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Protest Songs - Keb' Mo' On Immigration, Donald Trump, and Glastonbury

Wednesday, 26 June 2019 08:32 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


Though he comes across as a softly-spoken man who laughs a lot, is self-effacing,  and knows the value of humility,  there's a core of inner steel that gives folk-blues troubadour Keb' Mo' a toughness that seems at odds with the gentle demeanour he projects. He's a strong believer in fighting for just causes and during a career that began in 1994 and which to date has yielded seventeen albums,  Mo' has tackled many different and difficult social, political and  environmental issues. Though he's been described as a protest singer, the 67-year-old Californian - who now lives in Nashville - doesn't express himself using cheap or catchy slogans; nor does he adopt a blinkered, dogmatic approach to his subject matter - rather, he convinces us his cause's worthiness by dint of his common-sense-reasoning combined with simple eloquence and the gentle art of persuasion.   

On his latest album, 'Oklahoma,' the quadruple-Grammy-winning singer/songwriter focuses upon two hot topics that are igniting debate all over the world - immigration and plastic pollution. But there are also heartfelt love songs ('Beautiful Music') as well as perspectives on feminism (the anthemic 'Put A Woman In Charge') and songs about persevering to overcome and heal personal troubles ('The Way I'). There are guest spots for the blues elder statesman Taj Mahal, who appears on two cuts, as well as a telling cameo from lap steel guitar virtuoso, Robert Randolph. They're joined by Mo's wife, Robbie Brooks Moore, country music doyenne Rosanne Cash, and award-winning Latin gospel singer Jaci Velasquez.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 09:28



Tuesday, 25 June 2019 07:09 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altJust weeks after the death of Dr John, New Orleans is mourning the passing of another major musical icon. Producer, arranger, composer, trumpet player and bandleader DAVE BARTHOLOMEW died on Sunday 23 June in New Orleans at the magnificent age of 100. One of the leading creators of the New Orleans sound and best remembered for his work with Fats Domino, Dave's death was announced by his son Ron.

Dave Bartholomew was born on December. 24, 1918, in Edgard, Louisiana. His father played trumpet and Dave learned to play the tuba before moving on to trumpet earning the nickname Leather Lungs for his ability to hold a note. He played in various local bands and after serving in World War II he formed his own group, which appeared in New Orleans night spots like the famous Dew Drop Inn where he met record biz hustler Lew Chudd, who signed him to his label, Imperial. Working as a sort of talent scout, Bartholomew saw and signed Fats Domino to the label and the pair went onto enjoy a string of successes. The collaboration yielded 65 Billboard single hits between 1955 and 1964 – only Elvis Presley enjoyed more success!

He worked with other artists too – people like Lloyd Price, Smiley Lewis, T Bone Walker and Chuck Berry whilst major stars (including, Elvis, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles) have covered his songs. His work was also hugely popular across the Caribbean and is often cited as being a seminal influence on the evolution of ska and reggae.

Dave was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998, and was also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. He was given a Trustees Award for lifetime achievement by the Recording Academy in 2014.

Dave Bartholomew is survived by his wife, Rhea (Douse) Bartholomew; his daughters, Diane Wilson and Jacqueline Temple; his sons, Dave Jr., Don and Ron; three stepchildren, Alvin LaBeaud, Darrell LaBeaud and Deborah Hubbard; a sister, Thelma Cooper; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Our picture (above) shows Dave at work with Fats Domino.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2019 07:18



Tuesday, 25 June 2019 07:05 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDAVINA & THE VAGABONDS are a Minneapolis-based band currently putting the finishing touches to their album, 'Sugar Drops'. As a taster they've just released the catchy, poppy single 'Little Miss Moonshine', though it's Davina's mature vocal along with an imaginative arrangement that makes the song attractive. That clever arrangement is down to producer Garry West and Davina's husband, trumpeter and string arranger Zack Lozier.

Ms Sowers (for that Davina's name) says "My songs always begin with an emotion, so it started out as an 'I see you and I see through you' song. I do what I do because I am who I am, not because I wanna make a buck or because it's the next cool trend. There's nothing smellier than dishonest music and fake people. Even if you're doing music from eras past and paying homage to music that you, yourself have been influenced by, it needs to come from the heart!"

See if you agree when 'Little Miss Moonshine' hits the sales racks on July 19th.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2019 07:17



Monday, 24 June 2019 19:08 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe 24th release on BRIAN POWER'S Soulhouse Music label is a BP collaboration with Stateside producer/remixer MIKE DELGADO and features the ever lovely and always reliable HIL ST SOUL on power house vocals!

The original mix of the song – ' I Believe (In The Power of Love)' – clocks in at just over seven minutes – a fitting length for its anthemic status. Like all Soulhouse product this is the very best, classic melodic house and Hilary's vocal soars away!

As ever there are various tweaks and mixes ("T's Dub" amongst them) – but we're sticking with the original.

'I Believe (In The Power of Love)' out TraxSource : 28th JUNE 2019; Mainstream : 12th JULY 2019

Last Updated on Monday, 24 June 2019 19:15



Friday, 21 June 2019 18:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altPlenty of end of 2018 soul singles charts featured Maryland soulstress KAREN LINETTE'S version of Stevie Wonder's 'Another Star'. The gentle jazz shuffle impressed plenty of soul buffs while the single's other side 'Couldn't Love You' won plenty of support too.

If you liked those tunes, you'll want to investigate Ms Linette's new EP – 'Upside Of Life'. The lead single, the smooth 'It's Whateva' is riding up the Billboard charts while the sweet 'Let Me Know' will please lovers of smooth jazz and sophisticated soulsters... oh, and if you missed it first time around, 'Another Star' is also included on the EP which is out now


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