Darondo is a Man of the People

Darondo is a Man of the People
Darondo Pulliam, a mysterious and revered funkster, is being revived by rare groove label Luv N' Haight, a subsidiary of Ubiquity Records based in his hometown of San Francisco; they are issuing his debut album some 30 years after he recorded his three cult-classic singles. Let My People Go features the a- and b-sides of each seven-inch and three recently retouched long-lost demos.

Darondo's sound hovers between Sly Stone and Al Green, with various degrees of imperfect harmony that make him that much funkier. Considering the scarcity of material, Let My People Go is consistent and diverse, revealing a streetwise social critic, raunchy soul man, respectful son and devoted husband.

It's obvious why he was such a notorious scenester some 30 years ago; his passion for life makes you want to be a part of his orbit. The man's led a diverse professional life — strictly legit, according to him — and always made a strong first impression in his 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud with a personalised licence plate. "I knew everybody: the mayor, the chief of police, the pimp, the garbagemen. I had a lot of friends, and I liked to have fun." The singles just kind of happened; he had always been a singer, dancer and guitarist, and back then if you had some cash, you could rent out a studio with a band, then press up some singles.

His semi-notoriety in music led to a long-running cable access show in the late ‘70s. Viewers would send in videos of their various talents, and Darondo "would do a comedy sketch, play two videos, then another comedy sketch — next thing you know it was six years later!" Following a decade of work as a physical therapist, Darondo had begun to slow down by the time Ubiquity caught up with him. He's rolling with this opportunity, but is cryptic about whether the album will result in shows or a tour. The man who once opened for James Brown simply declares: "I'm just going with whatever the program is. Tomorrow I could be in the twilight zone. I'm just happy, bro."