Sunday, July 05, 2009

CASE CLOSED


Last Thursday night we celebrated eight years of Shuffle Function by playing the album formerly known as "Mystery" in it's entirety. While Tim and I were taping the show that morning I jotted down some random lyrics and possible song titles, thinking I'd try another google search. I'd tried this several times in the past without any success, but this time was different. One of the possible song titles I'd suggested was "I Do Love My Lady". In fact if you listened to the show Thursday night, you heard us mention that such a quirky phrasing should stick out like a sore thumb. I have to admit that this particular track wasn't my favorite, and so I'd only listened to it maybe once or twice prior to Thursday. When I did a search for "I Do Love My Lady", a soul compilation called SOULFUL THANGS Vol. 6 on the Latin Soul Label popped up. The sight allowed you to listen to each track, and it was immediately obvious that I'd found the band. They were a Minneapolis band called HAZE. Their self-titled album was released on the ASI Label in 1974, and is pictured above. I have found some information stating that they were initially called Purple Haze, but had to change it to Haze after finding out the name belonged to another group.

In a City Pages article from June 8, 2005 that listed Minnesota's 50 Greatest Hits, Dylan Hicks listed the following:

Haze I Do Love My Lady from Haze, ASI Records, 1974
Another chapter in the Twin Cities' neglected history of pre-Prince R&B, Haze, formerly Purple Haze, scratched Billboard's soul chart in March of '75 with this groovy ballad in the vein of the Stylistics and Blue Magic. Seven pieces strong on this, their lone hit, the group wheedles on bended knee with skyscraper harmonies, Paul Johnson's smooth bass rolls, Peter Johnson's organ swells, and lead singer Willy Thomas's falsetto swoops of devotion.

As we mentioned before, prior to this discovery we didn't know the band or the names of the songs. On a Japanese web site I found a track listing for the entire Haze album. We were actually pretty good guessers.

Here is Side One:
1. House On A Country Road
2. When We Were Kids
3. Waiting For The Moment
4. Higher Groove

and here is Side Two:
1. Toe Jam
2. I Do Love My LAdy
3. Are You Free?
4. Foxy World
5. Fill My Mind With Music

I am still trying to track down contact information for members of the band, as well as information on the ASI Label. I know that there were only two bands with releases on ASI, Haze and Natural Life, and I think that members from the later band might have played on the Haze record. This is all a guess on my part, but I hope to find out soon. Tim and I would love to do an interview with band members and see if we can shed some light on the test pressing record, and how it ended up in the record collection that I saved from the trash bin. Of course as I find out more information - you will all be the first to know.

A big thank you to everyone who helped out, made guesses, or played the audio track for friends. After almost three years it is hard to believe that I finally figured it out. I guess that with persistance and access to the internet you can find out absolutely everything!!

Shyboy Tim and I would love to do to an interview with as many band members as we can track down - so if you remember this band, or know where some of the band members might be today, or MAYBE YOU WERE IN THE BAND HAZE - please get in touch with us. Maybe you caught this band in action back in the day, or know more about the ASI Label - we would love to hear from you too. You can drop us an email at shufflefunction@hotmail.com

2 comments:

The In Crowd said...

Hey!

Congratulations! I'm a bit late in discovering your exciting news, but pleased nonetheless.

Just had a comment at 'I'm Learning To Share' on the 'help I.D. the mystery band' post I did last November from someone who'd heard that same Soulful Thangs comp, and rushed over here to make sure you were on the case - - and of course you were...

Yay!

Dan said...

There's an article coming out in CityPages about HAZE real soon - probably January 20.