Although it’s easy to assume Seattle’s music history started with grunge, the truth is – like most things – far deeper. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, in fact, Seattle was home to one of the country’s most vibrant funk and soul scenes, an extension of the community that birthed Jimi Hendrix and Quincy Jones, and gave Ray Charles an early home.
In 2004, Light in the Attic released Wheedle’s Groove: Seattle’s Finest in Funk & Soul 1965-1975, a compilation of the best from the mostly-forgotten artists of that time. A live reunion show to celebrate that release has inspired a film and a followup project, featuring new tracks by the original artists recorded by the man known as “the George Martin of the Northwest Sound,” 80 year old Kearney Barton. The album is named for him, too.
Kearney Barton is full of must-hear stuff, but none more so than the cover that bridges the gap between Seattle’s two histories: Pastor Pat Wright (formerly known as Patrinell Staten) and her Total Experience Gospel Choir, covering Soundgarden’s “Jesus Christ Pose.” It’s streaming below for one week only as a glorious example of the power of interpretation. As a grunge lifer who never imagined this song without Chris Cornell’s hairy, strafing wail, I personally think this is pretty cool. Give a listen, and let us know what you think in the comments.
[Due to the magic of publishing rights issues, this mp3 no longer exists on this site. Hopefully, you can find it elsewhere. Or buy the record!]