Monday, August 30, 2010

'It Might Grind Slow But It Grinds Fine': Richie Havens> Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger> Inga Rumpf

The culture baton today is "Indian Rope Man", first done by its writer RICHIE HAVENS.

Richie always had an intense drive that propelled his folk songs with furious urgency. As much as the folk and gospel tradition, that relentless rhythm places his music somewhere between the polyrhythmic afrobeat of Fela and the punk-folk of Billy Bragg.

Here's a sample of his original 1969 version of the funky "Indian Rope Man".

No right-minded band could pass that fantastic groove up. The first was the BRIAN AUGER TRINITY, with the formidible vocals of JULIE DRISCOLL, turning it into a Funk-Rock masterpiece.


That seemed to break the floodgates as it became a staple in jam bands' repertoire, all clearly influenced by the Driscoll/Auger version.

The English jazz-rock band WARM DUST ignited the career of singer Paul Carrack.

The Driscoll/Auger template of funk-rock with female vocals clearly stamped itself on versions by Australia's McFEE , and Germany's PHAZE and TOMORROW'S GIFT. (The latter was twenty minutes long (!), but this link is to the second, vocal half.)

Determined to make their own mark on it. the German FRUMPY slowed it down and boiled the burn. And it didn't hurt that their singer was the blasting soul powerhouse INGA RUMPF, who gives even the mighty Driscoll a hard run for her money.

FRUMPY, w/ Inga Rumpf -"Indian Rope Man" (1971)

The fun random factor is how BOB MARLEY retooled it as "African Herbsman", mellowing it out in homage to his medicinal extract.

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS-"African Herbsman" (1973)

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