"What’s Going On? Everything Soul is New Again"
The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker: Can You Feel It?
From Kaboom! (Outta Sight Records, 2007)
This is extract from a title of NY Times article from February 2007. Says loud and clear: soul music is making a formidable comeback. “More than at any time in recent memory, soul music’s pressing syncopation and stirring hollers are churning within the popular mainstream.”
If the first attention-grabbing horn lines of The Dynamites album Kaboom! evoke a dramatic curtain call from a late ‘60s funk concert at the Apollo Theater, it’s no accident. After all, that’s exactly where Charles Walker, the band’s singer and front man, first cut his teeth as a performer. When the revolutionary ‘new bag’ now known as funk first made the scene, Walker was right there in the thick of it, opening for the likes of James Brown, Etta James, and Wilson Pickett, and imbibing himself in a cultural movement’s genesis.
Walker recorded on many of the most reputed soul labels of the era, including Champion, Chess and Decca. In the early ‘60s, his group ‘Little Charles and the Sidewinders’ became one of the hottest acts on the New York club scene. All this, combined with his Tennessee upbringing, made Walker a natural to be included in the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Night Train to Nashville exhibit. As Doyle Davis, now The Dynamites’ manager, milled through the exhibit, curator Michael Gray raved about Walker’s recent performance at an event promoting the exhibit’s Night Train to Nashville release on Lost Highway Records. Davis knew then and there that he’d found the singer that Bill Elder, The Dynamites’ founder, had been searching for. The rest is history.