Nat Hendrick & The Swans, The Legendary Henry Stone Presents: Nat Kendrick & The Swans

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Revved-up twelve-bar instrumentals with lots of echo.

When King Records 'Syd Nathan refused to release the James Brown Band's instrumental "Mashed Potatoes" in 1959, Brown took it to Stone's label Dade, overdubbed a local DJ to cover up his voice, and had a huge national hit, released under the name of his drummer, Nat Kendrick, for contractual reasons. (For a while, the group toured under both names.) Their follow-up singles, also collected here, were mostly "Mashed Potatoes" rewrites — revved-up twelve-bar instrumentals with lots of echo, meant for jukeboxes and sock hops. Bonus: two terrific tracks with Brown and his group backing up soul yelper Yvonne Fair, who toured as the James Brown Revue's featured female singer for a few years.