Various Artists

Live at the South Dallas Pop Festival 1970

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As Eothen "Egon" Alapatt describes it in the liner notes, this is gutbucket funk. Live at the South Dallas Pop Festival 1970 is the raw uncut funk. Sadly, it is the last remaining document of each of these bands preserved by the keen interest of Egon. Thankfully, his Now-Again label, a division of Stones Throw Records, was able to issue these previously unreleased recordings. The album has the feel of a reissue, but surprisingly none of these tracks were ever released. They were merely recorded and saved until someone with a fantastic interest in funk dug them up. As more Texas funk comes to light in reissues and fresh releases, it's astounding that such strong funk could go forgotten for 30 years. The bands were great and finally a wider audience can appreciate them. The Funky Sixteen Corners compilation and the Kashmere Stage Band's Zero Point accompany Live at the South Dallas Pop Festival 1970 to make a strong case for the best in funk having been lost. Without obsessive DJs and fanatics this rainy night in south Dallas could have remained undiscovered. The Soul Seven's nine tracks rank with the best in funk from the era. Their up-tempo intensity jams plow over more pop-oriented funk. Both the Soul Seven and the Apollo Commanders bleed intensity into these grooves. The drumming on the Apollo Commanders' opening track is a blur with chants and shifts in rhythm almost sliding over the edge. As a live album everything falls into place nicely with the best performances being selected. The only problem with the album is that after you hear it you want to run out and buy a full-length album by the Soul Seven, the Apollo Commanders, and Lee Watson and the Panthers. Luckily Egon will keep searching and dig up something that can be compared with the music from Live at the South Dallas Pop Festival 1970.

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