Soul Excitement

Soul Excitement was a psychedelic funk band out of Newark, New Jersey. The band was originally formed by Clarence (Clay) Drayton, who was the leader and bass player, along with A. C. Drummer, guitarist, and Paul Cutner, drummer in the year 1968. In 1969 The band recorded "Stay Together" and "Smile" at an unknown Studio in New York. The incredible "Stay Together" was the first song ever written by Drayton, and it made it as the only 45 to be recorded by the band, originally issued as Pink Dolphin PD-106. A truly explosive piece of dynamite soul, the fuse is lit with a novelty introduction which detonates a funk bomb of immense proportions. Drayton remembers, "the wild intro was inspired by Sly & The Family Stone's 'Sing a Simple Song'. They were my favourite Artists at that time. Most of the songs written during that time were about peace and love, and I followed that trend."

 

While still teenagers, buddies Clay Drayton and A. C. Drummer were members of Newark, New Jersey, band called Cecil Garrett and the Fascinations. The band is known only for the R&B number "Bearcat", released on the Calla label. Upon leaving them in the late '60s, Drayton formed a new band with Drummer in the year 1968 and named it "Soul Excitement", followed by Paul Cutner on drums. During the summer of that year they took on a young tenor saxophone player, Roland Washington. Tamy Smith, a friend and fellow student of Drayton's at Arts High School in Newark, became lead vocalist and Paul Settle came aboard on trumpet. "Clay on bass and Paul on drums would always put the band right in the pocket of the groove", Roland Washington remembers. "AC Drummer would fill the rest with some of the funkiest guitar strokes accented by fuzz and wah-wah. Tamy Smith and Clay Drayton are the voices heard singing the lead vocals on 'Stay Together'. Tamy is also the lead singer on 'Smile'."

 

Regular Gigs followed throughout New Jerseyy, coming in the form of night clubs, wedding receptions, shows and parties. The band concentrated primarily on performing songs of the current popular artists of that time with a deep, funky, driving spin on such songs as Stevie Wonder's, "I Was Made To Love Her", Parliament Funkadelics, "Good Old Funky Music" and "I Just Want to Testify", the Temptations, "Runaway Child". Their repertoire was an endless chain of funky songs. Occasionally they ventured further afield and appeared in some New York Clubs, such places as "The Cheetah" and "Trudy Heller's" in Manhattan, including the famed "Cafe Wha?" in Greenwich Village. They were well loved wherever they performed. Soul Excitement also performed as backup band for Dee Dee Warwick, and Linda Jones two oustanding recording artists of that time. They performed on shows opposite the Delfonics, Unifics, Manhattans, Sam and Dave, Joe Tex and many other well known celebrities of that era. "We all had ambitions of becoming superstars", Drayton remembers. "We wanted to have hit records, travel around the world and have groupies. I had a taste of stardom when I played on stage with The Drifters, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Gene Chandler, Solomon Burke and others. Tamy Smith and I also appeared on stage at the Apollo Theatre. Girls asked for our autographes, and we loved it!". Unfortunately, the Soul Excitement band already dissolved sometime around January or February of 1970.

 

*Liner Notes with the help of Clay Drayton, Roland Washington and Gerald Short, Jazzman Records (www. jazzmanrecords.co.uk)

Write a comment

Comments: 0