Goombox -- The Junior Congas
By Kevin Hammond (Kato)


 

Have you ever attended a Go-Go concert and paid close attention to the percussion set up?  Better yet, can you ever remember a time, while attending a Go-Go, when you didn't see the conga player rocking of four congas -- two large and two small?

Neither can I.

One thing that is a definite note regarding Go-Go music is the conga set up.  In fact, 99.9% of the time you see a live band, and the congas are set up in this fashion, you'd better believer it's a Go-Go band.

Just go ahead and credit this as another one for Jas. Funk and the RE family.  The whole Go-Go industry owes it to them.

This is the story:
Bright Moments, who was the conga player on Chuck Brown's Bustin Loose album, used four large congas.  This was in fact the basic conga set up of 70s funk bands.    Unable to really afford all four of the large congas, RE purchased two of the large ones and a set of Junior Congas.

Mostly notably referred in the Go-Go community as "Goombox," the Junior Congas have a sound that is a cross between a Bata Drum, a Bongo, and a Conga.

Jungle Boogie, who prior to this was a vocalist with The Hicks Brothers, entered into the Rare Essence camp.  There, he inevitably evolved as their conga player.  His inaugurated off-beat smacks of the congas, utilized the Junior Congas with poetic justice and dazzling showmanship.  It's been stated that when he played, his hand movements looked like cobras.

From that point on, everybody (and their mother) went and bought the Junior Congas.

Gee...   I wonder if LP Percussions have been sending any royalties to RE.  They just ought to!

 

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