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A Real Mother for Ya (Unreleased Tracks Version)

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Editors’ Notes

The groaning, percolating groove of “A Real Mother for Ya” gave Johnny “Guitar” Watson the biggest hit of his career in 1977, and it helped make the accompanying album of the same name one of his definitive statements. Working with just drummer Emry Thomas, Watson played all the other instruments himself; this gives the performances a hand-sewn quality that keeps them from becoming too polished or generic. The grooves are warm and leisurely, with plenty of room for Watson to stretch out one of his wonderful and highly idiosyncratic guitar solos, as he does on “The Real Deal.” He integrated historical strands from blues and jazz; the scatting on “Your Love Is My Love” is a direct nod to bebop bassist Slam Stewart. But most of all, Watson helped define the sound of '70s funk without simply adhering to its codes. The bluesy, sneering “Lover Jones” became a perennial hip-hop sample, but Watson was much more than a beatmaker. The bonus tracks—“Kathaline” and “De John’s Delight”—exemplify his ability to create funk music that was as audacious and spontaneous as the bebop he’d loved as a teenager.

Customer Reviews

Great grooves! An I'm old white guy.

Sweet tight grooves, just want ago with the flowwwww!

Biography

Born: February 3, 1935 in Houston, TX

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

"Reinvention" could just as easily have been Johnny "Guitar" Watson's middle name. The multi-talented performer parlayed his stunning guitar skills into a vaunted reputation as one of the hottest blues axemen on the West Coast during the 1950s. But that admirable trait wasn't paying the bills as the 1970s rolled in. So he totally changed his image to that of a pimp-styled funkster,...
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