*MR BONGO OFFICIAL RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE*
The lyrics of Sir Joe Quarterman’s ‘I’ve Got So Much Trouble In My Mind’ resonate now as much as they did back in 1972. Problems at work, pollution, confusion, and addiction are universal stresses regardless of time and place. By encapsulating these social injustices within an anthemic song there is little wonder this powerful soul-funk production has become a much-loved and timeless classic. Whether it be in its infancy being played live on the Washington D.C scene back in the early 70s, over the pond in the ’80s for the UK rare-groove crowd, in the MPC’s of hip-hop producers, or on today’s discerning dancefloors, the song has hit a chord.
The self-tiled Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul album from 1973 was the only album recorded by the group. The success of the hit song and album enabled the band to share the stage with big-name acts such as James Brown and Earth Wind & Fire. The album track ‘(I’ve Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind’ even became a regular feature on the legendary TV show, Soul Train. These triumphs also drew the attention of record company executives who wanted to sign Joe as a solo artist; an offer he refused as he was not willing to abandon the band. The group members for the recording were neighbourhood musicians and school friends from the Washington D.C area – George “Jackie” Lee (Guitar), Gregory Hammonds (Bass), Charles Steptoe (Drums), Karrissa Freeman (Keyboards), Johnny Freeman (Trombone), Leon Rogers (Sax/Vocals) and Joe (Trumpet/Vocals).
The simple cartoon-like almost pre-Basquiat style record cover artwork has become iconic in its own right, but this was not the original intention. Joe had prepared a quick illustration for a photographer to depict in a collage for the album art, however, the label ended up using his original sketches for the final cover. Whatever was in the water, things all came together and aligned at the right time, and a true soul-funk classic record was born.
1.(I Got) So Much Trouble On My Mind / 2. I Made A Promise / 3. The Trouble With Trouble / 4. The Way They Do My Life / 5. Find Yourself / 6. Gotta Get Me A Friend / 7. Give Me Back My Freedom / 8. I Feel Like This / 9. Live Now Brothers