Oakland guitar ace Eugene Blacknell released multiple singles that ranged in style from raw r'n'b to power house funk. His musical career stretched from the early 1960s to the end of the 1980s and during that time he established himself as an East Bay original, an entrepreneur, an activist, and a family man. With so many accomplishments it's an irony of fate that he died before releasing an album despite having recorded enough material for several. This will be the first official Eugene Blacknell album, and the story of a Bay Area legend.
Check out the video here:
Here is the bio on the MySpace set up by Luv 'N Haight dedicated to to Eugene Blacknell:
Oakland guitar ace Eugene Blacknell released multiple singles that ranged in style from raw r'n'b to power house funk. His musical career stretched from the early 1960s to the end of the 1980s and during that time he established himself as an East Bay original, an entrepreneur, an activist, and in addition he was a true family man. With so many accomplishments it’s an irony of fate that he died before releasing an album despite having recorded enough material for several.As a kid he dressed sharply and drove a pink and black finned-car to school. His tunes were already getting radio play and he would become the youngest musician from the Bay Area to play the Apollo in New York. He opened doors for other African American musicians with his efforts to make sure his band was paid a fair wage and by breaking into the San Francisco club circuit. His ability to cross-over from r'n'b to blues, funk and soul put him at head of the Bay Area scene and he was often compared to the likes of Albert and BB King. He liked loud and fast cars and chopper bikes, hung with Larry Graham and Sly Stone, played for Marvin Gaye when he came through San Francisco, and is remembered by those who knew him as a stand-up businessman and an amazing musician.Without an album, which would have cemented his recordings in the most accessible format, his legacy has been kept alive by way of the stories past on from musicians lucky enough to work with Blacknell. In addition his tracks released on 7" singles have been sampled by many, most notably Beck (We Know We Have Got to Live Together” was used on “Black Tambourine.”) His singles have become DJ-favorites with the rarest fetching top dollars on the collector circuit.
Ubiquity/Luv N'Haight worked with Gino Blacknell (Eugene's son, himself a producer and member of the New Breed) to compile information, images and music. Gino dug up old master tapes to make improved mixes on several tracks. This compilation is made up of his super rare early releases as Eugene Blacknell and the Savonics, the highly sought after raw instrumental funk as Eugene Blacknell and the New Breed, his party-style vocal tracks, and a host of unreleased material including advertisements recorded to promote live shows on the radio, live recordings, and both vocal and instrumental studio cuts. Fans of Bay Area Funk will recognize the different musical periods that Blacknell goes through with comparisons ranging from acts like Johnny Talbot and Tower of Power to Sly Stone and Graham Central Station.The CD and LP booklet (plus downloadable pdf) include rare pictures and a complete history by way of interviews with his widow, band members, and Bay Area notables. Interviews with Widow Lillie Blacknell, and drummer Curtis Moore, will be made available as a stream and podcast in the weeks leading up to the album release. Rare band footage was recently discovered and may well surface via youtube or myspace.With 25 tracks in total this is the official Eugene Blacknell debut album, and the story of a musical prodigy who became a Bay Area soul, funk and blues legend.
The CD is released on 11th September.