Fans of the slow-cooked funk and soul records labels such as the Numero Group and Light in the Attic have unearthed from musical basements and attics over the last decade-plus can rejoice once more with the arrival of the latest from Matador! Soul Sounds, “Theme for a Private Investigator”. The percussion from the first 10 seconds alone seems destined to become the stuff of legend among record heads and crate diggers (virtual and otherwise), while the composition casts its magic retro-minded spell with a mighty hook and uncompromising musicianship.
The song is the musical offspring of keyboardist Chris Spies, who recalls the tune’s origins. “A while back, I started recording songs in my studio that I was intentionally trying to make sound ‘vintage.’ I would come up with a goofy fake band name and add old record hiss and pops. Then, just to see people’s reactions, I’d upload them to funk 45 collector’s threads on Reddit and try to pass them off as old records I’d found at a flea market,” he recalls. “A couple of songs from this experiment made it on to the Matador record. When I was playing them to the guys, they just immediately felt the vibe and took it to a whole different level. Old television and movie theme songs were an early influence on me musically, and I wanted to make a theme song for a fictitious detective show, ala Magnum P.I.”
Spies, who grew up in Alabama began playing music at an early age, intrigued by the sounds he’d heard coming from nearby New Orleans. He moved there in 2011 and quickly became a staple of the city’s music scene, accumulating stage time with Russell Batiste, George Porter Jr., Papa Mali, Johnny Vidacovich and the group Good Enough For Good Times, featuring members of Galactic. In 2017 Spies had the honor of playing with the Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and The Terrapin Family Band for a benefit recording project. When not playing with Matador! Soul Sounds, he tours with the Honey Island Swamp Band.
The band issues a new full-length album, Get Ready, on 12 March with a new song arriving each week for six weeks ahead of the record’s official launch. Get Ready may be purchased here. #matadormonday