Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mother's Finest

I ask you to indulge me for a bit while I tell a small story. In the mid-80s myself and a few good friends went to a concert in town headlined by Humble Pie. Now I was a die-hard long time loyal show attendee type Humble Pie fan. Couldn't wait to see Steve Marriott and the boys blow the place apart. Well I was in for a disappointment. It was the later days of Humble Pie, Steve Marriott looked to be in poor health, voice weak, movements stiff. The show,needless to say, was less than stellar. My heart was broken to see a rock warrior on his last legs. Consequently, the opening band literally blew them off the stage. They were so good, they would have killed no matter who was headlining. I became an instant fan of this band. They were and are called Mother's Finest.

They are what can be most accurately called a rock-funk band with heavy overtones. Riff-heavy and soulful at the same time,they are a phenomenal stage act.
Formed in Atlanta,Georgia by Glenn Murdock and Joyce Kennedy, the original line-up was rounded out with Gary "Moses" Moore on guitar, drummer B.B. Queen, Gary "Wyzard" Seay on bass and Mike Keck on keyboards. Their debut album,Mother's Finest contained a song called "Niggizz Can't Sing Rock And Roll", an ironic song with a title controversial enough to attract the attenton of certain religious leaders,whose outcry led the band to drop it from their shows.The album is a collector's item.

They opened for the Who on their 1976 tour and got raves from the rock press. The band were guests on the German tv show Rockpalast and from that one oncert established a cult status in Europe that lasts to this day. With all  this rock acclaim, the singles released by the band,among them "Baby Love","Fire", "Love Changes" and "Piece Of The Rock" charted only on the R'n'B charts.

In the late 70s the band turned to  a more soul-oriented approach, while the 80s saw them return to a harder edge, most notably on the magnificent album Iron Age (their best, in my opinion).This trend held with the 90s release Black Radio Won't Play This Record (tragically, truer words were never spoken).  In 2004 their release Meta-Funkin-Physical introduced hip-hop and electronica into the mix.
In an anywhere near perfect world, Mother's Finest would be in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and would be enjoying U.S. acclaim. As it is, they are a criminally under-appreciated

Many personnel changes later, The band, with original members Kennedy,Murdock,Moore and Seay still tour to this day.

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