Midnight Movers – 1970 – Do It in the Road

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I’ve slept long on these cats… way too long… 

Led by saxophonist George Patterson Jr., the Midnight Movers started out as Wilson Pickett’s backing band. They were consequently picked up by The Isley Brothers (which may have been the cause for the Wilson Pickett-Isley Brothers confrontation in 1969), and you can hear all the Movers – save for bassplayer Ernie Smith – getting down HARD on the Isley’s funk smash “It’s Your Thing”. The groove fest was arranged by Patterson, as well. 

But the Movers fell out with the Isleys, and in 1970 they went for themselves. With the ‘Do It In The Road’ album, the band demonstrated its hard rockin’ funk chops. While not a huge seller, the LP surely ranks as one of the finest heavy funk waxings  availabe.

Tracks
A1 Music Makers 3:18
A2 Medicated Goo 4:06
A3 Crabs 2:12
A4 Stop Look and Listen 4:16
B1 Why Don’t We Do It in the Road 5:17
B2 Tough Enough 4:29
B3 Try Our Thing 4:34 

Review by Soulmakossa

Thangs start out mellow enough, tho’, with the relaxing, moody groove of “Music Makers“. It has the beat, but those harrowing strings in the back, along with Patterson’s plaintive vocal, give it that Jerry Butler-esque warmth. The ending is slightly psychedelic, as well as Hayes-ian, with its carressing string motif and muted trumpets. 

Better put yo’ boots on for “Medicated Goo“, for you’re in the swamps now… Sleazy, raw, diamond hard funk rock with a hint of Nawlins piana. Also features more guitar bliss by Charles Pitts Jr. (yep, he joined Isaac Hayes during the Shaft-days) and, believe it or not, an electric violin solo played through a heavy feedback amp.    

One of the band’s best known cult classics is up next; the high-energy floorshakin’ romp “Crabs” basically is an instrumental, and a horn-heavy one at that, with Patterson, baritone sax man Jack ‘Pot’ Philpot and trumpeter Curtis Pope going for theirs. Super heavy drumming courtesy of Abbel Woodson, as well. 

Do not confuse “Stop, Look and Listen” with the sweet, romantic ballad from Philly crooners The Stylistics… This is a whole ‘nother thang… and far funkier too. More big wailing horns and in-the-pocket, pounding drums. Crazy outro, too… 

Kicking off side B is the band’s incredibly nasty, anti-slick, deep funk rendition of John Lennon’s “Why Can’t We Do It In The Road“… a lazy, plodding groove full of Pitts’ six-string chanking and another electro-violin solo. The bandmembers all take turns singing here, with two super fine (unknown) soul sisters adding to the joy. When the whole band starts vocalizing and scatting in unison, with those fatback horns in between ’em and Smith’s bass a’ poppin’, you know you’re on a ride to Grooveland. 

Tough Enough” is a syncopated, brass-filled anthem that is the most ‘Isley Brothers’-sounding. And better believe Patterson’s voice is on par with Ronald Isley’s pipes. Goes into a slow grindin’ groove for the last verses, making it even funkier. 

True to the mood, the band exits on a final note of unsophisticated, messy, bass-heavy funk with “Try Our Thang“, which, strangely, hangs from a decidedly poppy chorus. 

I can’t believe I never heard of these cats until a few days ago… They’re the FUNK and then some… 

GET this.

Finally don’t miss their 1974 album “Follow The Wind” in our back pages here

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17 Comments
  • Alexis
    Posted at 19:41h, 16 November 2018 Reply

    Stumbled across the site. Awesome. Been looking for this album. Great stuff!

  • Jermaine
    Posted at 19:49h, 16 November 2018 Reply

    thank you for all your work. you have seriously made music a new chapter in my life!

  • Manaos
    Posted at 11:06h, 17 November 2018 Reply

    Thank you for your Magnificent Blog And Your continuous contributions keep Educating The Masses

  • Dan
    Posted at 15:14h, 17 November 2018 Reply

    Awesome stuff – thanks so much, as always

  • Larry
    Posted at 14:24h, 18 November 2018 Reply

    thx for this record!!!!!!

  • Franky
    Posted at 16:29h, 18 November 2018 Reply

    Great job on the blog. I’m mostly a soul head, so I’m learning a lot from this.

  • La Medo
    Posted at 12:07h, 19 November 2018 Reply

    amazing !!!! I have so much respect for what you guys are doing !!!

  • Gabon55
    Posted at 12:19h, 19 November 2018 Reply

    Never seen it before. A real surprise.

  • Jake Moss
    Posted at 12:39h, 19 November 2018 Reply

    Yup… I’m definitely funkin this one up tonight!!

  • Ralph
    Posted at 12:09h, 20 November 2018 Reply

    Love this funky groove old school. Great post.

  • Alison Mayers
    Posted at 12:20h, 20 November 2018 Reply

    Gotta grab this after that wonderful write-up.

  • Dolomites
    Posted at 12:55h, 20 November 2018 Reply

    i havent heard this album many thanx nikos

  • Debra
    Posted at 18:36h, 20 November 2018 Reply

    Early 70’s can’t go wrong.

  • Chris
    Posted at 09:41h, 21 November 2018 Reply

    another great gem to enjoy – you do knock out great stuff for us to listen to.

  • Dennis
    Posted at 10:44h, 27 November 2018 Reply

    killer stuff

  • Fabio
    Posted at 11:22h, 29 November 2018 Reply

    It is many years since I last heard this album. I had the vinyl…always a plesure..

  • Diego
    Posted at 09:56h, 30 November 2018 Reply

    Muchas Gracias!!!
    buenisimo!!!

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