Stones Throw Records | The Funky 16 Corners 2001

“Fish” Fendley grew up in Red Level, Alabama; “Slim” Barnes grew up less than thirty miles away, in Brantley. The two shared a musical upbringing steeped in the blues and country, and settled into their instruments – saxophone and guitar, respectively – by their early teens. The two first met in their late teens, when “Slim” came to play in Red Level with a seasoned musician named Willie Charles “Henry” Perry. An unfortunate incident – Perry got hitched – lead to a change in the band’s personnel and “Fish” took over the reigns. Larry Fendley and The Swinging Combo boasted “Marcus Daniels and Stanford Barnes, and the Wild, Wild Guitars.”

The two eventually parted company, but regrouped again in January 1970 – this time in Montgomery, as Slim and The Soulful Saints. “Slim,” by this time smitten by the recording-bug, borrowed money from a local banker and hired musicians to travel with him to Fame Studios, to demo two songs. “Fish Head,” an obvious nod to Fendley’s writing of the song, owes much to the off-kilter syncopation of the band’s only white member, drummer “Champ” Remell. “I didn’t even know what syncopation was back then,” Fendley now laughs. Slim and The Soulful Saints didn’t worry themselves with definition – and created one of Deep Funk’s finest moments, as a result.

"Fish Head" – Slim and The Soulful Saints 2.34
(Lorenzo Fendley - BMI)
Recorded early 1970. Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals, AL. Unknown engineer, perhaps Rick Hall.
Stanford “Slim” Barnes (guitar); Lorenzo “Fish” Fendley (tenor saxophone - solo); George Williams (tenor saxophone); Avery Beavers (trumpet); Wilbert Jackson (possible second trumpet or organ); Al Stringer (bass, possible organ); Donnie “Champ” Remmell (drums)
Produced by Stanford Barnes
Originally released on CAL single 200. Released June 4, 1970
Licensed courtesy Slim and The Soulful Saints

Stones Throw Records | The Funky 16 Corners | Slim & The Soulful Saints