Sunday, November 18, 2007

Art Grayson and the Graysettes: Better Hush (Congress)

WOW! This record packs a whole lot of energy in only 1:30 minutes. It's one of those records that's over way too soon, but it's got enough groove in it to make you want to drop the stylus onto the groove and play it one more time. Todd has already featured this on the Everybody Dance mix he did a couple of months ago, but it's so great that we're going to feature it again. Plus, I'd like to thank Todd very much for hooking me up with a copy, one that's been making return visits to my turntable with quite a lot of frequency.

As par for the course, I couldn't find anything on Grayson or The Graysettes after doing a couple of Google searches. I believe this was comped on the "Downtown Soulville" CD several years ago. I'm pretty sure I first heard it there, but memory eludes me. All I know is that Congress is the same label that Shirley Ellis had three big hits on ("The Name Game," "The Clapping Song," "The Nitty Gritty") in the mid 60s.

Here's what you get for your minute and a half. The song opens with a brief chug on the guitar before bass, drums and organ kick in, followed by a girlie chorus singing "Hush! Hush!" The girls do this throughout the song as the band works itself up into a frenzy, playing a pure intense groove that hits you like an adrenaline rush. Meanwhile, Grayson's up there hollerin' and shoutin' to his baby to "Hush! Don't you say another word!" He's mad because she's lyin an' a-cheatin' and she stays out late, comes back in the morning trying to cut him straight. Hope you get the idea there. The record keeps this intensity up all the way to the slow fadeout at the end.

This is a record that hooks your ears and gets you out on the dance floor. It's a shame that the record is as short as it is, but what the hell. That's what putting it on "repeat" is for.


Todd Lucas said...

Definitely one of my favorite record finds of the year. Found two copies of it in the same box of records in an antique mall.

Cost: 25 cents each.

art said...

I just came across your excellent blog today via a link from Officenaps. Thanks for posting this Art Grayson 45, I have another one by him on the Hanna Barbera label called "When I Get Home". He's an excellent deep soul singer!