Rebirth…

Hello, kiddies.

This is the last stand… a swan song if you will, for I’ve packed my bags once and for all. After careful consideration of all the options, I made the decision to uproot and move to a new patch of cyber real estate. I’ve finally streamlined the process for a more user friendly experience and a much more attractive feel. There’s still lots of unpacking and such to accomplish, but I hope to do the ribbon cutting in a few weeks. Everything must be perfect. I can’t wait til it’s finished.

But for now, the show must go on… and it would still behoove you to keep watching this space.

This past Sunday proved to be the most fruitful surprise I could ever hope for. I was able to connect some very important dots that will possibly result in my one and only dream coming true once and for all.

The first thing to do is once and for all make my “presence” known on social media. That will happen with lots and lots of prerequisites. Then comes the painstaking task of once and for all restructuring my vinyl and virtual crates because the kit has to grow. I discovered that it’s not so necessary to sweat over being a purist at this point because the primary objective is to fill floors and rebuild my name in sticks.

With that said, indulge me in giving some shoutouts: first and foremost to the crew at The Gathering whose venture could prove to have lasting effects on the culture of my fair city. If you are anywhere in the Baltimore area this weekend, please pay a visit to the world famous M&T Bank Stadium and check out the taste of three cities culinary battle, simply put, a battle of the food trucks. 50 participants from Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. vying for the title. Let’s not forget the music lineup, headlined by the Easy Star All Stars! A splendid family friendly time is guaranteed to be had by all. For info, visit thegatheringbaltimore.com Tickets for the affair can be purchased here…

Next, one for my esteemed mixcloud colleague Tarik Thornton, and because he knows Joe Kopasek, HUGE shoutouts to him as well… and a extra loud shoutout to Cornflake Hill for letting me take the stand for an hour to share this mixtape with all of the folks who gathered at my best friend’s crib on that wonderful Sunday night. In my eyes, it was a magical evening.

Fufu Funk Fix No. 12 by The Soul Chef's Fufu Stew on Mixcloud

Along with all these new changes come greater responsibility. From now on, mixes will be made available exclusively using the Mixcloud platform. This will forever eliminate the need to fear hearing from the health department, and hopefully give a little something back to those who were kind enough to make the music that I have shared over the years…

This is the start of something big. For all intents and purposes, I am a perfectionist. I have to be that way now. This opportunity will not slip through my fingers like sand without a fight. I’ve worked too hard…

And now for the big finish, because the possibilities are endless at this point. I’m also looking to put my toe in the pool of podcasting. potentially taking the fufu stew brand to new heights. I will reach out to all of my old friends in the hope that they may want to participate. I’ll give out more info on that endeavour real soon but for now I must move on to the next phase. With that said, thanks one and all for making the last seven years a real learning experience. I will see you all on the other side of the job but until then as always, have fun(k), and please be safe.

Peace and blessings.

“Like the phoenix coming back from the ashes, I know what’s good and I know what trash is…” -Martin Fry, et al

Twentyodd Fourteen…

Hello, kiddies.

Yes, yes, I know… in the fight between real life and updating this space, real life has taken a commanding lead, so much so that I didn’t even notice it. In response to the comment left by santos curser, let’s begin with the most important piece of news: Another host server has gone the way of the dinosaur, thanks to the health department swooping in and shutting it down without warning. That truly sucks for me because I lost some prime shit that I’ll never recover, namely all the mixes I did dating back back to late 2010! Additionally, if you recall from last year’s opening post where I mentioned the damage I suffered when I lost an entire hard drive full of 45 rips to a bad click of the mouse, then you see the dilemma I face now. I want so bad to start from scratch, so that is the way I will start Twentyodd Fourteen. Happy anniversary to me, I suppose.

I am building a new site slowly but surely, but I haven’t decided how to go about restoring the hours and hours of mixes that made this blog so much fun for all of you to visit. The first order of business is to find a new server. I don’t see too many safe options on the horizon at this point because I refuse to play the cat and mouse game with the health department, but I do want to continue to share the fruits of my passion for mixtape creation with all of you. As it stands now, mixcloud will have to do unless something better comes along, or if I run across a windfall of cash. I will remain true to my word and never ask for or accept monetary donations, so at best, it will take some time.

The second order of business is to go about making new rips of the vinyl that I lost. Thankfully I still have the records, and even more so, I was blessed with two new sound cards that have more or less replaced my old method of ripping to a component CD writer. I was resisting the change because I found sound cards to lack a certain quality that only a component CD writer could obtain, but since both of my 10-year-old-plus writers took the inevitable shit at the same time, I was forced to accept the change after wearing out my legs from kicking and my lungs from screaming. I did some test runs with a few LPs that sound pretty good, especially after I applied higher bit and sample rates to them, so I feel comfortable with doing the same to my precious 45s. Again, it’s gonna take some time which is still at an all time low, but I will remain as vigilant as I can. As far as the old mixes go, some of them still exist on another drive so they may resurface at some point, but for now I have to hit the ground running and start anew.

In closing, I want to thank each and every one of you once again for all of your continued patience and patronage. I do plan to keep the fufu train rolling as long as I possibly can in one form or another so watch this space, or more important, follow me on mixclouduntil I can get my shit together. If you really want a mix re-upped, leave a comment and we’ll sort something out. Best wishes to all of you for 2014, have fun(k), and as always, please be safe.

Peace and blessings.

Where do I go from here, really..?

Hello, kiddies.

I have an obligation to all of you who “dared to click the link” at least once over the last five years… Just like most of my colleagues have done for many and various reasons, I had to take the hiatus that I did. Twenty odd eleven has certainly been one for the record books for a lot of us. I don’t have to go into the specifics, as most of this year’s tragic events are probably as fresh in our minds now as they were when they first happened. Personally, it’s been a real rollercoaster of a year to say the very least… when last I posted for Mr. Grogan’s Soul Club, I had no idea it would take a whopping six months to come back. I never expected it, and I certainly wished it didn’t happen the way it did, but sadly, it did.
As one would readily guess, most of the events leading up to the hiatus were rather heartbreaking, especially the loss of both of our beloved cats Indigo Girl and Bear. They were both well in their senior years, living to be fifteen, but they will forever be our “babies”. To be fair, we do see some significant light at the end of the tunnel, all things considered…
We finally relocated to our new digs in the city. The place is pretty cool in a relatively nice neighbourhood. The new “kitchen” is much larger than the old, although I am still going to have a great deal of difficulty getting all the excess records off of the floor. What’s good about that scenario however, is that I have been taking great care to actually listen to stuff that I hadn’t heard in at least fifteen years. I don’t know how else to segue into the crux of this multi-purpose post, which undoubtedly is the future of this here piece of cyber-style real estate.
What do I really do with it; it’s in such disarray, and most of the old posts that I said I was going to restore are for all intents and purposes beyond restoration… I’ve wrestled with this problem for months, leading up to this, the fifth birhtday of Fufu Stew, which truthfully, I really never thought that that would come to pass, much less, that the blog would have come relatively close to getting a half million hits in five years time. I know, it would have probably fared better if I kept at it and posted a little more regularly, but as I always say, real life is a mother!
I admit, I set my expectation level real low when I first started. Looking back on it all, I really never dreamed that I would have come this far, meeting many great people from literally every corner of the earth, learning so much about the obsession of cratedigging and the fruits that result. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to each and every blogger whose sites I have visited, to each and every blogger that has been so kind as to include me as a part of their blogroll, to each and every blogger for their benevolence in sharing the fruits of their digging… It all goes a very long way, and needless to say, you all will forever have my respect, admiration and above all else, appreciation for everything you have done to help make the last five years of my life mean something from a creative standpoint.
More on that later, but for now, I must go ahead and start the blog over again from scratch. All of the original posts prior to mixcloud will disappear as I work on the new design. Most likely they will be redone, at least the better ones will at any rate. When it does shake out, and believe me, at some point it really will, I know that besides looking a hell of a lot neater, the browsing experience will be a lot better overall. As far as the path I intend to take, I have but one simple premise: I will always like making mixtapes. In fact, it’s about the only way I listen to music anymore. Ever since 1983, and that first cassette I got from an old friend, I tried hard to recreate that experience, over and over, leaving absolutely no stone unturned. With all those years of trial and error, I finally feel that I have achieved a personal goal. As always, I am proud to be able to share them with one and all as best I can, and as much as the apparent law will allow. One of my wife’s colleagues call it “paying it forward”. Some call it “share and share alike”. Whatever one wishes to call it, the end result is that the Fufu train will continue to chug along… with that said, the new pahse will leave me free to continue my love of making mixtapes. Period. From this point forward, the rules are there are no rules.
and now for the closing commentary…
Twenty odd twelve is here. I am so glad to see 2011 disappear in the rear view mirror, you just don’t know how much. I still hold true to my one and only resolution for the new year, and that’s to try and make it better than the last year.  The most I can do is the best I can. I want to take these final fleeting moments to wish you all the best for a prosperous new year full of good health, happiness, a good degree of security, and most of all, SOUL! As always, whatever you do, be sure to do it good, and please be safe doing it. I can’t wait to get started, with a little luck, the reconstruction will commence on Wednesday. Real life will always take precedent, but I will always try to use my spare time wisely. Til the next time…

Peace and blessings.

An important message…

Hello, kiddies.

The time has come… Things will be a bit askew for a few weeks. It may be slow going, but the end result will be a much better experience for all of us. If for some reason you dig into the archive, pantry if you will, you may find the cupboard bare for a little while. I had to kill a bunch of old links because I could no longer afford to keep them active; chances are, some of the lesser viewed posts will fall by the wayside in an attempt to tidy up the place. This primarily affects the posts prior to 2009, but a few current posts may also be affected. Money’s funny, and digging trips have been put on hold for some months now. I gotta do what I gotta do, and I am sure all of you are doing the same. It’s all I can do anymore. I know that the midterm elections may have disappointed most of you. I am afraid, but not down for the count. I will be back up and running as soon as I can, but in the meantime, if you really want a particular post to be re-upped, just leave a comment in the appropriate post and I will do my best to upload it fast. For those of you who I did guest mixes, I will do my best to upload those sooner.

As far as current business goes, I do have lots of things in store. I just need a little more time. As always, thanks to all of you for your continued patience and patronage as I continue to get my shit together, and I’ll be back as soon as I can.

Peace and blessings.

Stand Up! (including another soapbox moment)

Disclaimer:

The views expressed in this post do not represent those of anyone but me. I am safe in the knowledge that most of you will probably agree with what I have to say to varying degrees, so I am not particularly worried. However, I must make sure that everyone knows that I am speaking on my own behalf… and my wife too. She shares the same sentiment and was instrumental in raising my awareness level of the fact that America has not been altogether right since its inception, I mean invasion.

Hello, kiddies.

This post is a direct result of the events that have been taking place during the knock-down drag-out fight known as the midterm elections. There’s also a bit of irony that another round of midterm exams. Here in the states, we have been bombarded with an excessive amount of attack ads from both sides of the political fence. If you have been following the news lately, you are probably well aware of the ridiculous commentary provided by the new axis of evil… y’all should know of who I speak. Let’s see. Delaware… Arizona… Nevada… New York… Alaska… Kentucky… Ohio… shall I go on? All I know is that the future of this country is in doubt. I believe that if the states that I mention see a worst case scenario, then we are in huge trouble. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to live in the current American climate, and I sure as hell won’t pledge allegiance to its ideology. Last time I checked, we as a people were endowed certain unalienable rights, and from what I can see, those rights are slowly being taken away from us.

Remember: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

pure and simple…

All we can do to make our voice heard is to vote. My wife and I have already done so, thanks to the early voting option. In Maryland there is a growing consensus that says early voting is the way to go, so I urge each and every one of you who feels as though their rights are in jeopardy to vote too. With only one week left before the midterm elections come to a close, it is absolutely vital that we all do our part. Of course, I offered a bit of motivation in the form of a full collection of soapbox moments taken from the usual resources. While some of the commentary contained within these tunes may seem dated, it certainly has enough relevance to today’s situation. The idea is to not let these evil people take a hold of our government so that we can restore the peaceful and serene atmosphere that was here when the original citizens of this place were here back in the day. Regardless of where you may live in the world, the sentiment should still speak volumes. The mighty Barack Obama proclaimed that it was time for a change, and I am in full agreement. And it has absolutely nothing to do with my party affiliation either, it’s just plain common sense. Now more than ever, that is the key. Failure is not an option. I am not going to say “yes we can”. I have to say YES WE MUST!

as always, you can listen on-demand at mixcloud.

01 Who’s Gonna Take The Weight Part 1-Kool & The Gang (De-Lite)
02 Underground-Curtis Mayfield (Curtom)
03 Who You Gonna Blame-Fontella Bass (Paula)
04 Time For A Change-The Eight Minutes (Jay Pee)
05 New Vibrations-Voices Of East Harlem (Just Sunshine)
06 What The World Needs Now Is Love-Vicky Anderson (King)
07 Love Attack-The Persuaders (Atco)
08 Freedom-Isley Brothers (T Neck)
09 Stoned Love-The Supremes (Motown)
10 We’re Rolling On Pt. 1-The Impressions (ABC)
11 World War Three-Barbara Mason (Buddah)
12 Stop The War Now-Edwin Starr (Gordy)
13 You Can Have Watergate, But Give Me Some Bucks And I’ll Be Straight-The JB’s (People)
14 It’s A Groovy World-The Unifics (Kapp)
15 Give A Damn Pt. 1-Benny Gordon (Estill)
16 The Seed-Rare Earth (Rare Earth)
17 Save The Country-Fifth Dimension (Bell)
18 Turn On Tune In Drop Out-The Brothers Three (T Neck)
19 People Are Changing-Timmy Thomas (Glades)
20 I Am Somebody Pt. 2-Johnnie Taylor (Stax)
21 Freedom Blues-Little Richard (Reprise)
22 We The People Pt. 1-Soul Searchers (Sussex)
23 Everybody Walking Together-Prophecy (All Platinum)
24 Pass It On Pts. 1&2-Pieces Of Peace (Twinight/Numero)
25 An Open Letter To The President-Roy C (Alaga)
26 Mighty Mighty Children Pt. 1-Baby Huey & The Babysitters (Curtom)
27 Our Future?-Black Ivory (Today)
28 We’ve Got To Make A Change-Mickey & The Soul Generation (Funk 45 reissue)
29 What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes-Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings (Daptone)
30 Give Me Liberty Or  Give Me Death-The Salem Travelers (Checker)
31 Vote-Madhouse (Today)
32 Right On Right On-E. Rodney Jones (Westbound)

A big round of thanks to Heavy Weight Crates and the fearless leader Lafayette…

To all of you, thanks for your time. Have fun(k), please be safe, and to all my American brothers and sisters, please go out and vote.

Peace and blessings.

Happy Fall (including a 10-10-10 triple threat introduction)!

Hello, kiddies.

I haven’t done a rant and rave post in quite some time, so I guess I should say just a few things. the last eight weeks has been a little rough. I do have a clean bill of health, courtesy of some fine doctors who I paid a visit not too long ago, and my records. I wish I could say the same for my poor truck; I’ve been forced to walk and catch buses to get back and forth. It’s good for maintaining my good health, sure, and it has given me a golden opportunity to use my iPod extensively, but I now understand the importance and value of having a working vehicle. So since I had not too much else to think about, I started to play a lot of stuff which somehow miraculously turned into the triple threat that I will present to you shortly.

Before I begin this triple threat, I wanted to first of all inform you that I am still making a few necessary changes. I continue to procrastinate and make slow progress, if none at all, but I have a means with which to practise my html skills (the third year of college started Monday). Maybe I’ll get that fire lit under my ass and get it done once and for all. I’ll see how well that shakes out, but for now, it’s business as usual. I also want to let you know that I have been experiencing some issues with MediaFire that, if not for the mighty Norton Internet Security program, would have totally put me out of business. I hope to have those issues resolved soon as well. Anyway, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road, why don’t we…

Happy Winter (including a special holiday triple threat)

Hello, kiddies.

Welcome once again to Winter (at least here on the right coast)… We’ll see how it goes. With all new heating appliances recently installed, it should actually be quite efficient where the pocketbook is concerned… and as I have said so many times before, winter also means another hella hectic holidaze (dusting off the Grinch gear)

I intend to make the best of it, including another birthday celebration in a little over a week.

Now this is gonna be another one of those huge posts, complete with not one but THREE new offerings to get you through just like I promised. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to do a Thanksgiving special this time (what is that thing they call “real life issues” anyway), but consider this a special holiday triple threat nonetheless. Come hungry and read on…

First up is another super-sized helping from my friend Tony C. I really can’t call him a guest this time though, because as the long-standing tradition in my family’s respective households goes, once you’ve visited us more than three times, you’ve become a member of the family with most of the perks that go with it. Help yourself as it were. Drop in anytime and all that. Tony did indeed drop by.

Hello, Firstly many thanks to Vincent for allowing me back into the new and improved Soul Kitchen. This latest mix is one that I thought about in the Summer when the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon landings were being acknowledged and it has taken me until now to get it sorted. ‘Real life issues’ as they say in (the blogisphere)… and you ain’t never lied, Tony… we’re all feeling that. Anyway here is “Space: The Vinyl Frontier!!”, an eclectic mix of Cosmic tunes and Voices. Enjoy!!

Cheers Tony C.

Please download and enjoy Space: The Vinyl Frontier!!, 94 MB. As always, it’s a pleasure to have you drop by with the heat, Tony. Much respect.

That’s the first one…

The next one is a little something I finished yesterday, not necessarily on the fly. As you all should know, this month marked the fifth anniversary of everybody’s favourite Soul museum, the legendary Funky 16 Corners… Well, I’d say about four years ago was the first time I ever visited when volume twelve of the radio podcast series first dropped. Check out the archive if you need a refresher. It was then that I was forever hooked… on the blog… and on the mighty Hammond. With that said, here’s my tribute to both… Yep, that’s right, another collection of mega-groovy organ-type workouts that have in some cases, been in the pantry for many, many years.

01 Also Sprach Zarathustra-Rhoda Scott

02 Tomorrow Is The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life (from Salvation) (excerpt)-The Free Design

03 Turtle Walk-Lou Donaldson

04 Comin’ Home Baby-El Chicano

05 Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf-The Graham Bond Organisation

06 Good Groove-Booker T & The MG’s

07 Organ Blower-Keith Mansfield/Alan Hawkshaw

08 Don’t Touch My Popcorn-Diplomats Of Solid Sound

09 The Commerce Thang-Chamber Of Commerce

10 Sock It To Me-The Deacons

11 Pygmy-The Delegates

12 Soul Circle-Spot & The Blotters

13 Tippi Toes-The Meters

14 I Know Who You Been Socking It To-Dave Cortez

15 Kiko-Jimmy McGriff

16 This Little Girl Of Mine-The Peddlers

17 Spill The Wine-Jimmy Smith

18 Sahara ’72-The Bobby Hughes Experience

19 There You Go-Fania All Stars

20 The Greasy Spoon-Hank Marr

21 Chalito Pt. 1-The Three J’s

22 Hot Funky And Sweaty-The Soul Lifters

23 Soul Zone ’65-Googie Rene

Please also download More Organic Fufu, 95 MB.

I ain’t done yet…

Here’s one that was really, really done on-the fly about two weeks ago. This time, the premise was a rather fast-paced collection of hodgepodge. It really feels good when I slap this one in the truck and put the pedal to the floor (at least when the authorities ain’t lookin’)… If you’ve got a need for speed and a lead foot like I do, then I think you’ll dig this thing that I call


01 Move Move Move-Alan Parker-Alan Hawkshaw

02 What Would It Be Like Pt. 2-Freddie Wilson

03 My Mind set Me Free Pts. 1&2-The Houseguests

04 Heavy Heavy Heavy-Geraldo Pino

05 You Got It All-City Council, LTD

06 Don’t Let Go-The Graham Bond Organisation

07 The Love Bounce-Johnny Cool

08 Let’s Do That Thing-Flip Flop Stevens

09 Soul Poppin’-Johnny Jones & The King Casuals

10 Tighten Up Tighter-Roosevelt Matthews

11 Solid Funk-Flame & The Sons Of Darkness

12 Blow Your Top-The Soul Destroyers

13 Speedway-Nick Ingman

14 There Was-The Naturall Band

15 Take Five-Kashmere Stage Band

16 Hardheaded Woman-US Warren

17 Banana Fana-The Jaguars

18 Nothin’ But A Party Pt. 2-The Blenders

19 The Mystery Track???

20 Jenkins Got A Funky Thing-The Cal Jenkins Revue

21 Shake What Your Momma Gave You-Allison & Calvin Turner

22 Hugh’s Hefner-Diplomats Of Solid Sound

23 Boogaloo Investigator-The Exotics

24 Too Many Fish In The Sea-Earl Van Dyke

25 Noise With The Boys-Al White & The Highlighters

Please download and enjoy Speed Freaks too, 94 MB.

Whew! That was a mouthful to say the least. Now my truck is satisfied, and I hope that you are too. I’m gonna commence to prepare to get ready for Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidaze now. I did give Sandy Claw my wish list though, not that it’s any surprise what I asked for :D I’ve got another three weeks to get through in this term, and then I can start thinking about the third anniversary of my little corner of the bolgisphere. For those of you with Thanksgiving plans, be sure to eat a lot first of all… Have a great day, and whatever you do, do it good. And even if Thanksgiving isn’t in your scheme of things to do this Thursday… as long as you have health, happiness and friends to share a good day, then my wishes for you all have come true. Last thought:

“Smoke steams from under the lid that’s on the pot,
ain’t never had a lot but thankful for the little that I got…”

– Cee-Lo Green, 1994

Have a good week full of fun(k), and as always, please be safe.

Peace and blessings.

P.S. To everyone who lent a hand this time, I give a BIG round of thanks and much respect. Any thoughts, kids??? I’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for your continued patronage.