Various Artists: Country Funk 1969-1975 (Light in the Attic)

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Mac David: Lucas Was a Redneck
Various Artists: Country Funk 1969-1975 (Light in the Attic)

Although the promotion of this 16-song collection might make out the notion of "country funk" is somehow a strange and unfamiliar animal, the territory has been well mapped -- from OC Smith's Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp and Bobbie Gentry through Tony Joe White to JJ Grey and Mofro -- that the horn-driven soul-funk country sound connects with relative ease.

Jeez, even Elvis went down this route on Tony Joe's Polk Salad Annie .

Not to say this isn't interesting: Mac Davis' Lucas Was a Redneck is socio-political text with a real sting; Hawg Frog by Gray Fox slithers like a 'gator through the bayou; Cherokee announcing their intentions with Funky Business . . . 

Also here are the late Bobby Charles (the drifter narrative of Street People), Link Wray (the lesser Fire and Brimstone), the late Larry Jon Wilson (Choopee River Bottomland), Tony Joe White (the lascivious Stud Spider); Gentry in a typically sexual and steamy story He Made Out of Me . . .

And Bobby Darin (as Bob Darin) in another reinvention, this time as a Southern funk soulman on the authentic Light Blue.

The steam from the swamp is suffused in this funky, soulful and country-blues sound. If it's new to you then this might be a useful starting point, but -- aside from a few rare although hardly essential grooves -- many might have traveled down this muddy, humid and sometimes rewardingly raunchy path previously.

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