For this episode, we’re joined by Washington DC native Sir Joe Quarterman, a trumpeter, singer, and composer, whose 1973 album, Joe Quarterman and Free Soul, was largely unnoticed in its time, but has since become a must-have release in the crates of any rare groove, soul, or funk record collector. The album yielded one solid hit, the anthemic “I’ve Got So Much Trouble in My Mind,” which garnered some decent airplay in the states, even better airplay overseas, and, as is so often the case, earned Joe a whole new generation of fans a decade later when it became a go-to sampling staple for producers and beat makers.
That said, the Free Soul album is only a part of Joe’s journey—Joe had been working hard as a musician for years before that, all the way back to high school. Although music ultimately didn’t pan out for him, prompting him to return to school to earn a degree in architecture, Joe’s soul-funk masterpiece still sounds as fresh, vibrant, and relevant today as it did 40 years ago. Let’s dig into the crates of Joe’s career, and give this overlooked and under-appreciated artist his due.