Family Vibes, The

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1972-73)

- Jackie Clark -- lead guitar, rhythm guitar, ARP

- Warren Dawson -- bass

- Jimmy Foelber -- organ

- Mack Johnson -- trumpet

- Don Mancha -- keyboards

- Soko Richardson -- drums

- Claude Williams -- vocals, harmonica, trumpet


  supporting musicians

- Leon Blue -- keyboards

- Ed Burks - trombone

- Charles Hayes -- sax

- Clifford Solomon -- sax




- The Kings of Rhythm



Genre: soul

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Ike Turn Presents The Family Vibe Confined To Soul

Company: United Artists

Catalog: UALA-051-F

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut top right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 496

Price: $35.00


The early-'70s found Ike Turner in a strange place.  Together with wife Tina, Ike and Tina Turner had finally broken through to rock audience and were beginning to sell massive quantities of vinyl for their record label.   That seemingly gave Ike the freedom to branch off into other areas, including a series of solo efforts and work with The family Vibes.   Previously known as The Kings of Rhythm, The Family Vibes were essentially Ike Turner's backing band, who'd been playing with the man since the 1940s (with an ever changing line-up).  Following 1972's "Strange Fruit",  "Confined To Soul" was the group's second studio set.


United Artists catalog number UAS-5560


Co-produced by Turner and various band members, the album featured a largely original collection of band member-penned tunes.  While the liner notes didn't really spell out the band line-up, the cover art reflected a seven member line-up.  Based on the cover and writing credits, my guess is the core group consisted of guitarist Jackie Clark, bassist Warren Dawson, organ player Jimmy Foelber, trumpeter Mack Johnson, keyboardist Don Mancha, drummer Soko Richardson, and singer Claude Williams.  Anyhow, anyone working for Ike Turner had to have their act together and judging by these nine tracks, these guys were the consummate backing band.  I've seldom heard a group that sounded as tight.   Musically the album was fairly diverse, including stabs at Stax-styled soul ('Beauty Is In the Eye (of the Beholder)'), more contemporary funk ('Garbage Man'), and a wide array of instrumentals, including a nice cover of Oliver Sain's 'La Vamp''.   The one thing lacking was much in the way of originality, giving the album a spot-the-influences feel.   


"Ike Turner Presents The Family Vibe Confined To Soul" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Beauty Is In the Eye (of the Beholder)   (Don Mancha) - 3:13

Probably the album's most commercially viable song, showcasing Williams' double tracked vocals, 'Beauty Is In the Eye (of the Beholder) ' had a jumpy, very Stax-ish melody and feel that actually sounded a bit like a good Sam and Dave tune.   Clark's screeching lead guitar solo didn't hurt the song.  Should have provided the band with a hit.   rating: **** stars

2.) Two For Three and Three For Me (instrumental)   (Jackie Clark) - 3:21

Showcasing Clark's ARP work and some punchy horn charts, 'Two For Three and Three For Me' was pleasant enough, but never rose above the status of television shown soundtrack.   rating: ** stars

3.) El Burrito (instrumental)   (Warren Dawson) - 3:30

Opening up with some pretty acoustic guitar, some tasty Latin-flavored horns, and what may have been Clark's best fuzz guitar soloing, 'El Burrito' was one of the album's sleepers.  One of those tunes that can quickly drop your blood pressure.    rating: **** stars

4.) Scratch   (Claude Williams) - 3:29

The instrumental 'Scratch' found the band sticking their collective feet into a tougher, rock-oriented sound with decent enough results.    The song would have been even better without Jimmy Foelber's strange ARP solo.  rating: *** stars


(side 2)
1.) Garbage Man   (Claude Williams) - 4:59

Built on some priceless bubbling Jackie Clark clavinet and Claude Williams slinky vocals and spoken word vamps, 'Garbage Man' was a hysterical slice of funk.   Very commercial, United Artists actually tapped it as a single.  rating: **** stars

2.) The Shakes (instrumental)   (Mack Johnson) - 2:48

'The Shakes' gave the horn section a change to step into the spotlight.  I'm not a gigantic horn rock fan, so this one didn't do a great deal for me.   rating: ** stars

3.) La Vamp (instrumental)   (Oliver Sain) - 3:38

The album's lone cover, the combination of Clark's jazzy guitar runs, John's trumpet, and Richardson's drumming and percussion gave their cover of Oliver Sain's 'La Vamp' a feel somewhere between an Ennio Morricone soundtrack, a Norman Whitfield-produced Temptations tune, and something out of Bill Withers early catalog,  Quite engaging.   rating: **** stars

4.) Ballad of the All Time Blues   (Jimmy Foelber) - 3:11

Probably the album's weakest track, 'Ballad of the All Time Blues' was a soggy and pedestrian ballad.   Williams didn't sound particularly comfortable having to work in the song's upper registers.   rating: ** stars.

5.) Journey Through Your Feelings (instrumental)    (Jimmy Foelber) - 3:11

An atmospheric ballad with some psychedelic effects, 'Journey Through Your Feelings' was another track that sounded like something off one of those early-'70s  Norman Whitfield produced Temptations albums.  I'm a sucker for that stuff so this one struck a chord with me.   rating: **** stars



As mentioned, the album was tapped for a single:



- 1973's 'Garbage Man' b/w 'El Burrito' (United Artists catalog number UA-XW278-W)


Always loved the anonymous cover art..  If that doesn't scream '70s at ya, I don't know what would.