Various Artists

Wheedle's Groove: Seattle's Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-75

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Following the success of soul-jazz compilations documenting the histories of Miami, New Orleans, and Philadelphia funk scenes and the treasure trove of rare gems each scene accrued during the '70s, Light in the Attic issued one documenting Seattle during one of the nation's most fertile times in music history. Many of these tracks were lovingly discovered through the archeological process of serious beatheads and collectors digging through forgotten dusty crates in warehouses and thrift shops. And while the obscurity of the compilation is obviously one of its larger selling points, what is most surprising is the quality of the musicianship that runs so deep from start to finish. The fiery James Brown ode of Ron Buford's "Deep Soul" and the Overton Berry Trio's sexy-as-all-get-out rendition of the Beatles' "Hey Jude" are but two of the genuine finds here. However, one mildly discouraging thing about Wheedle's Groove is the inclusion of several modern-day Seattle funk bands. While the groups do appear to be very much carrying on the tradition of their forefathers, the space on this disc would have been much more well spent presenting more classics in line with the time period. Including these groups to showcase Seattle's modern-day sound is a bit misleading to people expecting nothing but raw classics, but that's what the fast-forward button is made for, and it's only a minor distraction from the whole presentation. The opening liner notes and the extensively thorough profiles documenting the histories of the various groups are very nice touches. It's not a definitive purchase for beatheads à la the aforementioned soul-jazz comps, but Wheedle's captures Seattle's sound for better or worse during one of the city's most overlooked music periods, and those taking the plunge to purchase this will be richly rewarded.

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