Perhaps one of the least expected projects ever – R&B diva Nona Hendryx does an album of Captain Beefheart covers.
William Dart checks it out.
Nona Hendryx emerged in the 60s alongside Patti LaBelle and Sarah Dash in The Bluebelles – later renamed Labelle.
The group had a massive hit with the song ‘Lady Marmalade’ (‘Voulez-vous couchez avec moi, ce soir?…’) in 1974 at a time when they had a funk-rock sound influenced by New Orleans producer Allen Toussaint.
That single was written by Kenny Nolan and Bob Crewe but Hendryx established herself as the prime songwriter for the group before they split in 1976.
She went solo in 1977 and has released a modest seven albums over 40 years.
But she’s written theme songs for Jamie Lee Curtis and Eddie Murphy movies and has sung alongside artists from Talking Heads to Yoko Ono.
In 2012 she released Mutatis Mutandis – an extraordinary album hitting hard at political targets like the Tea Party and Rush Limbaugh.
Now with guitarist Gary Lucas she’s released perhaps one of the least-expected albums ever for a funk/R&B diva – a collection of covers of the anarchic Captain Beefheart – with the rather prosaic title The World of Captain Beefheart.
Source: Hendryx does Beefheart