Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:06 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt's a little under a year since WILL DOWNING issued his last album, 'The Promise' but now he makes a welcome return to the fray with the first of two EPs...both entitled 'Romantique'. The idea with the mini albums is that Mr D will offer his tributes to the great romantic crooners who have gone before him.... people like Lou Rawls, Isaac Hayes, Barry White and Jon Lucien.

For starters, Will is treating us to his own version of an Isaac Hayes song, 'Déjà Vu' (originally recorded, of course, by Dionne Warwick). Will's re-work is actually a duet with Avery Sunshine, inspired by a live recording of the song by Hayes AND Ms.W. In truth this new take doesn't stray too far from the original concept... but it's such a great song and Will's honeyed voice is always worth a listen... little Ms Sunshine is top notch too!

Other songs on the two EPs (we believe) include 'You'll Never Find Another Love like Mine', 'Never Can Say Goodbye' and Will's own 'If She Knew'.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:20



Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSouth London's THE SOUL IMMIGRANTS (marshalled by guitarist/vocalist Emrys Baird) are putting the finishing touches to their latest album 'Back From The Brink' coming out Nov 15th on Lateralize records.

The LP was flagged up last month with the release of the single 'I'm a Good Woman'. The cover of the Barbara Lynn classic was fronted by guest vocalist Ria Currie and most commentators commented that between them the Immigrants and Ms C conjured up a real old school, raw 60s soul sound à la Koko Taylor and Sugar Pie Desanto.

Oddly that's not the album's signature sound. Most of the rest of the concise 8 tracker is more laid back and, fronted by Baird's vocals, reminded me a lot of the James Hunter sound ... not a bad thing in my book!

The comparison is most obvious on the title track while the shuffling 'Up Close And Personal' offers a similar flavour. Elsewhere, 'The Devil May Have...' dips its sonic colours into the Caribbean palette. Input there too from Freddie Notes. 'Sooner Or Later' is the LP's nod to the blues and southern soul while on the oddly titled 'The Plains Of Maker Height's the band develop the Southern soul feel a little more. The pacey 'Sweet Rest' offers more variety to an album that shows the Soul Immigrants know and respect soul's wonderful heritage.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 October 2019 18:21



Friday, 11 October 2019 10:52 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMotown's 60th Anniversary celebration continues with the release of a special, limited edition 'Motown In Mono' vinyl series, featuring THE FOUR TOPS' 'Reach Out' (1967), THE MARVELETTES' 'Sophisticated Soul' (1968), THE MIRACLES' 'You've Really Got A Hold On Me' (1963), DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES' 'Reflections' (1968), and THE TEMPTATIONS' 'The Temptations Sing Smokey' (1965).

The four LPs will be released on 8th November by Motown/UMC and all five albums are newly remastered from their original analogue master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, pressed on audiophile-quality 180-gram vinyl, and packaged in deluxe Stoughton tip-on jackets.

Intriguingly 'Sophisticated Soul' has never before been commercially released in mono, and 'Reflections' was issued in mono in the UK only while 'The Temptations Sing Smokey' (considered one of the greatest soul albums of all time!) has long been out-of-print.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2019 11:01



Friday, 11 October 2019 10:48 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Come And Get These Memories' is an apt title for a new book that chronicles the achievements of the mighty Holland-Dozier-Holland. The book, published to tie in with the Motown 60 celebrations, has been written by Eddie and Brian Holland in association with Dave Thompson and the siblings say that putting it all together has given them the opportunity to set the record straight on a number of matters.

The book takes us from the projects of Detroit (where the Hollands were brought up by their grandmother and single mother) to the creation of perhaps the greatest song writing triumvirate in music history, crafting countless classics like Martha and the Vandellas' 'Come And Get These Memories' (for which the book is named) .

The book is published today (10th October) by Omnibus Press. The co-author ... Dave Thompson, is a UK born, US based writer who's a columnist for Goldmine magazine; his work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Mojo, Record Collector and many other major publications. The foreword to the book is by Motown President and long time promotions man Barney Ales.

Watch out for a soon-to-come review in our reviews section.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2019 11:01



Friday, 11 October 2019 10:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altStuart Wade's DOWN TO THE BONE outfit burst out of the traps back in 1995 and very soon they'd won the hearts of countless sophisticated soul and jazz fans who lapped up their groove-heavy, easy-on-the-ear take on the genres. They've been particularly successful in the Us where their 'From Manhattan To Staten' went to #2 on the Billboard jazz chart while their 'Brooklyn Heights ' was Grammy nominated – not bad for band in which the leader doesn't actually play an instrument!

As is the way with successful dance tunes, over the years many DTB classics have been remixed, re-imagined and tweaked by all kinds of people in all kinds of countries and now the nice people at Dome Records have collected together some of the very best of those remixes and released them in a 2 CD set... 'FUNKIN' AROUND'.

The collection opens with a real corker.... DJ Spinna's mix of 'Electric Vibes' which features maestro Roy Ayers. Other highlights include Speedometer's reworking of 'Funkin' Around' and Hoops Havona's mix of 'Right On Baby. ("Hoops Havona" by the way is Ceri Evans keyboardist with the Brand New Heavies).

Last Updated on Friday, 11 October 2019 11:00


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