Black Merda – 1970 – Black Merda

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeavy duty fuzzy funk  and a landmark album from one of the most Hendrix-inspired groups of the early 70s! The style here is guitar funk with plenty of rock thrown in – all really fuzzed-up in production, and often a bit distorted – so that the group are kind of a lost link between the work of Betty Davis and the more mainstream sounds of Jimi! These guys also backed up Fugi on the massive “Mary, Don’t Take Me On No Bad Trip”, but the sound here’s even heavier – even more guitar-jamming than early work by Funkadelic!

Tracks
A1 Prophet 2:55
A2 Think of Me 2:35
A3 Cynthy-Ruth 3:05
A4 Over and Over 5:34
A5 Ashamed 3:55
B1 Reality 2:00
B2 Windsong 4:17
B3 Good Luck 3:48
B4 That’s the Way It Goes 3:14
B5 I Don’t Want to Die 3:58
B6 Set Me Free 0:40

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUsually linked in with the brief explosion of “black rock” bands that followed Jimi Hendrix in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Black Merda’s formula was a good bit more complicated than most, and their debut album blends elements of hard rock, blues, soul, folk, and embryonic funk with a tough and uncompromising political consciousness that makes the disc at once a product of its time and not quite like anything else around back in the day. The guitar work from Anthony Hawkins and Charles Hawkins is tough and organic, whether they’re stretching out on extended blues jams such as “Over and Over” and “Windsong” or cutting some hard R&B-accented rock on “Cynthy-Ruth” and “Prophet“. Bassist Vessee L. Veasy (who also contributes most of the lead vocals) and percussionist Tyrone Hite generate a lean but effective groove throughout as they jump from the streetwise soul of “Reality” to the acoustic meditation of “Think of Me.” But as good as the music is on this album (and despite bland production from someone named Swan, most of it is very good indeed), what really sets it apart is the dark vibe reflected in the minor-key tenor of the melodies and the bitter realities of the lyrics. Black Merda label 1Grinding poverty, racism, political and social inequality, the ongoing nightmare of Vietnam, the growing schism between youth culture and the establishment, and the absence of any easy answers to the dilemmas of a nation spinning out of control dominate songs such as “Reality,” “Ashamed,” and “That’s the Way It Goes,” and the grim but wholly appropriate fable of “I Don’t Want to Die” ends this album as if a lid were being slammed shut on a coffin. Black Merda anticipates the grim consciousness-raising session of Sly & the Family Stone‘s There’s a Riot Goin’ On, which wouldn’t arrive in stores until a year after this album, and if it isn’t the stark masterpiece that Sly’s album was, it’s good enough that this group deserves to be regarded as much more than a footnote in the black music scene of the early ’70s.

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Conversation for album: Black Merda – 1970 – Black Merda

17 Comments
  • Grumpy
    Posted at 09:50h, 22 June 2016 Reply

    Thank you!

  • Canon
    Posted at 18:18h, 22 June 2016 Reply

    Ever grateful to you for such good posts

  • Will
    Posted at 08:47h, 23 June 2016 Reply

    Wow…this one is amazing.
    I cant thank you enough…

  • Maramo
    Posted at 11:47h, 23 June 2016 Reply

    Great drop.

  • Clive
    Posted at 21:30h, 23 June 2016 Reply

    A great and very underrated group

  • Joel
    Posted at 08:50h, 24 June 2016 Reply

    Those were the real good old days. Thank you.

  • Ryan
    Posted at 19:02h, 25 June 2016 Reply

    Thanks guys, never heard this before. so looking forward to it a lot!

  • Salim
    Posted at 19:26h, 25 June 2016 Reply

    Great forgotten Album.

  • Mario
    Posted at 20:59h, 25 June 2016 Reply

    This is PERFECT.

  • Beso
    Posted at 10:38h, 26 June 2016 Reply

    splendida !

  • Jan
    Posted at 18:34h, 26 June 2016 Reply

    Thanks, I don’t know them, I will listen to it.

  • Danilo
    Posted at 19:08h, 26 June 2016 Reply

    good music from bad ol days ……

  • Luc
    Posted at 21:00h, 26 June 2016 Reply

    Remind me my youth.

  • FN
    Posted at 09:25h, 27 June 2016 Reply

    another great one!

  • rich
    Posted at 21:34h, 27 June 2016 Reply

    interesting post nikos. thank you

  • zack
    Posted at 21:59h, 02 July 2016 Reply

    just lovely

  • RTR
    Posted at 10:13h, 15 July 2016 Reply

    such an incredible cut of music this one is ??

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