Dutch Rhythm Steel and Show Band: Down By the River.
From Soul Steel and Show (Negram 197?)
Ok - this is a little self-serving since this song is featured on my Deep Covers Mix-CD, with the not so-subliminal message being: COP MY SH*T!. That said, this song is just too good to keep hidden. It's a steel drum band cover of Neil Young's "Down by the River" and it is amazing. Funky, soulful and with such depth and power that I never, ever get tired of listening to it. My friend Dave Tompkins put me up on this via a radio interview he had recorded feat. DJ Shadow on some European radio show, where they played this. Truly awesome.
Myryam's Quintette: Solo Quintette
From Discotheque '71 (Syllart, 2000)
I first heard this song at KALX FM when the station got the CD in. This is taken from a compilation of Guinean pop songs from the early '70s (part of a larger series where a new comp was issued every year between 1970 to at least 1976). I appreciate how funky "Solo Quintette" is but not in a really obvious or force manner - that string melody doubles as a rhythm track too and the lo-fi drums give the song a sharp kick. Yet, the interplay with the other strings give this some melodic complexity and the song manages to appeal to both ear and ass. I've always wanted to spin this cut out. Also, it sounds like the sample for Motion Man's "Mo Like Flows On," but that's neither here nor there.