Jul 18, 2011

Voodoofunk presents "Stoneface And Life Everlasting"

Originally posted by Mr. Frank "Voodoofunk" Gossner:

This was the first recording by Stoneface Iwuagwu and his first band the Life Everlasting, first released in 1973 and this single marks the beginning of a series of 45s to be brought to you by Voodoo Funk & Academy Lps. This first release should hit stores about 2-3 weeks from now. Only 1.000 copies were pressed so be quick!

My friend Uchenna Ikunne from Comb & Razor, without whom we would not have been able to put this record out, provides us with a bit of background information on Stoneface and his band:

"Innocent Iwuagwu received the name "Stoneface" during his tenure as a singer in the Tall Men, a mid-1960s Enugu-based pop group. While with the Tallmen, he also taught himself to play the drums. In 1967, shortly after the Eastern region of the country declared its sovereignty as the Republic of Biafra, Stoneface was invited to play drums for the top pop band in the region, The Postmen, by the group's guitarist Goddy Oku.

The Postmen didn't last long after that as their popular lead singer, Sonny Okosuns, had been deported from Biafra. In 1968 Stoneface joined the In Crowd, led by Lasbrey Ojukwu and stayed with the group until the end of the war in 1970. After the war, he joined The Soulmen, an army group based in Ogoja. The Soulmen soon relocated to Enugu, where Stoneface left and joined his old friend Goddy Oku's new group The Hygrades in 1971.

He left The Hygrades (probably around '72) and played for a little bit in Ify Jerry Krusade, led by another old mate from The Postmen, Ify Jerry.

Around 1973, he decided to form his own band and he rounded up a bunch of teenage musicians--singer Kingsley "Dallas" Anyanwu (from the high school band Dee-Mites), lead guitarist Maurice "Jackie Moore" Anyaorah (from Salt & Pepper Organisation), rhythm guitarist Roy Obika and bassist Jimi Henshaw--and formed Life Everlasting.

Unlike many of the Eastern groups of the post-war era, Life Everlasting was sponsored not by the army but by Stoneface's elder brother. But the amount of financing provided couldn't buy them state-of-the-art gear, so they used mostly instruments constructed by local carpenters and amps and pedals built by electronics wiz Goddy Oku.

They were signed by EMI and recorded their first single, "Love is Free" b/w "Agawalam Mba" at the EMI studio in Apapa, Lagos. The session featured a studio musician playing polyphonic organ that ended up not making the final mix.

The record was a hit and they followed it up with "Everyday" b/w "Love Him" (Stone says he thinks they *might* have recorded a third single but he cant' remember what it might have been called..."



Academy LPs is proud to announce the debut of it's Academy Special Single series in conjunction with Voodoo Funk (Frank Gossner). First up is a single by Stoneface and Life Everlasting, from the Nigerian Music Scene. This is their only 7 inch, from 1973. This single is a fantastic two side: Love is free is a gritty Psych Rock tune with a trippy guitar solo while Agawalan Mba is a bulldozing Afro-Funk tune with gravelly vocals and heavy fuzz guitar. An incredibly rare and great single rescued from obscurity by Academy/Voodoo Funk released as a limited edition (1000 copies) picture sleeve 7". Less than 5 original copies are known worldwide!

Academy is proud to announce the debut of it's Academy Special Single series in conjunction with Voodoo Funk (Frank Gossner).

All 45s will come in deluxe custom designed picture sleeves, have original "punch out" style records and will feature the rarest and best African 45s Frank has turned up in his years of digging in Africa. This, as all the singles in this series, will be strictly limited to 1000 copies.

First up is a single by Stoneface and Life Everlasting. Stoneface was already a veteran of the Nigerian Music Scene when he formed this band and cut this (their only) 7" in 1973. Starting with The Tall Men in the mid '60s, Stoneface was soon asked to join The Postmen with legendary guitarist Goddy Oku and the great Sonny Okosuns. After a stint in the Highgrades, he formed his own group with Kingsley 'Dallas' Anywanhu (from the Highschool band Dee-Mites), lead guitarist Maurice 'Jackie Moore' Anyaorah, rhythm guitarist Roy Obika and bassist Jimmy Henshaw -- and formed Life Everlasting.

This single is a fantastic two side: 'Love is free' is a gritty Psych Rock tune with a trippy guitar solo while 'Agawalan Mba'is a bulldozing Afro-Funk tune with gravelly vocals and heavy fuzz guitar. An incredibly rare and great single rescued from obscurity by Academy/Voodoo Funk!

parisdjs.com


Tracklist

A1. Love Is Free

Love Is Free by Voodoo Funk

B1. Agawalam Mba

Agawalam Mba by Voodoo Funk

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