Slim and the Soulful Saints

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Montgomery, AL, funk outfit Slim and the Soulful Saints formed in early 1970. According to Eothen Alapatt's profile in the summer 2005 issue of Wax Poetics, guitarist Stanford "Slim" Barnes first teamed…
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Montgomery, AL, funk outfit Slim and the Soulful Saints formed in early 1970. According to Eothen Alapatt's profile in the summer 2005 issue of Wax Poetics, guitarist Stanford "Slim" Barnes first teamed with tenor saxophonist Lorenzo "Fish" Fendley over a decade earlier in a Red Level, AL-based R&B group led by local music veteran Willie Charles "Henry" Perry before parting ways when Fendley entered the military. Bassist Willie Pettaway, organist Al Stringer, tenor saxophonist George Williams, trumpeters Avery "Handsome" Beavers and Wilbert Jackson, and drummer Donnie "Champ" Remnell completed the Soulful Saints' lineup, which quickly landed a residency at the rough-and-tumble Montgomery nightspot the Tyjuana Club. Despite relying heavily on crowd-favorite R&B and soul covers, the band worked a handful of original funk jams into their repertoire, and as their popularity grew they decided to travel to Muscle Shoals' renowned Fame Studios to cut a single. While a cover of Z.Z. Hill's "Someone to Love Me" occupied the A-side, the flip was awarded to "Fish Head," a monster deep-funk groove first devised on-stage at the Tyjuana Club. The end result so impressed Fame owner Rick Hall that he offered Fendley a regular gig with his studio band, but the tenorist declined. "Someone to Love Me" appeared on the Cord label in the summer of 1970. Only a few hundred copies were pressed, and with publicity and distribution virtually nil, the record went nowhere. Slim and the Soulful Saints split soon after, but decades later "Fish Head" emerged as a sought-after collectable among deep-funk aficionados before appearing on Stones Throw's seminal compilation The Funky 16 Corners.