Richard Mayers

Nappy: Music Man - Soul-Pop-Disco-Funk-Crossover from Trinidad, 1975-1981

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Soca developed in Trinidad and Tobago, and while it's a music that has been documented, there are many areas in its history that are relatively murky. Bear Family's 2015 compilation Nappy: Music Man shines a spotlight on Richard "Nappy" Mayers, a singer, guitarist, producer, and arranger who began his career with a band called Embryo and had some solo singles in addition to working with other artists. Bear Family's disc -- which is exceptionally well-annotated by Dave Elcock -- contains 19 of these sides, all recorded between 1975 and 1981, drawing heavily from Embryo's discography and containing a fair share of singles from Nadie La Fond, in addition to singles by Ceasar, Sound Revolution, and Nappy himself. There's a wide variety of artists and the sounds are diverse, too, more than a soca novice might expect: it's Caribbean but it often plays like exceptionally lithe disco or smooth gossamer soul, dipping into perhaps expected funk and reggae, but there's also a bit of country-rock/soft rock on the closing "Let Me in Your Life." This wide range of sounds underscores how Nappy was indeed a music man but it also winds up sounding like an album of the greatest soulful ideas of the late '70s.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Embryo
3:17
2
feat: Embryo
4:12
3
feat: Embryo
3:13
4 4:10
5
feat: Embryo
3:04
6
feat: Embryo
3:40
7
feat: Embryo
4:14
8 3:06
9 3:41
10 4:05
11 3:38
12
feat: Embryo
3:37
13
feat: Embryo
6:27
14 7:14
15 4:37
16 5:50
17 3:31
18
feat: Embryo
4:21
19
feat: Embryo
3:48
blue highlight denotes track pick