Thursday, October 06, 2011

King Errisson

Legendary Motown guitarist Dennis Coffey is featured in a recent issue of Wax Poetics magazine,(#47, EWF) talking about some of the recordings he worked on over the years, including releases for Rare Earth, Edwin Starr, Wilson Pickett, The Parliaments, and Rodriguez (the fantastic Cold Fact album, reissued by Light In The Attic).

One record Coffey talks about caught my eye. The Magic Man by King Errisson came out on Westbound in 1976. Coffey says that Errisson "got discovered because he was in one of those James Bond movies [Thunderball]... playing the congas, and that is what led to his eventually getting a deal with  Westbound."

Coffey recorded the album with Errisson in Detroit and LA; his approach to the record was "we built it around King Errisson, so we put the conga at the centre of it. However, what I think really took it up a level was that we had Robert Greenidge on the steel drum. We also had a lot of weird percussion instruments from Asia that we used on that record, so that helped give it a unique feel."

Coffey says that since that record, Errisson went on to be Neil Diamond's percussionist for many years. I managed to track down a copy of the record, it's a marvellously funky collection, with the added bonus of steel drum. Imagine one of Dennis Coffey's groove-ridden jams with steel drums and you're on the way.  Digging it a lot.

2006 interview with King Errisson: He stands behind the star and is proud of it (USA Today)

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