o.k. Let me be clear about this... not every track on this album is a winner... but most are... and the ones that are SMOKE, ridiculously.
A bit of historical background...
Bill Doggett in many ways was a fore bearer of the music that would come to evolve within the JB bag...
He was a pianist for Louis Jordan -- James Brown's idol...
Jordan inspired Doggett to make the leap to Hammond...
Doggett would hit paydirt in 1957 with a hit recording of HONKY TONK that, simply speaking, wouldn't leave the charts...
Jimmy Smith, of course would emerge that same year, however, Doggett and McGriff's grooves would dominate the juke boxes, even
later absorbing the sounds of JB himself.
At the same time, JB would dabble on Hammond, mainly for various recordings he'd do on the SMASH label.
By 1969, King records was all about Hal Neely and JB...
No doubt, having tracks produced by James Brown would definitely have helped Doggett's career -- who by then, like Ballard and many of his label mates
were becoming old "old school" as the JB generation arose.
Alas, this gem...
It consists of three types of tracks... A number of JB type heavy booty shaking funk numbers, a few throw-aways, but mostly, high energy MOD/'60s GO GO inflected juke box "shake your tail feather" type singles.
HONKY TONK POPCORN, for example, is simply a hard groove funk loop, with a bluesy rock and roll guitar wailing out over the pocket. HONKY TONK in contrast has Doggett up front.
"Side 2" is when it picks up... You have diddies like MAD -- which is not only exciting, groovy and energetic (you can imagine the go go dancers in the cages dancing the Watusi) -- is also
catchy and off center. MR. PITIFUL likewise demonstrates a mega-tight band with a ridiculous level of exhuberence... On some of the tunes a Jr. Walker and the All Stars influence can be heard.
Frankly speaking, the horn players aren't quite mindblowing, but the rhythm section itself is so tight it doesn't matter.
A DOOZY is another number, that despite having that late 60's rock and roll go go mix moved in also has some pretty slicked up changes -- Its almost MOD meets meets soul.
The bass is really kicking on that one... and Doggett takes a ridiculously screaming solo.
I really want to know who's kicking on drums and bass. (I'm guessing Billy Butler is on guitar?)
As for my favorite tune... BEFORE LUNCH!!! Doggett's Organ is really kicking, but the guitarist has it, with a solo that goes from hotly played Wes Montgomery chords to old school Jimmy Nolen twang.
WET AND SATISFIED is another mega-funk kicker and SASSY B. Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel and Bill Nelson are featured on them.
The album's last smoker is SOME KIND OF HEAD, which really shows an artist who's gone from the heyday of jump R&B to JB funk, and is now exploring some of the psychadelic blues rock avenues common at that time,
though of course its also extremely groovy and funky too. Again, he's hooked up with a killer rhythm section, and I'm convinced that this album has some of his best playing ever, even if it lacks the hits.
Last... a ballad rendition of FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE... a ballad, but with a heavy backbeat to keep the tune danceable as well. The organ is steaming; however.
All in all, though this album is really the sound as I envision the Hammond organ, sessions like this are all too rare... Call the genre whatever you like -- Jazz, Groove, Rock and roll... but I'll
tell you one thing... Its good music to me!!!