25/11/13 – Sly And The Family Stone – Family Affair

Sly Stone and Tape Recorder

This was the last of Sly’s hits, recorded with his sister Rose and without the rest of the the Family Stone, choosing instead to use Billy Preston and Bobby Womack to play keyboards and guitar. Sly played the bass and did the programming. This was an unusual scenario being a feel based band and it must have come as a shock to them when it reached the Number 1 spot in America. (Number 15 in the UK). Sly knew exactly what he was doing.

This first link is a TV show where he and Rose are just sitting at the organ and singing it. I guess he is using the rhythm box from the organ but I can hear some subtle wah-wah guitar coming from somewhere. I’m going to presume that it’s coming from the guitarist in the studio TV band. Rose sings with such ease but his voice is just wonderful – characterful and rich. Tragically drugs destroyed him and the band for many years from the mid seventies onwards but they left behind some of the greatest funk/rock/soul albums ever made, changing the face of black music and breaking down barriers by being the first major band that had black and white musicians.