The Archive

Hand picked records important to the history of Soul Strut. This is updated (almost) daily.

Bar-Kays - Black Rock

  • Bar-Kays

    Black Rock LP (1971)

    Volt

The Bar-Kays were a successful Memphis instrumental soul group who backed up Stax acts like Otis Redding (when not releasing their own successful recordings.) Unfortunately, tragedy struck in late 1967 when a majority of the members along with Otis Redding died in a plane crash.  Trumpeter Ben Cauley miraculously survived the wreckage and reformed the band.  That lineup would go onto back up Isaac Hayes on his classic Hot Butter Soul album, adopting a more socially conscious psychedelic soul sound.  1971's Black Rock was the height of that sound before they evolved in to full on 70s funkateers.  The album lives up to its name emitting hints of early Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, and Rare Earth as demonstrated on cuts like "You Don't Know Like I Know ", "A Piece Of Your Peace," and the Maggot Brainization of Aretha Franklin's "Baby I Love You."  Cauley ended up leaving the band after this record leaving bassist James Alexander (who was not on the plane) the only original member to carry the torch.  The Bar-Kays eventually struck gold during the disco funk years as Commodores / Cameo soundalikes with tracks like "Holy Ghost."


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