Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly is like the Black Grateful Dead. With or without any new music, you can count on them being on the road, coming to a city near you. And more often than not, you can find a crowd of people coming out to hear the same songs they’ve listened to for years; often enjoying them as if they were just hearing them for the first time. One thing I definitely admire them for: though many R&B bands that started in the 70s began shrinking as electronics came into vogue and started replacing real musicians, the group stuck together as a band. I also admire their longevity; they are still out on the concert trail, giving the people what they want.
Maze was formed as Raw Soul back in 1970. They relocated to San Francisco from Philadelphia, where they met Marvin Gaye. Gaye took the band on the road as an opening act and reportedly helped them get a record deal at Capitol Records as well as suggested the band change their name to Maze from Raw Soul. The rest as they say is history. Beginning with their first album in 1977, they’ve had nine gold records out of ten releases.
When you last as long as this group has, some of your songs become timeless. Many of their songs have passed through several generations. None more so than today’s Morning Groove—today’s song is as popular on old school radio as it was when it was brand new. You can also be sure that you will hear it at family reunions and cookouts among many Black households. It is one of those go-to songs that almost have to be heard.
“Before I Let Go” is one of those songs that makes you feel good when you hear it. At least, I feel good when I hear it; your mileage may vary. It has become one of the group’s standard songs, meaning that no matter where they were playing, it was going to be on the set list. And for those who know it, they most definitely sing along.
If you’ve heard it before, jam along with it. If not, I hope you enjoy it just the same. It’s the Morning Groove for your Tuesday. And as always, thanks for reading and listening.