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Bustin Loose, Yall…Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers


Chuck BrownListen, partying on a work night is sometimes a tough thing to do, but darn it I had to do it.

Tonight, at 7:00 pm, NYC parks department presented, ‘Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers’ at Jackie Robinson Park (formerly Colonial Park) to the NY crowd of many who stood to wait to hear the ‘Go-Go Beat’. For those of you who dont know what that is get with a fellow DC’er and you will find out. Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers came to party and if you did not move, ‘something was wrong with you’. This was a serious throwback for me to the early college days and those infamous Howard University ‘ToGa – Go-go’ parties that really lasted ’till the break of dawn.’ Nuff said there!

It was GREAT to see Chuck Brown (who made *70* yesterday) the master of the 2/4 to 4/4 beat, and he came out in full effect. Accompanying him was a 10 piece band, which consisted of a Hammond B3 organ, 3 Korg Synthensizers, Horn section: Trumpet, Trombone and tenor sax, a kick azz percussion section … Rhythm drums, two sets of congas paired in 6’s, timbales, Chuck was on lead and there was a bass. In fact the percussions were so HOT that he only introduced those band members. lol.

I tell you from the moment he and the band hit the stage, you could tell they were out to take prisoners… they played HARD AND STRONG AND LONG!!! They dropped that go-go beat and went straight through a 2 hour set with it, performing original and cover versions of some great R&B classics. It was a PARTY ya’ll.

For openers, CB and the SS hit us with ‘Life in The City sliding on into ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’leading on down to ‘Chuck Is Here’…and this is where CB/SS blew up the spot for that moment, a go-go version of ‘I Dont Mean a thing, If It Aint Got that Swing’. Do wop do wop do wop do wop do wop do wop do wop do WOW! Well the seasoned folk in the park got off on this one, with the rest of us. But Chuck just kept it a -go-go -ing…He flipped into ‘Midnight Sun’ and from there made the crowd ‘whoop’ again with a go-go version of Moody’s Mood for Love. He scatted the HECK out of that joint. He sang it like he composed it. As he kept the beat go- go -ing on this tune, he paid a visit to cartoon land and had a version of the theme from ‘The Woody Wood Pecker Show’.

*HOT DAMN* I tell you it was HOT up in there! That has got to be one of the most creative medley’s I heard in a long time.

The previous song lead to ‘Brand New Groove’, where he brought us to one of his classic’s that hit big here in NYC, ‘I Need Some Money’, talkin’ bout the MOOLAH ya’ll! His pipes are still strong and he can still do that great DC call and response with the crowd.

But he did not stop there. CB/SS went into the calypso catalog of Mr Belafonte and performed a go-go version of Run Joe Run…man I should have had my Mother there for that! But did he stop a Go-Go-ing there? Nah…You know what he did? He went into the catalog of BARYY WHITE, yes I said BW and whipped a go-go ‘Playing Your Game Baby’ …well when I tell you people who were standing still found their legs then…believe me…But CB/SS was not don’t yet…. here come the treat. The KICK AZZ PERCUSSION SESSION got a chance to ‘show-out’ their skills…Ladies and Gentlemen…. on Rhythm drums…Mr JuJu House!

…And on Congas, Tiimbales, Bongos cow bell, tinkle bells, and tambourine (the boy was bad!)Mr Rob FOX!. Hot -Dawg- it when he let them cats loose, ‘folk lost their minds!’ This session lasted for about 10 minutes, and then CB/SS hit us with the unexpected… I have to build this one up, because I am not necessarily a fan of R.Kelly or the song FIESTA, but let me tell you…If I HAVE TO listen to this song, it will now be CB/SS version. He SLAUGHTERED the original. R.Kelly might as well hand over the rights to that to CB/SS. They can show HIM how to perform it.

One of the horn players was a *caller*, which is different from a rapper where as he sets the audience up for shouting back in a call and response mode for what I like to term as ‘Soul Cliche Sayings’ such as ‘Hold Up! , Wait A Minute!’ Are you tired yet, HELL NO!, then say Do it again, DO IT AGAIN! …’O-E-Oh…Ohhhhh-ohhhh’…a nd all of this, et al, was performed with the continuous GO-Go beat that just never stopped!

As a tribute to the crowd CB/SS performed ‘It a FAmily Affair’, the Sly Stone classic , yes ..GO-GO style…and slid us on into BUSTIN’LOOSE. There was NOONE in their seat at this point, not even this writer who stood and partied through the whole 2 hour set…

I can still hear those percusions and blazing horns in my head right now.


Listen folks, if you know CB/SS is coming your way, Do you self a favor and BE THERE. If you have never go-go’ed, now’s your chance. It was better than my workout I cancelled for tonight. He told the crowd that he still plays/parties almost every weekend in DC (you lucky ones!), So DC, HOLLAR AT YOUR BOY! Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers are masters at real soul-party music, and the band is SHARP. God Bless Chuck. Still doing this at *70* years old! (and he can dance!!)

So in parting…

‘This is DyvaNaye, your roving party-in-the-park reporter, now signing off,

wishing you ‘a going to a GO-GO!’



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