The Soul Searchers Blow Your Whistle (Original Old School Breaks & Classic Funk Bombs)

The Soul Searchers, with original guitarist Chuck Brown currently the band’s leader, are known nowadays for their deeply bouncy 1979 hit "Bustin’ Loose.” It’s a song that inspired the underground funk style of "go-go” music — essentially vocalists engaging in call and response, MC-style marathon flows over high-energy live funk. Trouble Funk dominated this genre in the ’80s. However, the Soul Searchers have a richer history, as demonstrated on the new Vampisoul release. The 12 songs here come from the albums We The People (1972) and Salt of the Earth (1974). At the time, the Soul Searchers were a popular regional soul band from Washington, DC playing heavily arranged R&B, with bright brass and woodwind riffs layered over wah-wah damaged, big band, Afro-Latin polyrhythm-tinged funk. It’s much in line with contemporaries War, Mandrill and the Lafayette Afro Rock Band, and like other funk bands of that period, they wore different musical hats. Sometimes they churned out standards such as James Brown’s "Think” or waxed a cynical, Funkadelic-inspired soul rock vibe on "Ain’t It Heavy,” while "1993” and "We The People” are funky protest numbers referencing and philosophising political and social issues of the day. But it’s tracks like the roller-skate-friendly "Blow Your Whistle” and boogaloo stormer "Soul To The People” that really give this collection its phat-ass bump. Finally, if the Soul Searchers’ music seems a little familiar it’s because they’ve been providing 20 years of samples for the likes of Public Enemy, Run DMC and many others. Check the well-worn break beats on "Ashley’s Roachclip.” (Vampisoul)