Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Boston knows its Soul music!

What an honor it was to be asked to join master selector DJ Ty Jesso at the weekly Soulelujah night in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I knew Ty by reputation only. For one, this Providence high school teacher is rumored to possess a very impressive personal 45 collection. He's also known for having the touch and flair to bring a packed dance floor into a frenzy. But what I didn't expect was how much of a personable, kind and warm fellow he was. Resident organizers and DJs PJ Gray and Sean Quinn are class acts themselves and made me feel quite welcomed.

Ty, Sean and I met at a local restaurant a couple of hours before the festivities to get acquainted and like any avid record collector, see if we could trade a few vinyls. I had brought with me a box of my rarest 60s French Quebec doubles and just like I expected, Ty already had all the good ones. Sean did manage to leave with a few of them. Clearly, I was the most fortunate of the trio. I did end up lightening Ty's load by a dozen or so records. You have to respect a guy that will trade or sell records to DJs above all. And by the more then fair price he quoted me, you can see that he's in it for the love of music.

Here's one of the jewels I inherited.

Ty had warned me that Zuzu's, one of Boston's hot spots, was going to be packed. I didn’t doubt him but nothing had really prepared me for such an energetic and dynamic crowd. The place consists of a large dance floor. That's it. If your not waiting to order a drink at the bar, then you are staking a place on the overflowing dance floor. At 1:30 am, there was still a line-up outside the club!

I have to admit that Ty made my life easy by warming up the patrons with his mix of Soul classics and groovy rarities. I really had no merit for getting the crowd going since Ty had done all the work. He even teased me by playing a couple of singles from my want list I had provided him the week before. The bastard!

All 45s, all the time!
What I enjoyed the most about my night was that I could play the most obscure tracks I had on hand and you knew people would enjoy it. Nobody came and asked for Lady Gaga. What a relief! Plus I got to play strictly Soul, Funk and RnB all night!

The Mod contingent didn't come out in full force but the handful that was there represented the cream of the crop. And thumbs up to the 3 scooters that made the trip! I was happy to see familiar Faces and get to meet a few new ones.

You can always count on Dandy Dan to warm up the dance floor with his incredible moves.
A huge thank you to Ty, Sean, PJ and the rest of the staff at Zuzu's for a night that went by way too quickly. I'm ready to travel all those miles whenever you'll have me!

In company of The Man
Here's a little taste of what I played.

Jerkin' The Dog - The Mighty Hannibal - Shurfire
A Little Bit Hurt - Julien Covey And The Machine - Fontana
Rubberneckin' - Elvis Presley - RCA
Day Tripper - The Vontastics - St. Laurence
(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet - The Reflections - Quality
Hit & Run - Rose Batiste - Revilot
Landslide - Tony Clarke - Chess

Soul Bossa Nova - Quincy Jones And His Orchestra - Mercury
Uptight - Jackie Wilson And Count Basie - Brunswick
Back In The USSR - Chubby Checker - Buddah
I'm The Man - Chris Jones - Goddie Train

That Thang - Buddy Lucas - Mohawk
If This Is Love - The Precisions - Drew

And a few more...