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On the Record with Mr. Fine Wine

"I went to school with the children of David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick."

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Mr. Fine Wine (real name: Matt Weingarden) is the host of the long-running Downtown Soulville show on New Jersey's famous WFMU radio station. He'll guest at the fourth anniversary of Title Town, the monthly soul-and-funk dance night at Brillobox.

You grew up in Detroit?

Yeah. I grew up in Detroit and I moved to New York about 25 years ago. I was always collecting records, but I started DJing when I moved. 

Did your Detroit upbringing inform your musical tastes?

Yeah. I went to school with the children of David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick and people like that; there was just music everywhere. My uncle owned a small label that put out a variety of music, from folk music to soul music to jazz. And he was a very in-demand local guitar teacher who taught people from John Lee Hooker to Don Was. 

Soul nights have seen something of a revival since you started. When did that really take off?

In the last 10 years or so, you can hear soul records practically any night of the week [in New York City]. Not that the parties are all necessarily any good. 

What makes one night good as opposed to another?

It's taste, I guess. I can be perfectly happy with one other person in the bar as long as the DJ has taste in music. It doesn't even have to be rare stuff.

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