If you’ve not seen the Jamie Foxx-produced, award-winning documentary Thunder Soul: The True Story of Conrad Johnson and the Kashmere Stage Band, you should. If you’ve not heard the music of this remarkable band, you should get this anthology. Texas Thunder Soul 1968- 1974 is presented both as a gatefold 2LP and a 2CD/DVD package; the CD/DVD package includes short-films.
We’ve been saying it since the release of Egon’s The Funky 16 Corners back in 2001 but, after Thunder Soul captured the audience award at festivals like SXSW and the Los Angeles Film Festival, the word is out: Kashmere was the greatest high school band – ever. Their story is tucked in between slabs of hard 70s funk, soul, and jazz; Conrad Johnson transformed a bunch of rough-hewn high schoolers into a band that could compete with any in the nation – professional, or otherwise. NPR wrote: “Kashmere High School… spawned a sensation that’s still drawing listeners some 40 years later…. Nt only one of the nation’s best stage bands, but one of the best funk bands – period.”
Above: “Texas Jewels: The Making of Texas Thunder Soul” – B+/Flying Lotus
The Kashmere Stage Band released a total of eight albums and three 45s on Johnson’s Kram label. The band’s best tracks are collected here alongside producer Egon’s liner notes and annotation with rare photos and ephemera.
The 2LP set contains 18 tracks, all studio recordings, and is packaged as a gatefold with liner notes and photos on the interior panels.
The CD and DVD package contains a wealth mor material – those 18 studio recordings, and 14 recordings of live and alternate takes.
The DVD contains:
• “Texas Jewels: The Making of Texas Thunder Soul” (2010) – a short film by B+ and Flying Lotus.
• “Kashmere Stage Band on Jazz: Yesterday, Today, Forever” – an appearance of the Band captured for Houston Spiritual Jazz maven Bubbha Thomas on his TV program.
• “Prof. and his Band: A Documentary by Charles Porter” (early 1970s).