This could easily be the best ten minutes of your day—early Funkadelic laying it down hard at Boston’s Sugar Shack in 1972. This show was allegedly the first to feature the newly assimilated Collins brothers and their Houseguests cohort, who cemented Funkadelic’s MK II lineup. On the glide down from Maggot Brain and gearing up for the sprawl of America Eats Its Young, George and the gang are so tight they’re loose all over again-–or is it the other way around?
Case in point, ‘Cookie Jar.’ Beginning with a vamp cribbed from Maceo Parker’s ‘Southwick,’ Clinton commands the crowd like Rudy Ray Moore doing one of Pigpen’s ‘Lovelight’ raps. After several minutes of Bootsy holding down the low end and Bernie Worrell up to all kinds of keyboard hijinks, a few echoplex ripples from Eddie Hazel’s guitar signal that the dose has finally come up. From there the song transcends itself, mutating into thick slabs of hard-driving lysergic groove, the kind of funkified chaos only Clinton & Co. knew what to do with. The song would remain in the P-funk orbit or years to come in different iterations, but never would again would it sound this wild or nasty. Praise be to the funk on high. | j annnis