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Friday, 29 May 2015 11:48 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

melwaitersfb1Southern soul singer MEL WAITERS died on Thursday 28th May in his home town, San Antonio, Texas. He was one month short of his 59th birthday. Reports suggest that Waiters had died from the cancer that he had been battling for some years.

Though never a major star, he was a big draw on the local San Antonio music circuit. He was born there in 1956 and grew up singing in the local Methodist church. He broke into music as a radio DJ then moved onto signing at Texan military bases but he also worked as a drummer in a number of covers bands.

In 1995 he released his first solo album, 'I'm Serious', which spawned two local hits, 'Hit It And Quit It' and 'Suki-Suki Man'. On the strength of that Waiters was signed to the Malaco/Waldoxy label group where enjoyed more regional hits but, importantly, three of his long players charted on the national blues listings.

More latterly he recorded for his own label, Britney Records (named for his daughter) but Mel was rarely out of work on the live circuit. His shows were known for their bawdy humour and a flamboyant style that endeared him to audiences

Mel Waiters is survived by his wife, Portia and daughter Britney.



Thursday, 28 May 2015 19:20 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

DennisThere's a new kid arriving on the blue-eyed soul block. He's called DENNIS TAYLOR, but to avoid confusion with THAT Dennis Taylor (now what ever happened to him?) our boy goes out as DENNIS "YOUNGBLOOD" TAYLOR.

Young Mr Youngblood is all set drop a new single on a new label.... Groove City Entertainment. The label is the brainchild of the legendary Philly guitarist/producer Bobby Eli and the song – a very catchy 'Been There Done That' has been penned by Eli and Taylor with input from another Philly legend, blue-eyed soul man, Len Barry.

Sounds like a great recipe doesn't it? And the end result doesn't disappoint. 'Been There Done That' marries contemporary soul with a great retro feel and like all those old soul classics the hook around the title line is instantly memorable.

Hard to believe from the performance that Dennis is just 19. Hailing from Boston, he also plays 5 instruments and mentor Eli has high hopes for him.

'Been There Done That' is available via the usual download platforms (a vinyl 45's on the way too) and, we're told, there's a full album in the pipeline.


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2015 19:26



Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:33 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

mightySadly, Chicago band THE MIGHTY LOVERS don't merit even a foot note in soul histories – but over the last few months one of their recordings for Soul Hawk Records has started to make waves on the collectors' soul scene. Said tune is called 'Ain't Gonna Run No More' and it's a catchy, foot-tapping Popcorn Wylie production, recorded in Chicago in 1970.

Little is known about the Mighty Lovers. Some archivists believes they might be linked to Chicago group, the Ideals but there's no definitive proof other than that a record called 'The Mighty Love' was released twice on Boo-Ga-Loo Records... first by the Mighty Lovers and secondly by the Ideals.

What is evident, though, is that the Lovers pitched up in Detroit in 1970 and began working with Popcorn Wylie. The result was a single on Soul Hawk.... the aforementioned 'Ain't Gonna Run No More' with 'Driving Me Out Of My Mind' on the flip.

Interest in the record has prompted UK reissue specialist Soul Junction Records to put it out on 7" vinyl. The in-demand A side stars with an odd trumpet intro (from top sessioneer, Ron Jackson) then builds into a rustic, sweet harmony item that combines the best of Detroit and Chicago. The B side is a light, floating dancer with more sweet harmonies. Soul anoraks will note that the backing track to that one is the same as Stanley Mitchell's 'Quit Twisting My Arm Baby' (Dynamo) and The New Holidays' Westbound single, 'My Baby Ain't A Plaything'. This Soul Junction reissue has the full support of the Wylie family.

THE MIGHTY LOVERS; Ain't Gonna Run No More/Driving Me Out Of My Mind' is released by Soul Junction Records on 7" vinyl on June 1st.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:39



Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:31 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF


Jazz trumpeter and session musician MARCUS BELGRAVE died on Sunday 24th May. He was aged 78 and had been in hospital in Michigan since April suffering from chronic pulmonary disease. In a long career he had played with numerous big names in the world of soul and jazz.... people like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Charles Mingus, Tony Bennett, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Cocker and almost all the early Motown stable.

Born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1936, by the age of 12 Belgrave was playing trumpet professionally, going onto join the Ray Charles band in the late 50s. He was featured with Charles on the classic 'Jazz at Newport' albums. Belgrave came to Detroit in 1962 and became a studio musician at Motown.... he played on numerous hits, including 'My Girl' and 'Dancing In The Street'. After Motown left for California, Belgarve remained in Detroit and founded Tribe Records

In 1988 he became an original member of Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra ... selected personally by Wynton Marsalis, and in 2006 Belgrave was featured at Jazz at Lincoln Centre's presentation, "Detroit: Motor City Jazz".

Marcus Belgrave also served as a professor or visiting artist at institutions including Detroit-area schools, Michigan State University, Stanford University, University of California and Oberlin College.

In 2009, he received the Kresge Foundation's Eminent Artist award, honouring nationally acclaimed artists who have pursued careers in Detroit.

Marcus Belgrave is survived by his wife, two daughters and two sons.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2015 10:40



Tuesday, 26 May 2015 17:51 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Diane-Shaw-headerThere's an old adage that goes 'Good things come to those who wait' and in the case of singer DIANE SHAW, it certainly rings true. At 52 she's something of a veteran of the UK soul scene but during her twenty years in the music business she's accrued a lot of valuable experience working alongside musicians such as Motown cult legends Brenda Holloway and Chris Clark. All those years paying her dues has certainly paid off judging from the glorious music that can be found on her just-released debut LP, 'Life, Love & Strings,' whose allusive sound and style reverberates with echoes of soul's golden era in the '60s and '70s.  The album was the highest new entry on the UK Soul Chart this week and the album's killer cut, 'That Thing You Do' - with its sensuous Philly-style groove - has been wowing the DJs and crowds at recent soul weekenders. It's one of several gems to be found on an album that is unashamedly old school and has been preceded by the Motown-tinged digital single, 'Leave A Little Love.'

Diane's music is available on all the usual digital platforms and you can find out more about her here:

Look out for a full review of Diane's album soon at SJF


Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 May 2015 20:21




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