Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back On The Right Track

6ix : I'm Just Like You
Little Sister : Stanga
Both available on
What It Is!: Funky Soul And Rare Grooves (Rhino, 2006)

Sly & The Family Stone : Spaced Cowboy
There's A Riot Goin' On (Epic, 1971)

Some says Sly was helped by his friend Buddy Miles when he begun to produce Abaco Dream, Joe Hicks, Little Sister and 6ix in his own label Stone Flower. Some LPs released in the early 70s will announce a new direction for the Family Stone and in particular by the using of the drum machine.

Sly appreciated a lot the country-soul fusion he heard on Harlan County's Jim Ford album released in 1969. I'm Just Like You, a rare Sly Stone song under 6ix pseudonym, is probably a good exemple. I'm Just Like You is like a "missing link" between Stanga and Spaced Cowboy.

"The third, "Life and Death in G & A," was a minor Sly composition recorded by Joe Hicks and has been out of print for almost 35 years. And the last was "I'm Just Like You," credited to 6ix, which reappeared in 2004 on a British rare-funk compilation, Funk Drops 3. 6ix, it turns out, is obviously Stone by himself, from the period when he was recording 1971's There's a Riot Goin' On: wah-wah guitar, a primitive drum machine tapping and hissing, a bass line that he later reworked for "If You Want Me to Stay," and Sly half- swallowing his own voice the way he did on Riot tracks like "Poet." The lyrics, at least as far as they're possible to make out, seem to be Stone expressing guarded sympathy with his confused audience. It's a trivial song—self-consciously trivial—but it's a Sly Stone song, from the period of his deepest, best music. There aren't going to be more like it."

By Douglas Wolk for Seattle Weekly



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