Playlist: Golden Country Funk

Graham LeBron
02 13, 2015

Back in the early 2000s, a friend of a friend by the name of Sam Grawe gave me a lovingly curated CDR entitled Country Funk. Mix CDs were still a fairly new thing and actually required some effort before iTunes came around. This one for sure had taken some time. It had graphics made in photoshop and printed out in color with a cool western font and a lovingly curated playlist of songs clearly ripped from vinyl. I mean, you could even hear the pops on some of them! I treasured it because it introduced me to a sound I realized I’d always liked but had never been able to articulate. It was the reason why I only liked certain songs by a country or rock band, because I liked the ones that were funky. I’ve spent the last decade or so tracking as many of those songs down on vinyl as I could, and I discovered quite a few gems of my own along the way.

When Light in the Attic released their first Country Funk compilation in 2012, I suppose I wasn’t surprised, it seemed likely that other folks would appreciate this stuff as I much as I had. I wondered if maybe that friend had a hand in the release or curation. He’s not listed in the liner notes, but I’d still like to think somehow he was a part of the inspiration.

Clearly, people are into this stuff, because they released Volume 2 last year.

There is one big difference between that original compilation and the Light In The Attic ones. Sam's contains soul and funk acts that would skew country, while the LITA comps are pretty much just the funkier side of country and rock artists. I’ve had a lot of fun finding soul takes on country classics, like Ray Charles doing “Ring of Fire” and Candi Staton belting out “Stand by your Man.” This playlist contains some of the tracks from that original Country Funk comp and some of those gems I’ve discovered in my pursuit over the years. There are even some newer tracks by current artists like Steelism and Sturgill Simpson. Perhaps some of these will show up on Volume 3. Enjoy!

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