Midnight Movers – 1974 – Follow The Wind
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The second, and last, album by the magnificent Midnight Movers. Whereas their premier release, 1970’s ‘Do It In The Road‘, is a bit rougher and rawer, ‘Follow The Wind’ nonetheless is another amazing funk fest, crucial for Mama Earth’s funkadelphians.
A1 Follow the Wind 3:25
A2 Mystery Woman 3:28
A3 Can’t Stand the Heat 4:20
A4 Lost for Words 3:55
A5 Party (With Every Muscle in Your Body) Part I 3:15
A6 Party (With Every Muscle in Your Body) Part II 2:16
B1 Frankenstein 2:47
B2 Blackenstein 3:03
B3 Mississippi Foxhole 4:36
B4 Long Train Running (Without Love) 4:06
B5 Sacrifice 3:39
B6 Flight to Freedom 5:05
The title-track was the band’s biggest hit, a no-holds-barred jam propelled by chanking guitars, stutter stepping drums and those gorgeous blaxpo-style horn/flute riffs. Deep, thick, muddy bass here, too… Basically an instrumental, the group chants the song’s title a few times, but leaves most of the room to be taken up by the groove. Weird ‘siren’-like, feedback guitar line in there too…
“Mystery Woman” is funk rock at its finest: pumping drums and bass, tambourines, piles of horns and a droning clavinet in the back. A groove that just won’t let up, featuring some snappy drum breaks and firebreathing guitar licks… like the boys sing, ‘fly on, with ya bad self!’
That same swampy, greasy rock vibe is all over the frantic “Can’t Stand the Heat“, whereas “Lost for Words” constitutes the mandatory slow jam, with its breezy, flute-based groove and Earth, Wind & Fire-esque vocal harmonizing. Side A nonetheless concludes with another wah-wah’d floorshaker in the guise of the jubilant “Party“.
The flip opens with a very interesting spin on Edgar Winter’s rockzillian opus “Frankenstein“, which is snazzily followed by a band original, the equally stupendous stomp “Blackenstein“.
It’s back to the funky swamps with the cruisin’ head-bobber “Mississippi Foxhole“, a well-oiled instrumental where organ, flutes and that omnipresent, crackeling electric guitar play the piece’s leit motif in unison. Features a sick sax solo, as well.
The Movers further up the ante with the hard rockin’ gospel/funk hybrid “Long Train Running“, with Patterson in his gruffy, raw vocal bag. I’m pretty sure the guitar pattern on this thang has been sampled to death in the Age of Hip Hop.
With “Sacrifice“, there’s time for a breather. Probably the most ‘mellow’ of the batch, although lyrically pretty deep, there’s acoustic guitars here (to my knowledge the only place on the disc) set against that wall of brass. A bit of folksy funk rock…
The album ends the way that it began, however, and that’s with a UNK of FUNK. The frenetic feel-good message driven “Flight to Freedom” is an apt closer to this wonderful, underappreciated rock-solid outing by a shamelessly underrated group of funkateers.