elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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After two months of horror and science-fiction themed posts, I've had a bit of trouble transitioning back to offering an eclectic selection of music this month, which many of you have come to expect from this blog. Considering I have another horror themed event lined up for December, it compounds the problem even further, as I have devoted most of my free time to researching and listening to horror-inspired music for the past three months.
I thought it might be best if I just continue to post albums that contrast with the darker material that I have been posting and will continue to post in December. While Black Merda's name might bring to mind the more morbid music that I've recently been sharing, they are actually a group which emerged during the late '60s that merged psychedelic rock. Before forming Black Merda, the three friends Anthony Hawkins, VC L. Veasey and Charles Hawkins all worked independently of one another as session musicians. Eventually they performed together as The Impacts, backing up several soul and R&B acts affialiated with Motown and Brunswick Records. In 1965 Edwin Starr hired the trio were hired to perform as the backing band for the single "Agent Double-O Soul". Starr was so impressed that he decided to hire the group as his permanent backing band afterwards, dubbing them the Soul Agents.
In the latter half of the '60s the group started undergoing a series of changes, which would eventually culminate in the formation of Black Merda. In 1966 the group was introduced to Jimi Hendrix, who would have a profound influence on the trio's approach to music. They began to drift away from their previous sound, choosing to refashion themselves as a rock power trio in the same vein as The Jimi Hendrix Experience. In 1967 Anthony Hawkin's brother Charles was also inducted into the group as a second guitar player to broad the group's sound. The group would continue to evolve, drawing inspiration from the newly emerging hard funk and soul scenes.
In 1968 the group decided to move on from their Soul Agents moniker and refashion themselves once again as Black Merda, a psychedelic funk rock group with socially conscious lyrics. In 1969 the group received their big break after Chess Records signed Black Merda to their label based on the recommendation of the famous Temptations member Eddie Kendricks. Chess released Black Merda's self-titled album in 1970. Despite being well received, the album suffered from a lack of promotion due to management changes that were taking place at Chess. The group's follow up efforts were also poorly promoted, prompting the members to return to performing as session musicians to make a living.
Looking back in hindsight the group is fondly remembered as one of the pioneering groups of the black psychedelic rock and heavy funk scene, paving the way for groups that expanded on their idea and would eventually eclipse them in fame, such as Fundadelic and The Bar-Kays. I consider Black Merda's self-titled debute album to be their best, and it ranks alongside some of my favorite forgotten groups that merged psychedelic rock with funk, soul and blues, such as Purple Image, the Cosmic Travelers, Blo, and Ofo The Black Company
Year of Release: 1970 Label: Chess Genres: Psychedelic Rock, Funk, Soul Bitrate: 320kbps
2. Think of Me
4. Over And Over
8. Good Luck
9. That's The Way It Goes
10. I Don't Want To Die
11. Set Me Free