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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

June 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Wheedle’s Groove II for better or for worse | New recordings

Wheedles Groove II Wheedles Groove II‘Wheedle’s Groove’ Volume II (Light in the Attic)

Seattle’s Light in the Attic has released a funk and disco sequel to “Wheedle’s Groove,” its much-heralded ethnography of the Emerald City’s little-heralded 1965-75 soul music scene.

Surprisingly, “Wheedle’s Groove II” features more good music than the first one, but that’s not saying much. Folks, the reason no one has ever heard of bands like Unfinished Business and Priceless is that they were awful, not “overlooked.”

That’s not the case with genuine talents like singer Bernadette Bascom, represented here by the terrific, double-time ballad, “I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love” and by “Get Off the Phone,” with the estimable Epicentre. Ditto for Big Joe Erickson and Push, doing the hooky “You Turn Me On”; the Steppen Stones, with creamy synths and seductive vocals, on “Darlin Oh Darlin”; Teleclere and its Vocoder-encoded “Steal Your Love”’; or the muscular funk band Cold, Bold and Together, though the selection here is not one of its best.

But LITA has always been as interested in backstory as in music (Donnie and Joe Emerson, anyone?), and this is a story worth telling. If only the liner notes had explained that one of the big reasons soul music never took off in Seattle is that white lounge owners freaked out when black crowds actually started showing up to dance.

Other new releases

Led Zeppelin , “I,” “II,” and “III.” The first three studio albums, remastered, with unreleased concert material available in each of three, two-CD packages (Atlantic Catalog Group)
Parquet Courts, “Sunbathing Animal” (What’s Your Rupture)
Miranda Lambert , “Platinum” (RCA Nashville)

Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: New Recordings, Wheedle's Groove II

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