The ongoing “Wheedle’s Groove” project, devoted to the rediscovery of Seattle’s funk, soul and disco scenes from the 1960s onward, celebrates the release of its second volume, “Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle Funk, Modern Soul & Boogie: Volume II 1972-1987,” with a presentation on Wednesday, July 23, at The Project Room (1315 E. Pine St.), starting at 7 p.m.
The presentation, from North Seattle-based Light in the Attic Records (which has a store in Ballard at 913 N.W. 50th St.), features local writer and editor Jonathan Zwickel, who wrote the liner notes to the new package.
Several musicians who played on it, will also be on hand, including drummer Robbie Hill from Robbie Hill’s Family Affair, Tony Benton of electro-funk group Teleclere, Bernadette Bascom (“I Don’t Want to Lose Your Love”) and Frederick Robinson III (“Love One Another”).
According to Pat Thomas, head of artists management at Light in the Attic Records, the Family Affair song “Don’t Give Up,” which closes the new collection, was recorded circa 1974 but not given a definitive mix until around 2010, when label representatives brought the tapes to Steve Fisk in Ballard.
Fisk, a longtime Seattle fixture who’s worked on records for Nirvana, Soundgarden and other prominent local bands, is also, according to Thomas, “a man who understands the richness of the 1970s.”
Fisk’s mixing “was wicked,” Thomas recalls. “Robbie Hill sat there with us and nearly wept, as he hadn’t heard that song in many decades.”
The first volume of the series, released in 2005, devoted itself to music from 1965 through 1975. The “Wheedle’s Groove” film devoted to a history of the scene, saw release in 2009. And some of the original musicians got back together for an album of fresh material, “Kearney Barton,” named for a legendary Seattle music engineer and also released in 2009.
The new volume, according to Thomas, goes further along in history and incorporates disco and electro-funk sounds.
Cleven Ticeson, a producer and post-production editor at Seattle’s KCTS-9, promoted the documentary film and was crucial in getting it incorporated into KCTS-9’s “Reel Northwest” series. But he also co-wrote and sings lead on one cut from the second CD collection, “Your Love Is Fine (Lovin’ Fine).” That song, recorded in 1976 and released in 1980, still brings a smile to Ticeson all these years later.
As to whether a third “Wheedle’s Groove” volume is in the offing, Thomas sounds exhausted but temporarily, at least, satisfied. “We are still catching our breath,” he says. “Call me in a year and I’ll let you know.”
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