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Record Review: Eddie Hazel: Games Dames & Guitar Thangs

By Todd Thomas [originally published on WFNK.com on 7/1/2000]

Funk to me often conjures up images of that foggy trail on a dark night leading to that dark castle; wherein lies the laboratory of the genius Dr. Funkenstein and his eccentric assistants like main guitar axe, Eddie “Smears” Hazel. “Game Dames and Guitar Thangs”, Eddie Hazel’s first solo album is notoriously draped with that dark, stormy, full of electricity kind of aura.

The album is a show case for the Funk Rock style of guitar playing and the original Brides Lynn and Dawn contribute eerily beautiful background vocals on most of the tracks, giving them a really cool funk- opera feeling.

Eddie rips through cut after cut working magic with long thoughtful solos and short bursts of searing intensity. The album gives him an opportunity to display both his ability to lay down thick earth moving grooves and take you into that psychedelic space orbit he is known for. Mike Hampton and the main invasion force axes add even more slamming guitar throughout the LP, which has six songs.

The album is sort of on the short side and it seems as if Eddie didn’t want to stop playing at the ends of a couple of cuts. But this is a brother that seemed be bursting at the seems with music imbued with funky messages learned from secret pyramids, back allies, back woods, concert stages and more; and that’s a lot to tell in a lifetime, let alone on one album.

Other interesting items of note are the special thanks on the back cover to the guys on “The Yard” at Lampoc, where I suppose Eddie was incarcerated for a short time. And “Smeers” appearing as his nickname instead of “Maggotbrain” on the front cover.

Is this one nation?

2000 Bio: Todd Thomas, is single and resides in Evanston, IL, just outside of Chicago. His first P-Funk concert as the Motor Booty Affair at the old Chicago Stadium and Funk has been present in just about everything he has done since. His educational background is journalism and he currently works for an organic food company. HIs mission on WFNK.com is to keep the Flashlight glowin and come together with other funkateers.