Kool and Together – Kool and Together

January 01, 1970

(Heavy
Light / Light In the Attic)

 

www.heavylightrecords.com

 

Eventually
the archival well will run dry, but for now the rediscovery and re-release of
vintage and little-heard soul, funk, R&B and gospel rarities is still going
strong. Case in point: this scorcher by the early ‘70s bad-ass black rock combo
Kool and Together. 

 

This
collection of 21 tracks recorded between 1971 and 1977 unearths a trove of
nasty, hard-rocking funk. Hailing from the small town of Victoria, Texas,
Kool and Together were the Sanders brothers (Charles, Tyrone and Joe) +
various other players that came and went. All of these tracks are gritty,
guitar driven heavy funk/rock with some conga and other percussion mixing it up
underneath. Kissing cousins to Detroit’s Black Merda, Jimi Hendrix’s Band of
Gypsies, “Them Changes” era Buddy Miles and some of the gnarlier Ike & Tina
Turner tracks of the era, Kool and Together play it loud and proud. Tracks like
“I Know,” “Get Your Feet of the Ground,” “Peace is at Hand” and the
outrageously heavy “Sittin’ On a Red Hot Stove” are funk at it’s heaviest, with
liberal uses of both wah wah and HEAVY guitar. 

 

Conga
playing brother Tyrone Sanders had a terrific voice featured on several
tracks, while brothers Charles and Joe also added an occasional lead vocal, and
a Phillip Jackson steps up to the mic for the proto rap “Blow It Out Your Mind”
from 1977. A tantalizing snippet is the 30 remaining seconds of “Electronic
Funk,” also from 1977, and shows an exciting direction the band was going at
the time. Some of the later recordings also move into a more diffuse direction,
so who knows what might have happened had the band stayed together. Brother
Charles is featured as lead singer on four raw, exciting early demo tracks that
finish up the record, including a pumped up version of James Brown’s “Hot
Pants” and track called “Nassau Beat” that features some explosive
drumming from brother Joe. 

 

As
rarities go, this one is the merde all the way. 

 

STANDOUT
TRACKS
: “Sitting On a Red Hot Stove,” “Get Your Feet Off the Ground,” “I
Know,” “Blow It Out Your Mind.” CARL HANNI

 

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