Bread & Butter, by the Jive Turkeys

by Stephen Rose on October 30, 2013

“Bread & Butter” is a 2009 instrumental release by the Jive Turkeys, a four-piece funk/soul combo from Oxford, Ohio. The band lines up like Booker T & the M.G.’s, and plays with the energy and enthusiasm of James Brown.

The Jive Turkeys are comprised of Matt Amburgy (organ), Terry Cole (bass), Andrew DeRoberts (guitar), and Rob Houk (drums). They got their start as rhythm section for a hip-hop/funk outfit called Soundscape.

Bread & Butter, has a vintage tone that makes it sound familiar yet completely original at the same time. One of the most melodic tracks is a relaxed groover called “Soul-Hi.” Another down-tempo number is “Stamp,” featuring psychedelic noodling by Andrew Roberts on guitar.

The album also contains several high-energy movers such as “Chicken Foot,” a guitar workout featuring Andrew DeRoberts; “Funky Turkey,” highlighted by a take-no-prisoners drum solo by Rob Houk; and “Straight Fire,” the first single ever cut by the band which features Matt Amburgy on organ.

Houk’s drumming and Terry Cole’s bass power the rhythm on several mid-tempo jams such as the intense “Funky Brewster;” the dance-beat of “JT Strut;” the explosive “Bill Collector,” and “B.A.,” another guitar showcase for Andrew DeRoberts.

Bread & Butter closes with the band showing off their blues chops on the final track “Otis Lament.”

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The Jive Turkeys record for Colemine Records, an independent label based in Middletown, Ohio. The company was founded in 2007 by Terry Cole (bassist for the Jive Turkeys). It specializes in 7″ funk/soul singles, and patterns itself after fellow independent labels such as Daptone, and Ubiquity.

Says Terry Cole, “We call ourselves the Jive Turkeys because we were a bunch of white kids playing the blackest music we could muster.”

They are part of a recent soul/funk resurgence which includes artists such as Amy Winehouse, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the Budos Band, Antibalas, Orgone, the Menahan Street Band, Nick Waterhouse, and Vintage Trouble.

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Soul music originated in the 1950s when artists such as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and James Brown combined gospel with rhythm and blues. Its popularity spawned several influential record labels including Motown, Stax, Malaco, and Hi Records.

In addition to the success enjoyed by soul vocalists, many soulful instrumental groups produced hits throughout the 1960s including “Green Onions (1962)” by Booker T. & the M.G.s; “Shotgun (1965)” by Junior Walker; “Grazing in the Grass (1968)” by Hugh Masekela; “Soulful Strut (1968)” by Young-Holt Unlimited; “Soul Serenade (1968)” by Willie Mitchell; and “Cissy Strut (1969)” by the Meters.

Several jazz artists also found success in the 1960s by incorporating soul into their music including “The Sidewinder (1963)” by Lee Morgan; “Cantaloupe Island (1964)” by Herbie Hancock; “Song for My Father (1964)” by Horace Silver; “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (1966)” by Cannonball Adderley; “The In Crowd (1965)” by Ramsey Lewis; and “Compared To What (1969)” by Les McCann and Eddie Harris.

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The Jive Turkeys cut two Christmas singles in 2010, “Get Down Santa,” and “Funky Jesus.”

In 2012, the Jive Turkeys collaborated with the horn section of the Monophonics to form the Tee See Connection. The resulting single was the atmospheric slab of soul “Black Mamba.”

 

 

Video

Show20 – Terry Cole Interview (2012)

Jive Turkeys – Straight Fire (2009)

Jive Turkeys (live 2009)

Jive Turkeys – Grimmin (2011)

Music

Jive Turkeys – B.A. (2009)

Jive Turkeys – The Funky Turkey (2009)

Jive Turkeys – Get Down Santa (2010)

Jive Turkeys – Funky Jesus (2010)

Tee See Connection – Black Mamba (2012)

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