THE BLOOD AND FROM IT COMES ALL.
THE BLESSING AND THE HEALING.
ROBERT ARMSTRONG (ROOSTAR), KENNETH BRYANT(7MYSTIC), MAURICE SEAY, SLAP NAPPY, STEVE WIEST, NEAL LANDAUER, CARL BRYANT(CASPIER),
More than a year ago, a CD single crossed my desk, unidentified: The song contained therein -- "Hold the Cocaine, Pass the Cyanide" -- turned out to be the work of one Robert Merrill Armstrong, a UPS truck driver who just happens to have one the most acute cases of funkitis in the area. A vocalist with a baritone that makes the singer from Alabama sound like a choirgirl, Armstrong is easily one of Denver's most curious artists. This fact is well-documented on his first full-length album, Forget Me Not the Funk!, a nine-song affair that Armstrong recorded with his band, the Funkomanation (try saying that five times fast), and friends from the local outfit Uncut. It is one of the strangest recordings I've heard in quite a while -- a puzzling effort that suggests what might have happened had Wesley Willis and Prince gotten together and consumed copious amounts of over-the-counter allergy medicine. That is to say: It is fabulous, a delicious blend that is always a little odd (a sample lyric from "(We Need a) Woman in the White House": "United we stand, united we fall/Please, please give that woman a call...You can Rhumba, you can dance/Please, please give that woman a chance") and sometimes simply confounding (tracks two and three are barely decipherable, sub-auditory noisefests that may well be there by accident). It is also sometimes perfect: "Fear Affair" is a sweet love song with an island vibe and a climbing, spindly guitar (vocals by K.D. Bryant); "Hatching of the Clones" is a busy, sample-heavy beat-driven blast (with a fabulous title). I suspect this album would be enjoyed by those who just like to shake their booties -- Bootsy style -- and also those who have a taste for left-of-center, "outsider" music.