Sam Henry, a well-respected keyboardist, started the Soul Machine around 1968. Getting a steady gig at the Desert Sands club, they quickly became a popular draw. When the band went into the studio to record Po’k Bones & Rice, the players were Sam Henry on Hammond B-3, Richard Amos on bass, Eugene Sinegal on guitar, Gary Brown on sax, and either Joe Gunn or Zig Modeliste, depending on the session, on drums. Henry kept the Soul Machine going in various forms, including several years in Nashville, until the later 1970s. And, at various times, both Aaron Neville and Cyril Neville sang with the group live.
The history of New Orleans funk could have been different, if that album had been released and well-distributed; but, unfortunately the original master tape was seized by the IRS when they shut down Cosimo Matassa’s recording studio for tax violations shortly after the sessions. While Sam Henry had a safety copy in his possession, a label deal was never sealed; and the album gathered dust until it was unearthed a few years back.
While the Meters were beginning their domination of the New Orleans funk landscape at the start of the 1970s, other performers such as the Gaturs, Eddie Bo, and Sam & The Soul Machine, to name a few, were doing their own thing live and in the studio, but getting much less attention. Fortunately, the Funky Delicacies crew has re-released these gems allowing all the funk lovers out there to get a taste of some mighty delicious vibes.