The Rhythm Express Hard Driver featuring Ammoye

by The Rhythm Express

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The band track has all of that raw street energy – a mix of afro-soul and disco. The Rhythm Express takes the original – adapts and further arranges for 2016. There are deeper horn lines and blistering jazz solos all underlining Evan’s soft soulful recitation. Hard Drivers is high energy – popping rhythm and a celestial bridge between the then and now.

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released April 1, 2016
“A whole lot of woman,” that’s how they described Foxy Brown – the very stylish Pam Grier in her 1974 groundbreaking black cinematic box office smash. Grier had everything going on, but never a crossover actress in American cinema short on black presence until Quentin Tarantino built his classic film Jackie Brown (1997) around the statuesque actress. In 1978 she was paired with comic Richard Pryor in Greased Lightning, a comic icon until the time of his passing. It was the tail end of the empowering Blaxploitation film era that engaged an urban black populous featuring ‘baadassss’ soundtracks of funk and soul music.

1978 was also big on radio play funk and smooth soul; – Teddy Pendergrass was seducing with “Close the Door,” Quincy Jones – “Stuff Like That” – Chaka Khan – “I’m Every Woman” – Chic – “Le Freak” – Foxy – “Get Off” – and Funkadelic were riding high with “One Nation Under a Groove.”

The hair style was still the Afro, a powerful symbol of black pride and a big part of the “black is beautiful” movement also considered a link to West and Central Africa, although that remains in dispute. By the late ‘70s the hairstyle gave way to cornrows and other braided hairstyles.
The 2000s roll around and witness resurgence in retro hair styles with Lauren Hill, Erykah Badu and Macy Gray out front.

The Rhythm Express award winning Ammoye is a body of art. It’s the clothes, the hair and ongoing evolution that keeps her contemporary and in touch with the times.

To find the right music match for singer and band and April 2016 release – it was incumbent to unearth a song that fit Ammoye’s eclectic fashion sense and stage persona. This came about searching YouTube - stepping back in time, well-off the traveled soul highway where the unsung pushed some serious grooves to radio - most never airing beyond than their cosmopolitan home turf until falling into the hands of collectors. This is the case for Brooklyn, New York’s Vivian Lee and Hard Drivers (Since I Was a Little Girl.) A pristine copy can sell for upwards $1,200.

The band track has all of that raw street energy – a mix of afro-soul and disco. The Rhythm Express takes the original – adapts and further arranges for 2016. There are deeper horn lines and blistering jazz solos all underlining Evan’s soft soulful recitation. Hard Drivers is high energy – popping rhythm and a celestial bridge between the then and now.

Everton “Pablo” Paul – Executive producer/drums and percussion
Bill King – Producer/Adaptation/Arranger and keyboards
Shane ‘Shaky J’ Forrest – Recording engineer/guitars
Jesse ‘Dubmatix” King – Graphic design/bass
Ammoye Evans – lead vocal
Bobby Hsu – Alto/tenor saxophone
Alexander Brown- trumpet

Writer: Johnny Hawes
Publishing: One Step Music (BMI)
7 Arts/Side Door Records

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