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Monday, Apr 19 2010 | 13:13 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

After several years of extensive work and painstaking research the latest in our explorations into regional US funk obscurities is finally here. Has the wait for “California Funk” been worth it? Well, let’s see what we have: 21 of the finest, rarest and most desirable funk recordings from the Sunshine state, put together for the first time with the personal blessing of each and every artist represented herein – shoddy bootleg this is not! Both the LP and CD contain in-depth sleeve notes detailing the history of funk and R&B in California and the social conditions which led to the funk explosion of the late ’60s. In addition there are thoroughly researched notes for every individual track, revealing for the first time the hidden stories behind such revered and enigmatic artists as Leon Gardner, Arthur Monday and Delores Ealy.

Whereas the musical profiles of cities such as Detroit and New Orleans are well established and much celebrated, the vast cities of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area have been mostly skimmed over and not given nearly enough attention. The black music from California of the ’60s and ’70s is especially under-appreciated, seemingly unable to stamp its own musical identity on the world.

Yet during this time, many artists were busily plying their trade at a grass roots level in LA and the Bay, releasing 45s literally by hand or through small independents. Today many of those very 45s fetch hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds at online auction with lovers of real soul and funk desperate to get hold of them. Following on from our previous funk collections of Texas, Florida, the Midwest and the Carolinas, we applied ourselves to what proved to be our most ambitious and far-reaching project yet – to source and compile the best vintage funk that California had to offer. From the rugged street funk of Arthur Monday to the Latino flavours of Enrique Olivarez, from the soulful jazz grooves of blues legend Johnny Heartsman to the aggressive politicising of King Solomon, there is real diversity on offer – these aren’t mere JB sound-a-likes but talented individuals who brought their own voice to the funk sound.

Putting together an album like this is no easy task. It has certainly taken a while to come to light, but we are confident that “California Funk”, with its divergent sounds and intriguing avenues, will not disappoint, and indeed we hope that it will help raise the standing of California in R&B, soul and funk circles from here on.


01. Water Color – All Bundled Into One
02. Arthur Monday – What Goes Around Comes Around
03. Leon Gardner – Farm Song
04. Chucky Thurmon – Turn It Over
05. Delores Ealy – Honeydripper
06. Ray Frazier – I Who Have Nothing
07. Enrique Olivarez – Arriba Tipo
08. 4th Coming – Cruising Down Sunset
09. King Solomon – Political Rag
10. JGD & The New Breed – North Richmond Breakaway
11. La Bare Faxx – Supercool Brother
12. Apple & Three Oranges – Curse Upon The World
13. Lil’ Lavair – Cold Heat
14. Rhon Silva – Get It Right
15. Billy Larkin – Funky Fire
16. California Gold Notes – WB302
17. John Heartsman & Circles – Talking About My Baby
18. Enrique Olivarez – Al’s Place
19. Mr Clean – What’s Going On
20. Edwards Generation – Smokin’ Tidbits
21. Winter – Bones

The compilation VariousCalifornia Funk” (Jazzman) has been released April 16, 2010.

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