The collection of funky, laid-back instrumentals gets a revival.
Call it abstract, but guitarist Eddy Senay calls it a party.
If you look closely, Sanay says, you'll see a group of people having a good time on the cover of his 1972 debut album Hot Thang, which was recently reissued. Recorded in metro Detroit – specifically, Pac 3 Recording Company in Dearborn – the album is a collection of funky, laid-back instrumentals that charted both locally and nationally. Senay's work has also been sampled by the hip-hop community, including Pete Rock (of the '90s hip-hop group Pete Rock & CL Smooth), Souls of Mischief, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo and others.
The reissue is an opportunity to reach a wider audience, Senay says. While born in Lanett, Alabama, he's been connected to Detroit since moving here as a teen. At Northern High School, his classmates included Melvin Franklin of the Temptations and Kenneth "Spider Webb" Rice, who became a drummer for Harry Belafonte.
By age 28, Senay had scored a recording contract with L.A.-based Sussex Records. His title track got Detroiters talking, Senay says, because Donnie Simpson – then a DJ on WJLB – started playing it. The B side of the single was a cover of label mate Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," an instrumental that might have well garnered more attention than "Hot Thang," Senay adds.
"People just fell in love with that 'Hot Thang,' – it just took off," he says. "When you hear it, there's no sounds like that. When you come with something unique and different (that) gives people something to dance to – to move to … a lot of the radio stations began to play (it)." TV quickly followed suit, and its fame was sealed.
Now 73, the musician still loves to astonish a crowd, although he is content to help other artists and kids coming up. "I stay under the radar, but when I do make my move, when you do see my show, you see a dynamic show."
You can hear Hot Thang via streaming, CD or vinyl. As a listener, Senay says he'd choose the latter. "With the vinyl, you get that warmer sound on the bass … all you need to hear (is) that bottom."
Get the CD, digital and vinyl from Modern Harmonic at modernharmonic.com.