Their union in the Boneshakers was fairly short-lived, but together guitarist/songwriter Randy Jacobs and vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson put together two powerful, rockin' funk and soul albums and entertained some lucky audiences who became Boneshakers themselves on dance floors across the U.S. Atkinson was born in Oberlin, OH. After working 14 years as a Chrysler assembly line worker, he left his job to pursue a music career, singing for such Detroit R&B groups as the Exquisites and Energy. While with Energy, he worked with Detroit producer Don Was (then unknown). He has also sung with industry heavyweights Elton John, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and Brian Wilson.
As Freddie Roach's Blue Note career progressed, his work increasingly celebrated contemporary black culture, and accordingly developed a greater interest in funky, jukebox-ready grooves, a stylistic departure from his initial melodic finesse. Roach took both interests with him to Prestige, as demonstrated on The Soul Book/Mocha Motion, a U.K.-only two-fer compiling his first two albums for the label. Roach definitely brings the hard funk on parts of The Soul Book, but there's a laid-back, even meditative quality to others, which is surprising since his liner notes seem to suggest a concept album about the urban grit of Harlem.