Wheedle’s Groove :: The AD Interview

Filmmaker Jennifer Maas dedicated the last half of the decade chronicling the Seattle soul scene of the 1970s. Her efforts culminate in the new documentary Wheedle's Groove. A project that began following a meeting with Light In The Attic Records founder Matt Sullivan (whose 2004 Wheedle's Groove comp inspired the project) we caught up with Maas to get the skinny on her film and Seattle's all but extinct soul scene. After the interview, be sure to stick around for Pastor Patrinell Staten Wright's cover of "Jesus Christ Pose," found on the Wheedle's Groove: Kearney Barton LP.

Aquarium Drunkard: Seattle. Not the first thing folks think of when referencing old soul and r&B. Prior to your move to Washington from Austin were you hip to the history of this scene?

Jennifer Maas: No they don't, and neither did I. In fact when I first moved to Seattle, the demographic was so different from what I was used to that I just kept on wondering where everybody was. Seattle is really amazing in a lot of ways, but I would say that the culture from fashion to politics feels more uniform than other places I've lived. It is a great place to sort of plunk down and be pretty much unchallenged in your outdoorsy progressive indie-rock-loving ways. That's certainly not a bad thing, but it's true.

AD: What initially sparked your interest in making the documentary?

Jennifer Maas: I interviewed Matt Sullivan at Light In The Attic Records for a documentary I was making about the infrastructure of a working music scene. I was interviewing record labels, radio DJs, club owners, and music journalists. Matt was probably my 6th interview and as soon as he started talking about this compilation of Seattle soul music that he was about to release, I knew that was going to be my movie. The record release party was a couple of weeks later, and I enlisted a few friends to help me film the event. Five years later, I had a movie.

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