Eddie Senay Hot Guitar Funk From Detroit

There’s nothing fancy about this album. If you were trying to scratch out a living gigging in the hollowed out shell that was Detroit in 1972, you’d want to keep it simple as well. Eddie Senay was a guitarist who’d been kicking around for more than a decade by the time he made his first of the two albums represented here. What you get is gritty blues funk that borrows liberally from the hits of the time. It’s almost trainspotting to note the influences: is that an Isaac Hayes lick? Is that a Chi Lites groove? The only hit that gets full credit is a scorching cover of "Ain’t No Sunshine” in one of the least sentimental versions you’ll ever hear. Rudy Robinson, a keyboardist whose most famous association is with Stax records, is the bandleader and producer. He brings a tough sound reminiscent of Ike Turner but dominated by his Fender Rhodes and Hammond organ licks, as Senay plays Ike’s role on guitar. Some imagination is provided by the percussive mastery of Funk Brother Eddie "Bongo” Brown. Some 30 years later, no one is going to call this a lost masterpiece. Aside from Bill Withers & Dennis Coffey’s output, few records on Sussex were — they represented the B-plus level talent at a regional level. Most of these artists just put out records in order to keep gigging, but the lack of frills in these recordings is definitely part of the appeal. The next time you’re up for some gin and juice, Eddie Senay’s got what you need. (Vampisoul)