Mother's Finest

Mother's Finest

by Mother's FinestMother's Finest


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Macon, Georgia's answer to Sly & the Family Stone, Mother's Finest spent the first half of the '70s vying for work in bars and clubs across the American Southeast -- every last one of which probably possessed an unsigned local resident Southern rock act. And though they even got as far as releasing an oft-forgotten 1972 album that pleased neither their label RCA nor themselves, Mother's Finest would only be properly "discovered" by Epic Records staff producer Tom Werman (Cheap Trick, Ted Nugent, etc.) several years later. By then, Mother's Finest had evolved into a fierce live proposition, armed with an explosive combination of urban funk and heavy rock, and this goes a long way toward explaining why this self-titled second try from 1976 frequently sounds like Sly Stone being infected with a welcome case of Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever." For proof, listeners need look no further than the snarling riffs of first single "Fire," but they may just want to stick around 'til the iron-soul powerhouse "My Baby" rolls around, and probably even through to the very last crash of album closer "Rain," since there is very little filler to be found in between. That first single, for example, may have stalled at number 93 on the American pop charts, but that's difficult to understand once Mother's Finest's co-lead vocal team of Joyce "Baby Jean" Kennedy (as fiery as Tina Turner, as soulful as Chaka Khan) and her hubby Glenn Murdock (no slouch himself) start going toe to toe. Not to be outdone, the band's instrumental contributors proceed to stretch their wings to the fullest on an epic jam named "Give You All the Love (Inside of Me)," showcasing funky strums and crunchy chords from Hendrix-inspired guitarist Moses Mo, pulsing clavinet from keyboard player Mike Keck, and double-trouble rhythm mastery courtesy of bassist Jerry "Wyzard" Seay and drummer Barry "B.B. Queen" Borden. Another highlight is the confrontational "Niggizz Can't Sang Rock & Roll," which at the time managed to ruffle feathers on both sides of the racial divide, and featured Murdock displaying just as much passion and virtually as many vocal chops as his better half. Unfortunately, widespread success would continue to elude Mother's Finest despite this album's many strengths -- perhaps because their songs were ultimately built to pay bigger dividends on-stage than on the radio, perhaps simply due to bad timing -- and thus a star-crossed, uneven career would follow. But for those able to appreciate where the band and its unique musical vision were coming from, it doesn't get much better than this singular LP. [Rock Candy's reissue includes two bonus tracks recorded live in 1979.]

Product Details

Release Date: 12/22/2008
Label: Rock Candy
UPC: 0827565031825
catalogNumber: 32
Rank: 24383

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mother's Finest   Primary Artist
Joyce   Vocals
Buzzy Linhart   Percussion
Joyce Kennedy   Percussion,Vocals,Group Member
Barry "B.B. Queen" Borden   Drums
Mike Keck   Keyboards
Mo   Guitar
Moses Mo   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Glenn Murdock   Vocals,Group Member
Jerry "Wyzard" Seay   Bass,Drums,Vocals
Tom Werman   Percussion
Tom Weiman   Percussion
Gary Moore   Guitar
Wyzard   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
BB Queen   Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

Mother's Finest   Arranger,Composer
Joyce Kennedy   Composer
Barry "B.B. Queen" Borden   Composer
Shelby Daniel   Composer
Mike Keck   Composer
Steve Klein   Engineer
Glenn Murdock   Composer
Jerry "Wyzard" Seay   Composer
Tom Werman   Producer
Gary Moore   Composer
Hugh Rodgers   Direction

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