Motown Legend Coffey Returns w/New LP

Guests include Mayer Hawthorne, Paolo
Nutini, Kings Go Forth, Mick
Collins of the Dirtbombs
and more. 

 

By Blurt Staff

 

Dennis Coffey, original
Motown ‘Funk Brother’ and legendary solo artist credited with bringing heavy
wah-wah guitar to soul music, returns with an album of fiery funk on Strut on
April 25. The self-titled Dennis Coffey features original material and
covers of classic soul songs on which he played as a session musician. 
Contributing guests include Mayer
Hawthorne, Paolo Nutini, Kings Go Forth, Mick Collins of the Dirtbombs and more. 

 

Coffey plans to tour
(including slots at SXSW), and there’s also going to an exclusive 7″
single for Record Store Day featuring a mix by hip-hop producer Steinski.

 

Some
background for those of you who walked in late:

 

Coffeey
was the go-to guitarist of choice for major artists as diverse as Del Shannon,
Funkadelic and The Temptations. He was a member of the original Motown ‘Funk Brothers’ backing band and was
key in bringing heavy wah wah guitar to
soul and R&B during the late ’60s. The canon of classics featuring
Coffey’s work is immense – from The Temptations’ “Ball Of Confusion’ and
‘Cloud Nine’ to Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ and Freda Payne’s ‘Band Of Gold,’ the list
is a roll-call of classic soul and R&B landmarks.

 

As
a solo artist, Coffey is perhaps best known for a series of rare groove
classics during the early ‘70s including the million-selling breakbeat staple ‘Scorpio’ and
soundtrack to cult action flick ‘Black Belt
Jones.’ Alongside producer Mike Theodore, his ‘70s ‘Theo-Coff’
productions and his prolific guitar work ranged from raw funk to classic disco,
including CJ & Co’s Devil’s Gun and The Sylvers’ Boogie Fever.

 

 

On
the new album:

 

It’s
a dense, fuzz-heavy haze of incendiary
psychedelic soul. Much of the set recalls the sentiments of earlier solo
work such as his seminal, trippy Hair ‘N’ Thangs album. For these
sessions, in addition to a host of new compositions, Coffey personally
cherry-picks tracks upon which he first
appeared and enlists an illustrious guest list for all-new
interpretations. Stones
Throw’s new soul hero Mayer Hawthorne takes up The Parliaments’ poignant mid-tempo swayer ‘All Your Goodies Are
Gone, ” Fanny Franklin from killer Hollywood
funk combo Orgone voices a new
version of Wilson Pickett’s psych-soul jam ‘Don’t Knock My Love’ and Lisa Kekaula from California
garage-soul band The Bellrays
takes on the 100 Proof Aged In Soul stomper ‘Somebody’s Been Sleeping.’ The
Detroit connection looms large throughout the set- Mick Collins from the Dirtbombs  alongside Detroit Cobras’ Rachel Nagy unleash a
dark, brooding take on Funkadelic’s ‘I Bet You.’ UK chart sensation Paolo Nutini contributes a passionate
version of Rodriguez’ “Only Good For Conversation.” Completing the list of
collaborations, Milwaukee funk sensations Kings Go Forth (Luaka Bop) mould an intense funk jam around some
heavy Coffey licks on ‘Miss Millie.’

 

For
his new compositions on the album, Coffey revisits the uncompromising instrumental
style he is renowned for. Album opener ‘7th Galaxy’ echoes the hard guitar ‘n’
breaks of his Detroit Guitar Band recordings for Sussex, ‘Knockabout’ whips up
an epic funky soundtrack groove and ‘Space Traveller’ simmers on a sleazy,
guitar-drenched, slo mo workout.

 

 

Tracklisting:

 

1. 7th Galaxy
2. Don’t Knock My Love feat. Fanny Franklin
3. All Your Goodies Are Gone feat. Mayer Hawthorne
4. I Bet You feat. Mick Collins of Dirtbombs and Rachel Nagy
5. Miss Millie feat. Kings Go Forth
6. Somebody’s Been Sleeping feat. Lisa Kekaula
7. Plutonius
8. Knockabout
9. Only Good For Conversation feat. Paolo Nutini
10. Space Traveller

11. Don’t Knock My Love
(Part 2)

 

 

 

 

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