'79 LP
A True Tale of Re: Discovery
Original '79 LP

We no longer have any original LPs for sale but a reissue from the original master is available.Check out the following online stores.




LISTEN: * Livin In The City
* I'll Take You There

'79 LP on CD
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Our 1979 LP Is Prized by Collectors from England, Japan and Sweden to Vermont, New York, California and beyond!


Alfie Moss vocals, percussion
Dale Melton vocals, Rhodes piano, Steinway
grand piano, Telecaster guitar
Dennis Melton vocals, Fender Precision bass
Tyrone Wilson vocals, drums
Bill Allman washboard, percussion

Recorded live at the: Open Air Bash, Red Fox Inn, Toughkenamon. PA, July 23, 1978: The Cabaret, West Chester, PA August 18, 1978: Bacchus, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, September 15.1978

All selections mixed at Kern Studio, St. Georges, DE; Recording engineers: Fred Kern & George Opegard; Mixing engineer: Fred Kern. Cover artwork & design: Michael R. Stack. Road & sound: Rick Hanna, Jim Russell & Betsy. Executive producers: Bill & Sandy Rawlins. Richard Holdsworth & MDM Communications

Special thanks to: The Cabaret, Alan Berger, Ken Homer, Bear, Bruce, Rusty, Dave, the Turks Head crowd, Guthries, Grendal's Lair, John & Peter's, The Main Point, Oscar's. Fred & Virginia Kern, Tom Bradley, Joe McSorley & Veritable Recording, East Coast Music, Music Museum, Studio 42, Channel 12 & Channel 3 Philadelphia, Beth Featherman, Denyse, Donna & Bonnie, our Moms & Dads. Aisha, Villetta Moss Jackson, Don Duncan, Mount Savior Moastery,L.M.P., WIOQ, WXDR, WXPN, Howard Melton, Sr., Cindy, "Willingtown", Jim Crawford, Pete Cruickshank. Thank God we found each other.

"Alfie’s soaring vocals dance above and below the melody with an astonishing range and self-assured grace that is distinctly reminiscent of the legendary jazz vocalists of her early years. Dale’s keyboard workout instantly sets the warm mood, as Dennis keeps the rhythm and Tyrone supplies the addicting boom-bap that simply makes you want to move. The bottom line with this album is that throughout the recording it sounds like they are all having the times of their life, which in turn is quite uplifting. The crisp live recording allows you to visualize the bands energy. During every listen I picture Alfie strutting across the stage as the rest of the band exchange looks of approval, all realizing that they are part of something special. If you find this record, you, like me will be very happy."
Nate Bosshard-Blackey, DJ with show on WRUV FM Burlington 90.1 - Burlington, Vermont

"I absolutely love it, the title track in particular."
Koushik Gnosh

"Quite amazing!"
Eothen "Egon" Alapatt, Stones Throw Records - Los Angeles, California

"The mellow, sunshiny madness of its electric pianos and vocal harmonies bathed my mind."
Ben Velez, Triple5Soul - Brooklyn New York

"It's wonderful. In fact, the other week I brought it with me to Las Vegas where we (Wax Poetics magazine) were DJing in the shoe room at the Pool fashion trade show (an off-shoot of the ultra-large Magic fashion trade show). Anyway, our DJ spun a couple songs off your record, and he really loved it (as did the other Wax Poetics guys--and the vendors in the shoe room!)."
Brian DiGenti, Editor. Wax Poetics / West Coast

"After hearing it in Vegas, I realize I need this record in my life. And I think the time is right for more people to know about this record."
Andre Torres, Editor-In-Chief, Wax Poetics

"I just got the LP yesterday. When I got it home, I carefully unwrapped it and was pleased to see a perfectly mint and sealed copy of the dusty ring-worn prize my friend rory had once played for me. Of course, the one track he had played for me was "Livin' In the City", so I immediately gravitated to that one, and dropped the needle. Fantastic! But that was the only track I'd heard ... that's pretty much the only track anyone ever talks about. Has no one flipped the record?

"I'll Take You There" is the real gem on that one. Now, that's a song that I generally ignore on track listings ... I usually don't like it, but what you guys did to that tune is incredible. The totally stripped down opening with Dennis' killer fat bass, and Alfie's beautiful voice ... oh my god! "Ain't nothing but a poarty" ... I was blown away by the bass runs and Dale's work on the Rhodes ... I can't believe no one's beating down your door for the rights to put that track on a compilation.

"I also have to mention the recording itself ... rarely do live records come close to sounding as perfect as studio ones ... until i heard your record. I'm so glad I got my hands on a copy.

By the way, I played "I'll Take You There" at my gig last night, and beyond my getting tons of props, I saw a lot of smiles, heads bobbing, and just an all round good vibe."
Eric Schallenberg - Ontario, Canada

"Super rare album by the Melton Brothers - includes title track 'Livin' in the City'. You have to hear it to believe it! Beautiful jazzy soul track on a self-pressed LP from 1979. Rare as hen's teeth."
TomB - Funk 45 Forum

Quotes From Collectors

We became aware of the new interest in our 1979 LP with an email from Nate Bosshard, and it went like this."I live in Vermont and we just had a local vintage vinyl sale and I stumbled across your "Living in the City" record from 1979. I am also a radio DJ on WRUV FM Burlington 90.1 and I have been playing this record pretty hard, but unfortunatly it is in horrible condition. I was wondering where I could find more copies. It's amazing!"

After subsequent emails back and forth, Nate informed us that our LP was in his Top Six Play List and the two cuts that listeners were requesting were "Livin' In The City" and "I'll Take You There". He also said a friend of his from Denver found a copy of the LP. Then we got an email from someone in London, then New York, then Sweden wanting original copies! Nate bought and sent a copy to a DJ in Australia. A California based record company Stones Throw emailed for a copy! Wow!

Nate then informed me he was writing an article for Wax Poetics a relatively new publication, with offices in New York and California, that discovers and covers vintage vinyl LPs . Well, the real story is best told by reading his article as follows. Thank you, Nate.

A True Tale of Re: Discovery


I inherited an instant reverence for The Melton Brothers Band from the extremely different manner in which my vinyl mentor treated their album. Sang Woo, who I forever regarded as the top-of-the-food-chain Japanese record mafia don, always regarded the impeccable and impossible stacks of records that were neatly boxed up in his Fort Green living room for shipment to Japan with a blase disregard served over constant cups of green tea. In fact, a great deal of my heaviest-hitting albums came not from hours of scouring dirty basements and abandoned storage units, but from his gentle encouragements. Mulatu of Ethiopia? Lyman Woodard Organization? Sealed copies? "Go on, take them. You'll understand later..."

Several years of digging and many more teacups later, Sang and I had developed quite an understanding. I had been regularly working his stall at the infamous "Roosevelt" record conventions, then a full roll call of hip-hop's finest producers as well as those yet to shine publicly. Payment for becoming a buffer between Sang and the throngs of Big-Bird wielding, heavy-hitters with a one-track mission ("but does it have beats?") was always a stack of rarities that I was after PLUS some way-iller joints whose value would take several visits by fellow collectors to truly expose. There was really hardly ever a record that Sang's generosity couldn't eventually place in my collection.

But Living in The City was a different story. I remember the day that I came across a few of them, sealed, amongst his recent finds. I asked him, as nonchalant as ever, what the story was with this 1-color, rough-textured piece. It's simplicity and declaration of "with Ms. Alfie Moss" intrigued me in the way that those things always do. He lowered his voice and took a grandfatherly tone that I had never heard before, "That's a special record. Vary rare." So began our usual minimal-word exchange that characterized our roundabout process of me pulling a description of an album/band/vocalist etc. out of him. "Funky?" "Not really." "Free Soul?" "Too early." He cut the conversation short with a simply dismissive yet deliciously mysterious "very rare".

Being young, persistent and hungrily curious, I got him to open one sealed copy several visits to the Clinton/Washington stop on the G train later. I struggled to restrain my subconscious desire to listen for samples as the mellow, sunshiny madness of its electric pianos and vocal harmonies bathed my mind. I HAD to have the record, within 15 seconds of listening. But that wasn't happening, and for the first time my expressed interest in him finding me a copy was met with a "I don't think that will happen." Now at this time, I always seemed to have a few mixes that were left open, waiting for that special joint that would bring closure to their story. The title track was just the thing to help finish one particular tape that had been left hanging for a frustratingly long time. It was fate. It needed to happen. Reluctantly, the record was handed over, Stoned Soul Picnic (the then-pressing tape) was made, and the whole episode was forgotten, tragically, long enough that my move out of my mom's, coupled with Sang's exodus to Elizabeth, NJ found us out of touch. Unlike many of my compatriots, I have never been shady about records, and I found the fact that I hadn't been able to return this album extremely troubling.

It is now years later. I hear through the grapevine that Sang has found religion and marriage, although I'm not sure in what order. After a lifetime in NYC, my lady and I relocated to Vermont for some respite. Almost instinctively, one of my first friends in my new world, a young record-collector, made one of his first questions to me "so are you into records?" A couple sessions later found him pawing through my records and honing in on the topic at hand with a simple "But what's up with THIS one?"


Ben's response to that question was "Amazing and random." I was so overwhelmed with his collection and had never seen or heard of the Melton Brothers or Alfie Moss so I made note of the album art and carried on looking. If my memory serves me right I don't even think I listened to it.

Fast-forward two weeks to Saturday July 16th and the story gets a little more interesting. I had this date marked on my calendar for several months. The significance? It was the Vermont Public Radio Vintage Vinyl Sale and Pledge drive. This sale was the culmination of several months of VPR's gathering of donated records from its devout listener base. I do all right for myself, but Vermont is by no means a record hot bed. And this sale was going to be it. This type of event is a complete anomaly in today's day and age of cut-throat diggers, overpriced records shows, and uptight dealers, I knew that I had to be on point and take advantage. 60,000 poorly publicized records for a flat $2 rate, that shit is CRAAAAAZY. After work on the day prior, I blew off dinner with my girlfriend (she came to understand why later on) and went to VPR to "help" unload the tractor-trailer.

Everything had already been organized by genre over the preceding months, making it easy for me to browse the crates and set aside a jazz and soul stash for the next day. This enabled me to go into the sale relaxed and focused, knowing that I had already come off real nice. When it officially kicked off at noon, I took a mellow pace through all of the stacks of rock and folk. I ended my five-hour odyssey in the aptly titled "misc" section. I was awakened out of my vinyl-crack trance by my very patient and loving girlfriend, who was inquiring on how I was doing. I knew that it was time to let it go. On the way out I perused one last-discarded stack on the ground. The first record I locked into was The Melton Brothers Band, who were staring me squarely in the eyes. I took a huge sigh of relief knowing that my cherry topping was sitting before me. I paid for my records and walked into the sunset with a reassuring sense of victory.

When the needle hit the groove of "Living in the City" later that night, I realized the magnitude of my good luck. After playing it several dozen times, my curiosity took control of me. I had to know more about this random piece. I pressed Ben for information: "why is my copy color and yours black and tan?" and "what's up with this label? do people know about this record? who are they?" But he had no answers, only mentioning that it was a revered album of his digging mentor. One Google search, a few emails, and a phone call later unearthed much more of the story!

The Melton Brothers Band is comprised of identical twin brothers Dale (Piano/Vocals) and Dennis (Bass/Vocals) Melton, Alfie Moss (Lead Vocals/Percussion), Tyrone Wilson (Drums/Vocals) and Bill Allman (washboard/percussion). Their one and only, self-produced album "Living in the City" was recorded live over the course of three different performances in Delaware and Pennsylvania during the summer of 1978. The year made me scratch my head right away. It came as a shock to me that such a crazy album could have been produced in 1979. But, at the same time it made sense. Alfie and Melton Brother's Band had been playing together since 1972, which is the era that most of their influence is inherited from. The title track "Living in the City", is hard to pinpoint, freely utilizing elements of jazz, funk, blues, and soul. But vague genre adjectives don't really do the track justice.

Alfie's soaring vocals dance above and below the melody with an astonishing range and self-assured grace that is distinctly reminiscent of the legendary jazz vocalists of her early years. Dale's keyboard workout instantly sets the warm mood, as Dennis keeps the rhythm and Tyrone supplies the addicting boom-bap that simply makes you want to move. But the message of "Living in the City" is what really hits me. The lyrics of the chorus meaningfully explain an infinitely complicated mindset in a very humble and inspirational manner.

"Living in the city going nowhere fast
Trying to see my future
Working hard every day
Trying to find me a better way."

The other piece of heat on this LP is the funked-up cover of the Staple Singer's classic "I'll take you there". It starts of with long break which segue's into Alfie taking control, dropping soulful verbal and divvying out permission to solo with commands like "plunk the funk". She cues Tyrone's shining moment with the very significant chorus "we don't need no music 'cuz we got a drummer" from which he unleashes one of the nastiest drum breaks I've ever heard. This is not to say that the rest of the album isn't tight musicianship. The remaining tracks bounce between straight ahead jazz and bluesy gospel, with a random reggae styled to round out its eclecticism. But the bottom line with this album is that throughout the recording it sounds like they are all having the times of their life, which in turn is quite uplifting. The crisp live recording allows you to visualize the bands energy. During every listen I picture Alfie strutting across the stage as the rest of the band exchange looks of approval, all realizing that they are part of something special.

Unfortunately this album was a promo piece for the studio that Melton Brothers never got off the ground so the amount produced and distributed was extremely limited. The brothers initially produced 250 copies of the colored LP but for whatever reason the rest of the band wasn't backing it so they rounded out the press with 1250 copies of the more visible black and tan version. The band today is better than ever and still frequently gigs around the mid-Atlantic minus Tyrone, whom Dale says he "regretfully lost touch with". Dale's reaction to this attention was nothing short of enthusiastic explaining that everyone in the band was inspired knowing there was a borderless interest for their music. Dale made it crystal clear that while he and the rest of his crew have real jobs and responsibilities, making music is still their main passion. If you find this record you, like myself, will be very happy. Reach Wax Poetics and Nate at www.waxpoetics.com.