Keystone State Soul Weekender Number Six

The Keystone State Soul Club family–DJs, Dancers and Diggers!

The Keystone State Soul Weekender isn’t just three days of dancing around to fabulous records; it has become a family reunion of sorts. There is a hard-core group of folks who come every year and that group seems to be getting bigger at each event. The group includes dancers as well as DJs. There are DJs that rotate in and out of circulation—of which Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus is proud to be one—and they don’t work in competition, but rather in cahoots with each other. The DJs are out on the floor dancing to each other’s records. A camaraderie has developed among them that is unmatched in the DJ culture world. These people, who come from all over the continent (and England), genuinely like each other and it all came together because of their love of soul music. Very often, the DJs would compliment each other on their selections—and what fine selections they were, too. These DJs know their stuff, that’s for sure!

During the weekend of November 18, 19 & 20, the Sixth Keystone State Soul Weekender was held at the Elks Lodge in beautiful downtown Lancaster, PA. As the faithful were gathering on Friday night, hugs were in abundance.

Also in abundance was love for our friend Andrew Turner, who passed away over the summer. The Boogaloo Bag writers first met Mr. Turner at the first Keystone State Soul Weekender in 2016. He was sitting by himself on the other side of the room when we invited him to come sit with us and help us eat Miss Nancy’s cookies that she baked for the event. A record show used to take place in Manhattan and occasionally Andrew would take a train in from his home town of Reading, PA. After the show, we would get Thai food. He was one of the nicest people we’ve ever met and his passing saddened us quite a bit. In fact, it saddened a lot of the DJs who knew him, as many dedicated songs or whole sets to him. Indeed, the whole weekend was unofficially dedicated to Mr. Turner—especially with members of his family in attendance each night and a shrine set up in the chill-out room to honor him.

A memorial to our fallen brother, Andrew Turner.

There was another person whose attendance was missed this year as well: Dennis T. Brennan. He was a record dealer who brought records to sell to us during the Sunday brunch portion of the Weekender. During the sixties he was a member of The Intentions, a blue-eyed soul group from nearby Harrisburg. In the olden days, Phast Phreddie bought records from him off his lists in Goldmine and later through lists he circulated via email, in the days before the ebays or the discogs. Mr. Brennan passed away in March.

This year, there were two newcomers: Patrick Foisy and Marty Emanuel—both travelled from Canada. Mr. Foisy, known as Parka Pat due to his Mod leanings, brought his own pre-recorded introduction on a 45 RPM record. In Montreal he swings a boss dance party called With It. He was supposed to attend last year’s event but was held back by mean covid restrictions. Mr. Emanuel was born in South Africa but now lives in Winnipeg were he is known as Mod Marty and produces the On Target podcast.

Among the DJs who have previously swung at the Keystone State Soul Weekender are Vincent Ebb (known as The Soul Chef, he’s a Baltimore cat now living in Texas); Tony Chackal (a philosophy professor at a university in Georgia); Jay Boxcar (Garden State Soul Club); the tag-team of Chas Gibson & Ivy A’ Go-Go (New Paltz, NY); Paula Carrillo and George Rodriguez (both of Minneapolis); Mikey Post (Daptone Records, NY); Cher Gingras (Slow Fizz, Toronto); Eric Svirida and Yana Lil’ Jerk (both of the New York City Soul Dance Squad); Richard Sibello (Top Shelf Oldies, NJ); Al Aitchison and Connie T. Empress (both of Soul Finger, NYC); Scott Boyko (Hanover, PA); Chey Frazier (Easton, PA); and let’s not forget our wonderful hosts, Julio Fernandez (Red Rose Soul Club, Lancaster) and David Raistrick (Tamla Coffee Bar & Record Shop, Skegness, England). Every DJ presented excellent records and the dance floor was busy the entire time. Brother Weems was the M.C., as he has been for several years now, and he does a bang-up job of it, too.

Meanwhile, as all the dancing was going on in the main room of the Elks Lodge, in the chill-out room where the bar was, folks were selling records. Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was able to enhance his record collection considerably—plus he sold and traded several records from his own collection. Also in the chill-out room on Saturday afternoon Chet Stewart of local soul legends The Trenells signed autographs and sold a limited edition reissue of one of his records. At one point, he came on stage as his record was played.

In previous years, the Sunday Soul Brunch was held downstairs in the Elks Lodge diner. However, this year the Lodge failed to hire a chef, so the brunch was held upstairs. Extra tables were set up and folks brought their own grub. Luckily, there is a good coffee shop a short way down the street where folks could get some snacks.

The Sunday Brunch Scene!

To illustrate a point made above regarding the friendships that have developed among the DJs, DJ Chey Frazier started his Saturday night set with Dobie Gray’s immortal “Out on the Floor.” It had loud scratches that could be heard, making the Boogaloo Bag writers wince. One of the DJs remembered that Scott Boyko, who was selling records in the next room, had several mint copies for sale. That DJ bought one of them right then and there—with Mr. Boyko making a price reduction—and brought it up to Mr. Frazier as a gift and told him to get rid of the beat-up copy! How often do you see DJs working together like that?

If you are reading this and have not yet attended a Keystone State Soul Weekender, I strongly urge you to do so next year and become part of our family. As November approaches, watch all the social medias in order to get more information, or even better, join the Keystone State Soul Weekender group on the Facebooks.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus was responsible for three sets over the weekend—Friday night (boss, popular Northern Soul selections), Saturday afternoon (fave dance records—yes folks were boppin’ at 1:00 in the afternoon!), and the opener of the Sunday Brunch (all groovy instrumentals). Here is a list of every record he played:

Friday Night

Saturday Afternoon

Sunday Brunch

None of these records are for sale.

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