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February 5, 2006 — 2:53 am

Last month, Jesse Walker posted “an excerpt from David Cantwell’s interview with singer-songwriter-producer Joe Henry, published in the January-February No Depression“:

Cantwell: In his book A Change Is Gonna Come: Race, Music And The Soul Of America, Craig Werner builds on [Ralph] Ellison’s idea to describe what he terms the gospel impulse. The gospel impulse starts at the same place as the blues — it still faces and expresses the pain and limitations of the world — but it also believes that in finding something larger than ourselves, human beings can, working together, change the world.

Henry: I think those guys are on to something there!…[T]he gospel impulse is driven by the same kind of earthly passion, but you’re looking outside yourself instead of only looking inward. And maybe soul music on its own comes from the same [gospel] impulse but, instead of looking within or to a higher power, you look to that person next to you, to love.

Then Jesse queried his readers:

How do you define the funk impulse? The best answer will be published on this here blog, where the other four of you can read it.

How could I help but respond? He quoted my submission three weeks ago:

WE GET THE FUNK: A while back I quoted Joe Henry and David Cantwell’s noble attempt to define the blues impulse, the gospel impulse, and the soul impulse, and I asked my readers what the funk impulse might be. Immediately after I posted that, I realized that the correct answer would have to be some version of George Clinton’s free your mind and your ass will follow. So the prize goes to Eric Dixon of Shrubbloggers, who came closest with this: “Instead of looking within, or to a higher power, or to the person next to you, you look to the ass of the person next to you and realize how much better it might look if it were a-shakin’.”

Oh, and check it out — Jesse’s been listening to Henry Cow. And Rick Moranis! Nice.

— Eric D. DixonComments (0)

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Eric D. Dixon

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