Let's start with the great Joe & Eddie. I don't remember how I acquired one of their albums. It seems to me that maybe it belonged to my foster sister, Ginger, so I had to be around 9 or 10 when I first heard it. Maybe she brought it with her. Whatever, once I heard it, it became one of my favorites and I played it until it was nothing but a mass of scratches and skips. My favorite song on the album was Follow the Drinking Gourd, a song about the underground railroad, but I couldn't find Joe & Eddie's version on YouTube. Instead, here is Children Go, which was also on the album I had. It's a great song and an incredible performance.
What I loved, and am still knocked out by, is not only their mastery of harmony, but their syncopation and timing. I swear, sometimes it sounds like there are four voices instead of two.
MAIN INFLUENCES: harmonies, rhythms, texture, playing with syllables to where the meanings of the words become secondary to the sounds they create, and just the incredible joy of making music.
I just found Eddie Brown on MySpace. He's still active in music as a producer in L.A., which is wonderful, but I was saddened to learn that Joe Gilbert died in an automobile accident many years ago. I dropped Mr. Brown an email. I hope he replies--it would mean the world to me! If I hear from him, I'll let you know.