Skip Mahoaney And The Casuals – 1974 – Your Funny Moods
Heavenly harmony soul!
Skip Mahoaney And The Casuals were one of the best vocal groups working in the independent soul market in the 70’s, and although they had a few small chart hits, most of their work on vinyl is always pretty darn hard to find, and has never been collected properly. The group have a cool mellow soul vibe, like the Whatnauts or The Montclairs, with rough harmonies hitting a deep groove – and workin equally well on ballads or more uptempo tracks.
A1 I Need Your Love 7:24
A2 Town Called No-where 4:31
A3 Struggling Man 4:44
B1 Your Funny Moods 7:11
B2 I’m Looking Away From My Past 2:33
B3 Seems Like The Love We Had Is Dead And Gone 3:32
B4 We Share Love 2:46
The Casuals were born accidently one spring evening in 1965. Ejected from a house party in Northwest, DC, Skip and his fellow over imbibers sought solace under the proverbial street lamp. A passing car, blasting Billy Stewart’s “I Do Love You” prompted then 15-year old Mahoney to pipe the tune a cappella. Stunned by their hood mate’s s sudden burst of raw talent, the fellas (George Norris, James Morse, Franklin Radcliff and Morris Moore ) quickly chimed backing vocals. The birth was quick and painless. Several sessions later, swelling with confidence, the group adopted the The Casuals as their moniker.
The original Casuals included George Norris (from the original a cappella group on the street corner), Roger Chapman and Billy Jones (Skip’s cousin). Players stepped forward offering to audition for membership in the backing band. The dream was taking shape. What followed was many years of toil, triumph, sweat and tears. Casuals keyboardist, James Purdie began constructing chords to match lyrics written by Skip. But it was group roadie, Sonny Jones who unwittingly provided fodder for the first record by Skip Mahoney and the Casuals (the name was changed because of another group by the name The Casuals).
Jones complained of a girlfriend and her “funny moods.” In 1973, finally recording for D.C. International Records, a local indie in search of the Next Big Thing, “Your Funny Moods” b/w “I Need Your Love” was released. Local radio programmers familiar with the group, provided air play for both sides of the 45. It was the B-side “I Need Your Love” which lit up the radio request lines and gave the group a Washington/Baltimore hit. An album, also titled Your Funny Moods, sold over 100,000 copies in it’s hometown but did not find a substantial national audience.
Land of Love is a trademark LP for connoisseurs of falsetto based sweet soul music of the mid-’70’s. It stands the test of time and represents the best the period offered. Dazzling vocals, unexpected hooks and a solid false tenor propelled the drop-dead gorgeous “Bless My Soul” into the R&B Top 40 for 15 weeks in September ’76. “Wherever You Go” has its own tale to tell. The song would become a Boston/Cambridge classic of a 10 year period as DJ Arthur Kempton played it weekly as a sign off song for his Sunday radio show.