Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lakers Back in Mpls: Secret Stash Records Revue Takes Over First Ave

There’s a new juggernaut in town.  The Lakers dynasty is back in Minneapolis where it all started.  No, I’m not talking about that current bunch of bums also known as Kobe & Kompany.   No, I’m not even talking about the storied NBA franchise led by big George Mikan and Coach John Kundla that won 1 BAA, 1 NBL and 5 NBA titles in Minneapolis before moving to Los Angeles in 1961.   What I’m talkin’ ‘bout Willis is none other than Secret Stash Records Sonny Knight and the Lakers who along with their stable mates took over and then blew the roof off the house that Prince built, First Ave, in downtown Minneapolis last Knight. 

I had been a little depressed lately about the state of soul music in this country.  With the exception of the great Billy Price/Otis Clay cd project, “This Time for Real”, that came out in May things had been pretty bleak in the world of soul music.  Doesn’t seem like a week goes by that I don’t read of the passing of another one of my soul idols like most recently Don Covay and Mighty Sam McClain.  That’s what makes this story so sweet and why one Sonny Knight, a formerly obscure survivor of the Twin Cities little known soul and funk scene of the 60s and 70s, at the age of 67 and at the zenith of his career, the happiest man on earth.  Pops may have sang “…when you’re smiling the whole world smiles with you…” but last Knight Sonny had them believing and smiling.

But first a little of the back story:

Twin cities drummer Eric Goss,  who along with Cory Wong founded Secret Stash Records, is my new hero (sorry Jimmy, but Eric if you read this please give Mr. Litwin a call).  Move over Scott Bomar and the Bo-Keys there’s a new man (band) in town.  (That one’s for Mighty Sam.)

to be continued

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