Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Ray Gant & The Arabian Knights - Chattanooga Walk

A few weeks back, Brain blogged the Watson & the Sherlocks single on the Soulville label out of Harrisburg, PA. Now here's a record released on the sister imprint, Jay-Walking. Many of the labels' acts were from the Harrisburg area but several came from other parts of the country. Such is the case with Ray Gant, who may have been from Tennessee, although that bit of sleuthing could be limited to the title of his record. His backing band here could well have been locals though.

As you may have guessed, "Chattanooga Walk" is a dance record. Right away, you know you're in for a mover, with some groovy organ and a bit of funky guitar. Gant starts in,

"I was down in Tennessee about two weeks ago
They was doin' a dance I ain't never seen before
Chattanooga Walk is its name
All down south y'all, they all doin' the same"

Then, the chorus comes in, with female backing,

"Can you do it? (can you do it?)
Ain't nothin' to it (ain't nothin' to it)
Chattanooga Walk (yeah, Chattanooga Walk)
All right! (yeah, Chattanooga Walk)"

After another verse, Gant starts a spoken part on how he ran into a certain someone and showed him how to do the dance.

"Well I was down in Chattanooga, I ran acroos a guy I think y'all know
His initials is J.B. That's right, Mr. James Brown, lord have mercy
I had something up on him this time though
He asked me how I did my new dance called the Chattanooga Walk
And I showed him how, just like this here, ugh!
Lord have mercy, ugh!"

Here, I'm picturing Gant imparting his wisdom on Mr. J.B. It conjures up a picture - Gant doing some smooth moves and the Godfather of Soul taking it all in. Probably never happened but it's fun to think about.

The song is available on Get Hip's 2001 Soulful Sounds of Soulville compilation of records from the two labels.


Scott Soriano said...

Ohhhh friends! No mention of the flip. one of the best funky dark exotica tunes ever!!! It is on my long list of records to post, too. Flip that bitch over and give Nights some play!!!

Todd Lucas said...

Hey, your capsule review is undoubtedly better than anything I would have written anyway.