Everyday life - COLUMN B 1000

Lil Walter & The Average Black And White Band

A fine oddity from Virginia this. “Funk Train” has a small reputation on the funk scene but the deep side is a throwback ballad sounding much earlier than it’s recording date from the mid 70s. Walter (Williams?) obviously took his band’s name from the Scottish funk crew but they never sounded like this. A meandering tenor sax works it’s way round and about Walter as he sings his song of hard times. This uncoordinated sound is emphasised by the number of things going on in the background – percussion, a good guitarist, organ, more horns, and some background singers. Walter may not be in the James Carr league as a singer but this 45 somehow works wonderfully well. It grows on you with each play too and gets inside your head. And that’s always a sign of class.

UPDATE ~ Dante Carfagna (see Links) has written to say that "Lil' Walter's last name is indeed Washington. He performed often at the Sahara Club (at 2900 North Ave.) in Richmond in the late '60s and early '70s. There was a relatively major Battle of the Bands at the Sahara in May of 1969 and Lil' Walter's band finished second to Stacy Henry and the Majestics. In a small article on this event in the Richmond Afro-American, it says that the vocal group the Bonnevilles performed a few numbers with Walter. This Bonnevilles outfit is almost certainly the same group with two 45s on the DC-based Now label (produced by David Fitzgerald, who culled 95% of his talent from Richmond)." Dante also provided the second item in the discography on which he comments "It is the exact same record as the one mentioned, but this issue has two stickers with the "new" titles and band name stuck over the printed text on the label."


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