As regular site visitors will be aware, we don’t only present reviews, biographies and other aspects of a literary nature. A Nickel And A Nail is also keen to support other hardworking independent enterprises in the soul music world who provide worthwhile contributions to the scene through vinyl, CD and digital releases; keeping soul music history alive with previously unissued and quality reissued releases. To that effect, this month sees a great second 7” vinyl release by the Fun & Funk Family, via up and coming MD Records. Label owners Mark Anderson and Des Parker fill us in on the background and the ethos of MD Records:
“We started the label in 2017 following years of discussions and soul searching. The plans were laid down on the basis that the label would provide a quality product, only presenting material that we could license which has previously been unreleased on vinyl. Original sources would be licensed and under contract from the artists, publishers or record labels who owned the recordings. We also wanted our products to be value for money and look visually appealing in a collection. The singles are released as limited runs – 300 only, with a guarantee that there will be no repress on the label. Test pressings are only done for sound checking the stampers – not as a sales gimmick.”
Both Mark and Des are true vinyl junkies and want to share the passion with others: “We want people to experience the thrill of playing or hearing the tracks out. That’s what it’s about for us – dropping the needle on a quality piece of music for the first time, watching faces drop as punters come to the decks to find out what’s being played, feeling the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and just knowing they want a copy. For us as label owners it’s about making the scene exciting again.”
So, regarding the latest release, just who are the Fun & Funk Family?
“No one has been able to throw up any information on just who this Philly ensemble were. What do we know, well they laid down six tracks to master-tape; Good Man Gone Bad, Movin’ Up Higher, Getting’ It Together (parts 1 and 2), Shouldn’t Have Said Goodbye and Every Man Needs Lovin’. The last two tracks are the ones that are driving interest from the soulful masses across the world and our chosen release this month. Shouldn’t Have Said goodbye is an upbeat, feel-good slice of Philly soulful funk. The family really live up to the name, you can hear the raw harmonies rising and falling against the ever-present baseline driving the track along. The flip is a down home mid-tempo funk monster.”
So where did the tracks come from? The Fun & Funk Family recorded these at Virtue circa 1971-1972, around the same time as the fabulous Ronnie Walker, recently departed King of the Philly soprano soul sound. When Des and Mark spoke to Ronnie last year about this, unfortunately he couldn’t remember the band. Despite this, thanks to Rotiga and Moulty publishers, the tapes survived and were able to be brought to vinyl for the first time.
The Fun & Funk Family 7" vinyl release can be purchased from MD Records via their Facebook page, or firstname.lastname@example.org - but given the limited press be quick! A Nickel And A Nail wishes a very successful future for MD Records and looks forward to many more quality releases.