[I’ll Give You a Break is a sporadic series of posts highlighting obscure (and not so obscure) breakbeats in unlikely places, so that they may be sampled by producers or just enjoyed for their own geeky purposes. NB: Don’t forget to clear all samples through the proper channels (cough).]
Amazingly, not one of my music-obsessed friends has ever extolled the virtues of San Francisco band Hot Tuna to me—and I’m old enough to have heard the band on the radio during their ’70s heyday. (Okay, there may have been one dude with whom I worked in the mid '80s who did, but I was probably too obsessed with Jesus & Mary Chain and Meat Puppets to pay him any heed.) My reluctance to listen to Hot Tuna partly derived from the band’s name and partly from apathy toward Jefferson Airplane offshoots; in retrospect, those reasons are flimsy. My bad, Jorma and Jack.
So I decided to make a concerted effort to get into Hot Tuna after a YouTube search randomly turned up the band’s “Funky #7” from 1975’s America’s Choice LP. I’m a total sucker for any song that has any variation of the word “funk” in it, so I checked out the clip. DAMN, people. I’ve been sleeping on a monster cut with a killer break for too many decades. Maybe you have, too.
Let’s assume that “Funky #7” is a tribute/nod to the James Gang’s “Funk #49”—perhaps Hot Tuna thought it was only 1/7 as good, although I would beg to differ. Anyway, listen up, people who make music out of samples: Dig the first 17 seconds of this tune and don’t forget to thank me in the credits of your next release. This is some sly shit that’s gonna make your track sizzle, dog.
Hot Tuna play an acoustic set at Triple Door Mon. Feb. 11.