Tonight’s side on The Midnight Tracker is one that dates to the ’70s, of course, but one I only recently started digging.
Our friends over at Popdose have been publishing a must-read series of memoirs by producer Tom Werman. Among the groups Werman worked with during the ’70s was Mother’s Finest. He wrote about them, and that’s how I came to learn about them.
Werman describes seeing Mother’s Finest for the first time in its hometown of Atlanta:
“I think it’s fair to say that this band, about whom we knew nothing in advance, fairly incinerated the stage. Fronted by a tiny package of dynamite named Joyce Kennedy and her husband Glenn, this was basically a black hard rock band, years before the days of Living Colour. The bass player, Wizard, went on to play bass for Stevie Nicks. He was a tall, grinning man whose physical dominance made the bass guitar appear as a toy in his giant hands. He just slapped that instrument silly. The drummer and lead guitar player were white, but in this band, the music was really dark gray – their main influence was Zeppelin, but with a very high funk quotient.”
Werman wrote again about Mother’s Finest when he listed some “greatest misses,” or songs he produced and liked that weren’t hits. I left a comment, and he wrote back: “It’s good to know that you like it. Decidedly dated at this point, but pretty interesting for its time.”
Never having heard it until now — it’s no surprise that we wouldn’t have heard much black funk-rock in central Wisconsin in the mid-’70s — it’s still pretty interesting.
Fortunately, I found two of their first three LPs for Epic Records while crate-digging earlier this summer. I’m still on the lookout for another highly recommended by Werman and others — their second album, “Another Mother Further.”
Sit back and enjoy, as I did, Side 1 from their first album for Epic, produced by Werman.
“Fire,” “Give You All The Love (Inside Of Me)” and “Niggizz Can’t Sing Rock & Roll,” Mother’s Finest, from “Mother’s Finest,” 1976. It runs 17:01.
The buy link is to an import CD with two live tracks. It was released last year.
Enjoy also this video clip of “Truth’ll Set You Free,” one of Werman’s “greatest misses.” You’ll see why they were so great live.