Heard on CultureShift

Between Takes: Fiddler on the Track

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Image credit: Photo Illustration: Nikki Roach

On Episode 013 of Between Takes, Amp Fiddler discusses being a session musician in the early 1990s, playing with everyone from Prince to Seal.

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Welcome to Between Takes; where artists and musicians tell stories about what happens behind the scenes.

WDET’s Sam Beaubien has been dedicated to making music in Detroit for 20 years, and this series connects you with the stories he has heard on gigs and at recording sessions.

Get a look into Stevie Wonders audition for Motown Records, sessions with funk master George Clinton, renowned hip-hop producer J Dilla’s first days with a drum machine, and many more stories about what shaped the legacy of this musical city. 

Episode 013


When Amp Fiddler began touring with George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, he got introduced to many other famous musicians, which resulted in playing on a number of impressive albums.

While attending a birthday party for renowned percussionist Shelia E, Amp crossed paths with Prince. The two formed a relationship, and soon after the song “Weekend Funk” with Prince, Bootsy Collins, and George Clinton was recorded in Detroit at United Sound in 1990. Amp sang background vocals and played keyboards.

Amp Fiddler performing at the Magic Stick in DetroitDoug Coombe
Doug Coombe

Amp Fiddler performing at the Magic Stick in Detroit

Amp was then introduced to the pop icon, Seal, through Parliament-Funkadelic bandmate Chris Bruce. Seal invited Amp to record piano on his new album, which went on to go multi-platinum and included the smash hit “Kiss From a Rose”. Amp formed a friendship with Seal and the two were roommates in London during that time. While living in London he met other contemporary soul groups like The Brand New Heavies and recorded with them on their 1994 album “Brother Sister.”

When Amp was living in London, Jamiroquai released their debut album “Emergency On Planet Earth,” and it became a huge success. Amp purchased the album, and while on his flight back home to Detroit, he ran into their lead-singer Jay Kay at the airport, who told Amp that he was traveling to experience the city of Detroit. The two hit it off and Amp gives him a tour of the city. They became good friends and Amp would sit in with the band on occasion.

Related:

How Amp Fiddler Met George Clinton

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Sam Beaubien, Creative Producer

Sam Beaubien is a musician, composer, producer, and educator in Detroit. He is also the founder and leader of the acclaimed ensemble, Will Sessions.

sbeaubien@wdet.org

Between Takes

This post is a part of Between Takes.

On Between Takes you will hear stories from iconic musicians in Detroit’s legendary music scene.

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