edge in their day, these albums represent some of the earlier experiments merging string orchestrations with pop and soul. It’s interesting when you think about how common that became in disco later on, and how common it remains today (G Unit’s got strings for days). There’s a bunch of other choice selections on this plastic, including the more well known “Burning Spear” (which later became a disco hit), a siiiick cover of “MacArthur Park”, and the sample friendly “Who Who Song”.

Also, check out a nice blog by Kansas City rocker DJ OzgoodA Damn Shame

And DJ Carlito comes correct as well (he’s got radio mixes available) – Carlito’s Blog