Buddy Hank & The Shine Band – Dust to Diamonds
Written by Toby Taylor on 3rd December 2019
Having released Buddy Hank’s debut single in 2017, Super Disco Edits is set to release his first feature length LP, Dust to Diamonds, recorded between 1981 & 1982 but shelved after a contract dispute with his label at the time.
Having acquired the master tapes from Buddy’s brother on the East Coast, the record is made up of previous singles “Try You Love” & “Want To Get Close To You” along with 3 new discoveries from the same tapes “Lets Get Down Tonight”/”Sugar Baby” and “You’re So Special” all featuring that iconic Hankerson groove. The LP also features two instrumentals entitled “Sham” and “Glad I Found You” which the group never got round to writing and recording vocals for.
The story of the group is a fascinating one. The Shine Band’s musical roots lay in an earlier group formed in 1977, Flash Flood, whose rhythm section would go on to form that of The Shine Band. In order to establish a consistent sound, Buddy would retain the same three musicians – Dave Reyes on drums, Mike Clark on keyboards, Buddy Hank on bass, and James Lockhart on guitar – for subsequent projects. Under the mentorship of the legendary Steve Washington, who taught the band the fundamentals of production and song construction, the group began to develop their own distinct take on the Jersey Funk sound.
More musicians were gradually added for the recording sessions, including another keyboardist & percussionist. The first sessions in the studio for Dust to Diamonds to be laid down were “Try Your Love On Me” and the first few instrumentals. “We definitely liked where we were going from the first phase,” Buddy says. “When we finished Try Your Love On Me, we was like, ‘Okay, we’ve got a nice sound,’ right?” Of the tracks recorded, most were instrumentals – only “Try Your Love On Me” had vocals recorded.
By 1982 however, The Shine Band recording project was all but over, with the tapes mastered and ready to be sent out to labels in the hope of finding one that would release them. Just as it looked as though the band were going to secure a major deal, things began to unravel. Buddy had already begun working with another group, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, and found himself torn between which group to sign a record deal with. Delaying negotiations with Brunswick (who wanted to sign The Shine Band) Buddy eventually signed a deal with Atlantic, leaving The Shine Band without their focal point and leader. Without him, the band didn’t last much longer and their tapes were eventually shelved in a basement closet where they remained untouched for 35 years – until now…
Buddy Hank & The Shine Band – Dust to Diamonds is available for pre-order now from Super Disco Edits!