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Charles Feelgood 

Saturday, March 16, at Spy.

In 1990, Charles Feelgood and his business partner Scott Henry started a weekly party in Baltimore called Fever, booking well-known DJs such as Sven Vath and Derrick Carter and steadily building a loyal crowd of about 2,500 ravers and clubbers every Thursday. And even though Henry has gone on to far greater success with Buzz on Friday nights in Washington, D.C., most scene vets agree that it was Fever that really jump-started the D.C.-Baltimore rave scene.

Central to that success was Feelgood's burgeoning reputation for playing the funkiest house around. A listen to one of Feelgood's rave-era mix tapes, Phat Girls Rock, proves his ability to smoothly blend bangin' disco house tracks with soulful gospel numbers and over-the-top vocal workouts into a dizzying mix of funkin' and bumpin' beats.

Unfortunately, as the rave scene dried up over the last few years, so has much of Feelgood's sense of soulful spirituality. On his latest mix CD,, released on Moonshine Records in 2001, Feelgood has replaced the bump and funk with harder-edged techno hammering. Likewise, the gospel testimonials have mutated into the standard hard-house "shake that ass and bounce those tits" chants (which probably go down a bit easier with the average megaclub meat-market crowd), leaving only a bit of Paul Johnson's "Do Do Wop" magic to bring a true smile to our faces. But hold out hope, because his gig at the Spy Bar will be a much smaller, more intimate engagement than he usually plays, and he's likely to funk up his set a bit more as a result.

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