Bobby Byrd

On the Move

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Often called "the Godfather's Godfather," Bobby Byrd found the young James Brown a home and a job so he could get out of doing time in a juvenile detention center, then served as his bandleader and arranger until 1970. Not only that, but Byrd wrote more than 40 of Brown's biggest hits, including "Sex Machine," "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing," and "I Know You Got Soul." Unfortunately, Byrd never received proper credit for much of his work, which is why he remains a relative unknown to this day. Fortunately, a small label in Europe (where Byrd has a much bigger following) rescued him from obscurity for this comeback solo LP, his first since the early '70s. With a little help from his family -- wife Vicki Anderson and daughter Carleen Anderson of Young Disciples fame on backup vocals, sons Tony Byrd and Barlett Anderson on drums and organ, and godson Jerry Preston on bass -- and his friends (the Tower of Power horns and the Godfather himself, who co-wrote two songs here), Byrd sounds just as funky as ever, stirring up a steaming pot of sweat-soaked funk. On cuts like "Try It Again," "Sayin' It & Doin' It Is Two Different Things," and "I Got It (It's Been a Long Time Coming)," Byrd and company deliver the groovin' goods in a way James Brown has largely failed to do since his '70s heyday, leaving little doubt that Byrd was the man behind much of the Godfather's magic.

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