Project Motown: James Jamerson & The Funk Brothers
A little while ago I published a short audio test that I carried out whilst investigating a sound for Project Motown. While I've enjoyed Motown songs for years I wanted to get down to the nuts and bolts and write new songs in a way that's faithful to the Motown sound of the sixties and seventies. I also want to do this publicly so anyone who's interested can come along for the ride. It's a 'just-for-fun' project, i.e. there's no budget, but I'm open to conversations, lyrics, collaborations, remote recording if you have a particular talent, even fully formed songs if you have them. If (like me) you just want to understand more about the history of the Motown sound, then you are most welcome too.
After setting up a Twitter account for the project (@ProjectMotown) a well known Motown historian commented on what I'd done:
I was overjoyed! This is exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for. So, I basically have to channel James Jamerson? A bit of a challenge as he was a truly unique player, one of the Funk Brothers who formed the backing band on most of the well known Motown hits. I won't give a full history of Jamerson here but if you're interested his Wikipedia page is a pretty fascinating read:
A quick search gave me a starting point, Stevie Wonder's 'I Was Made To Love Her'.
Another recommendation from Adam in the form of The Four Tops' 'Bernadette' and I really started to get a feel for Jameson's style.
This afternoon I watched a documentary on The Funk Brothers, which gives a huge amount of info on Jamerson and everyone else in the group, as well as an insight into the playing styles of each musician. Well worth a watch!
Posts by Gareth Davies.