DARONDO - Let My People Go (2006)
Funk / Soul
1. Let My People Go
3. Didn't I
4. I Want Your Love So Bad
5. How I Got Over
6. My Momma And My Poppa
7. Sure Know How To Love Me
8. Listen To My Song
link to download:
A COLLECTION OF RARE AND UNRELEASED 1970'S SOUL FROM THE FORMER BERKELEY-BASED MUSICIAN .
A mystery to most, Darondo records are high on the wants-lists of many collectors.
Take a listen to these tracks, released for the first time together on an album, and you may agree that he could have been the next Al Green or Sly Stone. But about 25 years ago Darondo disappeared.
Releasing three singles in the early 1970s (as Darondo, Darondo Pulliam, or the miss-spelled Dorando) he mixed low-rider soul with blues and r'n'b. He delivered in a variety of styles from the socially-charged “Let My People Go” to the sexually-driven funk of “Legs”. All three singles were recorded in the Bay Area, and both sides of each of the singles are fantastic productions.
“You can hear a little bit of everything,” says Darondo about his music style. “There's a little jazz and a little soul.
Growing up in Berkeley California Darondo got his first gig at the age of 16 years. He played in a band at the Lucky 13 teen club, one town over in Albany.
Hooking up with Bay Area legends Al Tanner (producer) and Eddie Foster (guitarist) took his musical career up a notch.Foster had already worked with Okampo Records boss Leroy Smith on a few releases before introducing him to Darondo to record “How I Got Over” and “I Want Your Love” for a single. Local station KSOL picked-up on the release. “They gave me my first break and every record I punched up I sold,” says Darondo.
He remembers a big string section assembled in the room to record “Didn't I” and “Let My People Go”. At that session he also recorded versions of standards like “Luscious Lady”, “I Don't Understand It”, and “Sayonara” which were never released.
But after the release of his three 45s Darondo stopped recording. “It was mostly me, just having a good time with a real good hobby,” he says.
Outside of the music business Darondo started traveling. The ABC Islands, Caracas, Venezuela, Trinidad, Grenada, St Thomas, San Juan Puerto Rico, Acapulco, and Mexico. He even went out to London and Paris for six months.
After returning to the Bay Area, Darondo went back to school. “I went to Merritt College for a little while but decided to get physical therapy training at John Muir Medical Center instead. I used to incorporate the music with the therapy,” he says. “I'm very versatile so I'd sing everything to them; pop, country and western, jazz, etc. I worked with head trauma cases, amputees and folks like that. I'd bring my guitar in and watch miracles happen."
Darondo now lives in Northern California with his wife and family and is delighted to hear his music is getting a second wind courtesy of DJs and collectors like the UK-based Gilles Peterson who recently picked “Didn't I” for his Digs America compilation.
The six tracks from the three original singles are featured here, along with three previously unreleased songs that were recently discovered on a demo reel. The demo reel was sitting in a box of VHS copies of his cable TV shows which we had requested to use for images in the CD booklet. Recorded in the early 1970s, tracks from the demo reel were taken into a San Francisco studio in the summer of 2005 for enhancement. Darondo over-dubbed missing background vocals and guitar parts alongside up and coming San Francisco soul man Bing Ji Ling. Darondo warmed up quickly, he hasn't lost his touch. After the session Darondo confessed that he was inspired to start playing again...so there is hope for a full-blown Darondo revival!