Santiago’s complete recordings for the first time ever
In the late 1960’s, Neftali Santiago’s family bought their first home in Willingboro, New Jersey at 22 Somerset Drive. Here he would learn to play the drums and honed his skills, which landed him a spot as the drummer and a singer/ songwriter in Mandrill, one of the most diverse funk bands of all time. In 1975, Santiago took a hiatus from the band and returned home to start a new project. Though he would return to Mandrill in 1978, between the years of 1975 and 1978 Santiago recorded an album’s worth of material that has largely been unreleased until now.
Under the moniker Santiago, Neftali and the talented multi-arranger Joe Byrne recorded four tracks, two of which landed on the band’s first single in 1975. Despite the limited success of the band’s only single, Neftali’s manager secured high profile tours with The Ohio Players and Gil-Scott Heron. After moving across the country, Neftali started new bands (the Santiago Band, Santiago & Friends, and Neftali’s Beast) and kept recording, though nothing came of the tracks except the mysteriously bootlegged “Bionic Funk” 45 in the late 70’s. Though Neftali’s solo career came to an end in 1978 when he rejoined Mandrill, he left a treasure trove of unreleased funk tracks that are sure to please fans of Parliament/ Funkadelic, Boosty Collins, Sly & The Family Stone, and 70’s rare groove.