Fans of the exquisite, often never-before-released funk championed by Stones Throw’s reissue wing Now-Again Records are no stranger to Amnesty. Based in Indianapolis in the early 1970s, the group released only two obscure 45s in their recording career. Birthed from the same scene as the Ebony Rhythm Band (Soul Heart Transplant – NWG 5011), Amnesty had a poltical edge similar to L.A. Carnival (Would Like To Pose A Question – NWG 5009) and the hardest brass section since The Kashmere Stage Band (Texas Thunder Soul – NWG 5023). Only one Amnesty song has ever been released on CD: “Free Your Mind” appeared on the most widely distributed Now-Again album to date – Cold Heat: Heavy Funk Rarities 1968-1974, Vol. 1 (NWG 5017).
This previously unreleased anthology comes from the same sessions as “Free Your Mind.” In 1973, Amnesty recorded five hard, vocal funk numbers alongside some ballads and a handful of demos based around nothing more than guitar accompaniment. Only two songs were ever released. While Amnesty’s ting, difficult-to-categorize prog funk/soul/rock could potentially reach far beyond Indianpolis’s bounds, the band never found a label to take them to the next level.
Obviously influenced by, but by no means simply imitators of, the sound of early Parliament and Funkadelic, Amnesty also responds to the grooves of Earth Wind & Fire and Sly & The Family Stone in their own way. Finally made available 33 years after they were recorded, these songs present a funk style arranged with dangerous complexity and performed with precision – arguably the most unique funk to originate from Naptown, and some of the best music of its kind.