PRESS PIC OF THE MIGHTY VALDONS!!!!
This Saturday I went to my second Secret Stash Records event at the Cedar Cultural Center. My first time was to see Mickey Murray. That show was action-packed and emotionally moving. The story of Mickey Murray is a hard reminder of the cold-hearted nature of the music business. In the 1969 he was being primed to be the next big thing. He had the tremendous job of filling the void that James Brown left at King Records, but Mickey came with music strong enough to build his own legacy. However, his cutting edge lyricism in his first single and album title track on the topic of racism scared off radio support and in the aftermath of panic, the label ran for cover…leaving his masterful work on a shelf for nearly 42 years!! Mickey never got his chance…not until Secret Stash got a hold of the master tapes and ultimately him, put out that amazing record and brought him to Minneapolis to perform those would-be hits from a several decades ago. There was a moment on stage when Mickey thanked the label and us in attendance for giving him the opportunity to do what he originally intended so very long ago, but had that chanced snatched from him. You could hear the passion and genuine appreciation in his voice. It was the most emotional moment I ever recall having at a live performance…I most definitely had a tear of happiness in my eye.
As so many different great talents graced the stage, The Twin Cities Funk & Soul Compilation night was a stream of similar powerful moments. I was so lost in the music and the vibe that I can’t even remember all the names and stage changes that took place. I know the crowd went crazy each time the lovely and fantastic Wanda Davis took the stage. I remember that many of my favorite tracks from the compilation were performed, including Prophets Of Peace “The Maxx”. For about three hours straight I stood there with my emotions playing a game of tandem, bouncing from excited and dancing to emotionally touched. I don’t know when I’ve ever clapped so hard, screamed so much, and yelled that many “WOOS!” and “YEAHS!” at a show before…probably never.
To bring things to an epic close, The Valdons took the stage looking sharp as can be with matching white suits and simple, but visually rewarding choreographed steps. They were exhibiting a whole lot of style and their voices still sounded silky smooth. They ended their set in classic fashion with an exhilarating performance of “All Day Long “. It felt like the night couldn’t get any better, but then the Twin Cities Funk & Soul Secret Stash Revue bounced back with the most intense and satisfying encore I can ever recall witnessing. They brought out Jackie Harris for an intoxicating dance inducing extended smash of “Get Funky, Sweat A Little Bit”. After Jackie Harris put the crowd in full gear, he invited one of his partners on stage, Herman Jones, who displayed his natural born band leader skills as he directed the instrumentalist to follow his lead, change the volume and tone at will, so that he could take a hypnotic-like control over the crowd.
I left that place floating in clouds. It was a most magical affair. The energy was so intense that the host, Thornton C Jones (former DJ at KUXL), couldn’t resist asking if this became an annual event would we come back out in full force on the regular. The crowd answered with an ecstatic positive response. Speaking of which, that was another one of the great parts of this show. The crowd was very diverse. The host, various vocalist and band-members regularly through out the night shouted out various Twin Cities Funk & Soul icons that were amongst the crowd. The show also brought out the original fan base from that era. Yet, the place was also filled with music lovers in their 20s and 30s who missed that era, but were given an opportunity to be teleported back to that time period for one evening. There’s not doubt that that this capacity filled crowd had been seduced by the funk and soul of the Twin Cities.
Numerous times in the evening, thanks and appreciation was given out to the staff of Secret Stash Records for making this event and compilation possible. At one point I began to think of how much the minds behind Secret Stash truly love the music and passionately work to get it released. Consider this: Their process consists of learning about some rare and hard to find music. Then tracking down those original masters and the original artists. Followed by getting the story behind that music so the listener can know the background. Then in cases such as Mickey Murray and TC Funk & Soul, they help get those artists back on stage to perform, sometimes for the first time in many, many years. Then as a final ultimate challenge, they have to actually learn to play all of the music! That’s right, the bulk of the Secret Stash staff was also key players in the band on stage for both of those shows! Talk about a labor of love. If you love music and people who love music, then you very well should love Secret Stash Records…simple as that.
Come down to the Fifth Element tomorrow night (9.25.12) for the official release date of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul Compilation to catch a live in-store performance with The Valdons!! DO NOT MISS THIS! You can also finally purchase your copy of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul Compilation LP or CD. For a limited number of early purchases you will get the TC Funk & Soul companion newspaper with the rich history of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul scene when you buy the compilation!!
We also extended our Soul & Funk 15% Off sale to last through tomorrow, so pick up the Twin Cities Funk & Soul Compilation and any other of our many Soul/Funk releases at a special discount for one more day!!
If you are an online shopper, order your TC FUNK & SOUL COMPILATION now and shop our SOUL/FUNK 15% OFF SALE!!!
Written By Kevin Beacham, after being clearly touched by the Funk