While we’re all very sad at the death of Isaac Hayes, I feel like there’s a band that’s lived in his shadow for far too long, and that’s the Bar-Kays. In one incarnation or another, they played great soul and funk for nearly twenty years, doing everything from instrumental soul classics such as “Soul Finger,” to covers of Davie Allan & the Arrows, to playing behind Otis Redding (and crashing in his plane, which decimated the Bar-Kays), to fantastic performances at Wattstax, to funky disco and funky funk, to playing almost all the session stuff for Isaac Hayes. And as I just learned tonight, they also did crossover new wave Zapp-esque robo-funk, and even proved that blonde girls who run from Falco-looking mob dudes can escape to an underground dance club, if only a mysterious and funky stranger hands them the right magic sunglasses.
Update: Okay, apparently I’ll have to link to the clip rather than embedding it. They just stole my privileges! Instead, listen to the first single I ever bought of theirs, one of the best funk songs from the seventies, “Shake Your Rump to the Funk!”