We like to listen to vinyl on Fridays here at BSHQ. Every Friday we have a Bloodshot crew member randomly select a record from his/her personal collection and bring it to the office. The person has to explain why the album is on his/her shelves, and then we listen to it. We call this Random Wax.
Today's contestant is Bloodshot retail wizard Pete Klockau! He randomly selected King Floyd's self-titled album from 1971. Here's his explanation on why it's in his collection:
“My siblings and I were spoiled musically when I was a kid... my dad’s band played in assorted bars and local festivals around the Quad Cities throughout the 70’s and 80’s and they had a wide-ranging repertoire, mostly consisting of well known 1950’s and 60’s rock n’ roll standards (think Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee), but also some one-hit wonder gems (Mickey Gilley’s “The Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time,” “Muleskinner Blues” by the Fendermen, “Alley Oop” by Kim Fowley’s Hollywood Argyles, “Rubber Biscuit” by the Chips) and plenty of 60’s soul, blues and R&B… Ray Charles, Sam & Dave, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino…
One song they played a lot was “Groove Me” by King Floyd… it was a fairly big hit when it was first released in the early 1970’s. My dad’s band's version had much more in common with the oddball cover that appeared randomly on one of the Blues Brothers albums released in the 1980’s (the ones that had almost nothing to do with the movie) with the weird pseudo-Jamaican spoken word introduction and wanna-be Reggae riddim...
I got older, realized most of the punk rock and metal stuff I was listening to was musical horse shit, and all those old songs started coming back to me… thus began my love affair with 60’s soul, R&B, classic country, 50’s & 60’s rock n’ roll and rockabilly… y’know… the good stuff… and 90% of what I find myself going back to listen to as an adult.
I always loved “Groove Me…” Even on the goofy Blues Brothers version, you could hear that the bones of that song HAD to be good. As a teenager working in record stores, because of that silly version, I always assumed he was a reggae artist. But I got older and more informed and learned that was not the case, but that he was part of the same mid-to-late 1960’s New Orleans wellspring that gave us Allen Toussaint, Johnny Adams, Ernie K-Doe, and Lee Dorsey, just to name a few.
I actually found this record from an absolutely legendary record store in King Floyd’s hometown - Louisiana Music Factory - maybe 5 or 6 years ago. That was a mind-blowing (and expensive) visit … I also found lots of other great NOLA sounds difficult to track down in the midwest, too - Irma Thomas repressings, original pressing Meters LPs, a great compilation of New Orleans street bands from Folkways - but finally finding this King Floyd LP connected everything back together.
King Floyd is late 60’s/early 70’s New Orleans fonky (with an “o”) soul at its finest… His voice sounds like he might be 16 (if he’s a day) on this record, but DAMN… it just oozes with all kinda sensuality, with the brass section punching home the punctuation on James Brown-esque-just-can’t-stop-it-hurt-myself- “UNH’s,” aplenty, King Floyd grunting and ooh-ing and ahh-ing his way through to the end. It’s not quite to the Joe Tex “You Said a Bad Word” level, where you feel like you might need to wash your hands afterwards, but it’s definitely on the approach.
It’s funny how you are raised with music, you get to be a teenager and hate that music and rebel, but ultimately you find the rebellion is mostly for show and you wind your way back home to where you started and discover what’s actually meaningful."