Various Artists - Welcome To The Newsroom CD

The title for this new compilation of old grooves from 7 Bridges Recordings couldn't be more fitting for our times. Though recorded almost 30 years ago, the title track "Newsroom" is still sadly up to date in today's world. Apart from the socially conscious and deeply urban message of many of the tracks, Welcome to the Newsroom is a fine collection of unreleased true funk gems from the early 1970's. The line up on these recordings includes early contributions of Sheila E., drummer and songwriter Paul Tillman Smith, Cal Tjader's keyboard player extra-ordinaire Lonnie Hewitt and Guitarist Ray Obiedo, who in the mid 70's went on to record with Herbie Hancock. From rough James Brown-like garage funk to relaxed Latin Jazz grooves this compilation is a reflection of the musical wealth of the San Francisco Bay Area's busy funk and soul scene of the 1970s. Filled with tasty break beats, this record will easily become a classic for DJ's and funk fans alike.


The Electric Church was a funky 9 piece horn band from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area. Tower of Power, Linda Tillery and the Loading Zone and Cold Blood featuring Lydia Pence were among the many groups that influenced their sound. Performing 100% original material and incorporating Jazz tinged arrangements with Afro-Cuban overtones. The Electric Church was truly a uniquely diverse musical ensemble.

Plight was among the many funk & soul garage bands that flourished in the East Bay during the late 60's and early 70's. Covering the top forty hits of groups like the Bar Kays, Sam And Dave, Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band and most importantly James Brown. Plight performed on weekends in the numerous Soul and R&B clubs in East Oakland, Berkeley & North Richmond.

From the age of four, Paul Tillman Smith played drums. He started writing songs at 14, inspired by his musician father, George Smith (George Smith played with Count Basie and the Harlem Aces, and was a mentor to drummer Louie Bellson.) Paul developed his drummer skills with Steve Miller and the Second Coming Band, and members of Country Joe and the Fish, plus other known R&B bands and musicians. During his New York days, Paul was an apprentice to then avant-garde jazz musicians Archie Shepp and Pharaoh Saunders. Back in the Bay Area, Paul recorded with Bobby Hutcherson, John Handy, and award winning violinist Michael White. Paul formed Vitamin E, a band whose members later recorded for Motown Records. Vitamin E recorded Paul's Sharing, which gained hit status in several cities. Paul has also been associated musically with Alice Coltrane, Big Mama Thornton, The Jones Girls, Erma Thomas, Mickey & Silvia, Richard Pryor, George Duke, Phyllis Hyman, Michael Henderson, Coke Escovedo, Sheila E., Cold Blood, Rodney Franklin, Marlena Shaw, Abbey Lincoln, Herbie Hancock, Jon Hendricks, Angela Bofill, Jean Cairne Jules Broussard, the Brecker Brothers, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

When the Michael Kirsch first received the original 1/4" tape rolls of these recordings, they were in pretty bad shape. They arrived in a black backpack that had been stored in a California garage for over 25 years. At some point in time, the back pack had drawn moisture and the tapes had started to mold. It was impossible to spend more than a few seconds in a room with the tape rolls so he decided to spread them out on the back porch where they aired out for a week or so. After cleaning most of the mold of the rolls he ran one tape after the other and took it into the digital domain. Some of the tape literally fell apart as it passed the tape heads. This disc is the result of this tedious process. Though the sound quality of the recordings may be limited, the funk and groove factor certainly is not.

1. We Had a Love mp3
2. We've Got to Find a Way mp3
3. Newsroom mp3
4. Country Flower mp3
5. Soul Duck mp3
6. I Can't Dance mp3
7. Down the Line mp3
8. Back Here Again mp3
9. Ready to Live mp3
10. Ready to Live Raw Funk mp3
11. A Good Dream mp3
12. Before You Know mp3
13. This Morning, Your Sorrow mp3