James Brown has a song called “I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)”. It’s fantastic. We’ve loved it for a long time. In fact, we nearly covered it way back in our high school days, when my brother was our saxophone player, and the keyboardist from our local version of Marty Culp* sat in with us. The pocket is just ridiculous. Listen:
*He was so much more, though. He had a van outfitted with a PA system, so when local churches had fairs, he could park on the street and perform “On Broadway” and “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” with his wife. He played organ at the local Catholic church. He had a lot of soul for a middle aged white guy, and Wrall rescued his musical note suspenders from the dump when he moved to Florida. He added a lot to our band and we love the guy.
Recently, we discovered the James Brown singles series, Volume 5 of which features “I Can’t Stand Myself”. The exciting part of this series is not even the music, because we already have most of that.* There are liner notes from that amazing resource Alan Leeds, James’ tour manager in the ’60s and early ’70s. He knows a heck of a lot about this stuff and can shed light on a lot of murky subjects. One murky area has always been The Dapps, the all white funk group that James “discovered”. Well, it turns out they play uncredited on this song, bringing hope to white soul musicians everywhere.
*Except the copious instrumental “singles” featuring James’ off key organ solos. Very entertaining in small doses; not so amazing for extended periods.
Well, there is one more thing that’s great about The Dapps: their guitarist plays the same guitar as me, color and all. It’s a fairly rare finish, so I couldn’t be more excited. Check it out: