Caught by the River

Jeb's Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 25th July 2014

7. something funky going on

Sumpin’ Funky Going On
Donnie Fritts


This is one of the records that, for me, started my record buying life. My real record buying life. A life that meant: dig deep for the good stuff.

When I was living in Texas in the 70’s, an unhappy teenager, I met Dan Del Santo. It was Dan that played me Tony Joe White, The Mighty Diamonds, Fela Kuti, Chief Ebenezer Obay, Dan Penn. It was Dan Del Santo that told me: Charlie Rich has never made a bad record. It was Dan Del Santo that played me The Mississippi Sheiks, The Prisonaires, Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolias . Dan Del Santo was into everything I wanted to be into. He had stacks of Conjunto records; he ate big and he lived big and he treated me with more interest and respect than I deserved. He said: I hate southern rock and Fleetwood Mac and Queen; and then he said: no, I don’t hate em, I just don’t listen to em. I don’t need em.

Dan Del Santo had a band who could, and did, casually switch between Otis Redding, Bob Marley, James Brown and Bob Wills, all in a single evening. All while Dan played guitar and sang like Fred Neil’s funky brother.

Years later I was a guest on his legendary World Beat radio show. I played two hours of reggae and gave him an Alton Ellis record he liked. He thanked me by saying, where ever I am, anywhere in the world, you got a roof over your head.

Dan Del Santo played me Donnie Fritts. He said listen to this and I did. I always did. He played the entire LP for me; he played Sumpin Funky Going On twice. God bless Muscle Shoals, he said. God bless Donnie Fritts.

I’ve been listening to this record all week. I’ve also been listening to Dan’s records. First one and then the other. Me and Dan and Donnie. Music I need.

God bless Dan Del Santo.

Jeb Loy Nichols
Jeb’s Jukebox archive

Jeb Loy Nichols will be among our guests at this weekend’s Port Eliot Festival.