Tag: Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul

New Audio: Melbourne Australia’s The Putbacks Release a Blazing Western-tinged Bit of Psych Soul

Comprised of founding members Rory McDougall (drums), Tom Martin (guitar) and Mick Meager (bass), Simon Mavin (Hammond organ) with Justin Marshall, funk and soul, instrumental act The Putbacks feature some of Melbourne, Australia’s most accomplished musicians as members of the band have played with Hiatus Kaiyote, The Bombay Royale, D.D. Dumbo, Swooping Duck, The Meltdown and The Black Arm Band.   The band which can trace its formation back to the early 00s has long been the unofficial house band of Australian label  HopeStreet Recordings, taking cues from the legendary house bands of 60s and 70s soul and funk studios — in particular, The MGs, The Meters and The Wrecking Crew, as well as film composers of David Axelrod and Adrian Younge.

With the release of a handful of 7 inches through HopeStreet, the band received attention across their native Australia; however, it was Dawn, their 2014 collaboration with Australian Aboriginal soul singer/songwriter Emma Donovan that found the members of The Putbacks with a growing international profile, as the album received attention outside of their homeland. Since the release of Dawn, the individual members of the acclaimed band have bee busy with a number of projects while managing to find the time to write and record their soon-to-be released Paul Bender-produced self-titled debut, slated for a November 9, 2018 release Now, as you may recall, the album finds the band collaborating with a number of internationally renowned artists including singer/songwriter and neo-soul pioneer Bilal and violins and arrangements from Miguel Atwood-Ferguson. The album’s first single, the cinematic, film-noir-ish “The Ways” was a scorching bit of psych school featuring Bilal that recalled  The Roots and Hot Buttered Soul-era Isaac Hayes but with an improvised, free-flowing air.
“Oranges,” the self-titled album’s latest single sound as though Ennio Morricone managed to compose an unreleased psychedelic Western Sci Fi soundtrack — thanks in part to the composition being centered around a blistering Western-influenced riff that begins with the organ and a thumping backbeat, with the other instrumentations playing off the riff. Of course, the end result is a hypnotic and propulsive groove that also manages to nod at Tinariwen and others, complete with a larger-than-life vibe and sensibility. 

 

With the release of 1969’s Hot Buttered Soul, the legendary Isaac Hayes quickly developed a reputation as being one of Stax Records‘ boundary pushing, bleeding edge funk and soul stars. At a time when most soul, R&B, pop, and rock songs were an extremely radio-friendly three minutes or less,  Hayes crafted expansive, mind-altering and epic compositions that bridged psych rock, funk, soul, early disco, rock and jazz — and routinely captures him and his backing band catching and holding onto a groove and taking it as far the groove would take them. Just as a few examples for those not familiar, the aforementioned Hot Buttered Soul consists of only four tracks with album closer “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” clocking it at 18:42; “I Stand Accused” and “Something” off 1970’s The Isaac Hayes Movement clock in at just under 12 minutes; and “The Look Of Love” off 1970’s . . . To Be Continued clocks in at a little over 11 minutes.  And this was before Hayes accepted the unique assignment of writing the beloved soundtrack for the seminal and canonical Blaxploitation film, 1971’s Shaft.

However, “Do You Thing” off the two LP Shaft soundtrack may have arguably been the longest song he ever wrote, as it actually took up most of the second LP’s B side, as the expansive groove before ending with the overdubbed sound of a record player needle violently scratching across a vinyl; however, interestingly enough, Hayes and his backing band The Bar-Kays had recorded an additional improvisational 13 minutes that sonically possessed elements of free jazz, jazz fusion and psych rock that had been consigned to the vaults  . . . that is until the folks at Now-Aagin Records stumbled upon it and decided that they needed to release the full 33 minute version of the song, from the 2-inch tape masters on the greatest day of all for audiophiles — Record Store Day.

Including with the vinyl release is a booklet detailing the history of the never-heard-before version of one of Hayes’ most famous and beloved songs. To celebrate the upcoming release of the 33 minute vinyl check out a 22 minute version of “Do Your Thing” that ends with wild peals of discordant noise featuring feedback, strummed guitar chords eventually played through wah wah pedal, shimmering and soaring organ chords with musician studio chatter before a quick fade out.