This release heralds the launch of a new 7” series from Mr Bongo. In partnership with London-based DJ and digger, Miche, the series will feature his latest discoveries, as well as choice cuts, taken from his 'With Love' compilations. For the inaugural offering, we take a trip to hazy San Francisco, California, in 1977. Smoke, Inc. were an emerging band in the Greater San Francisco Bay area and a regular fixture in the buzzing live music scene. They had a strong following, holding down a residency as well as opening for many prestigious acts such as Sly & The Family Stone, Taj Mahal, The Pointer Sisters and Toots and The Maytals. Members of the group worked with Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, and many others considered the cream of the crop of the music world.
Smoke, Inc. featured Roy Schmall on keyboards and vocals, Stan Terry on lead vocals and harmonica, Michael 'Ollie' Schotka, on bass and vocals, Keith Stafford on drums and vocals, and Archie Williams Jr on guitar. They went on to release one 12" EP and two 7" singles. One of those 7’s included 'Waitin' For Love’. It was first released in 1977 and came out on the band's own self-titled imprint. It has gone on to become their rarest and most sought-after recording, now fetching up to an astonishing £2,500 on Discogs. It is a breezy, feel-good, modern/crossover soul beauty, with an infectious sing-along chorus, floaty flute solo, and packed with pure, uplifting dancefloor energy. The B-side features a cover version of the Holland Dozier & Holland-penned classic 'It's the Same Old Song’, made famous by the Four Tops.
Miche enthuses, “I included this gem on my first ‘With Love’ compilation and knew that it deserved its own dedicated reissue complete with original artwork. I’m delighted to get the chance to make that happen for this incredible, soulful AOR glide from a band that is well due another round of appreciation. It’s very rare, and consequently very expensive, so here it is for you all to spin and add to your record collections.”
46 years since its original release, it is our privilege to help Roy and the gang’s light shine once again and let a whole new audience relish the beautiful sounds of 'Waitin' For Love'.