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Mighty Imperials Thunder Chicken

Two things hard to believe about The Mighty Imperials' Thunder Chicken: 1) It was recorded by four 16-year-old kids, and 2) It was recorded in 1999, not 1969. And I mean that in the best possible way. The Imperials Cissy strut with that classic minimalist Meters soul-breaks funk, pushing organ, guitar, bass and neck-snappable drums so close together they probably need a crowbar to finish the session. Mostly instrumental, these dusty grooves reek with reverence for the old school. Vocalist Joseph Henry shows up to take it to the bridge Godfather style, and occasional horns polish up the delicious grit, but only a little.

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