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TOWER TO THE POWER OF 5...

Thursday, 14 February 2013 20:13 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

topTOWER OF POWER are the latest artists to get the Warner/Rhino "5 original albums in a box treatment". The Oakland band signed to Warner Bros in the early 70s and debuted for them with 'Bump City' – an LP that established them as prime purveyors of hard-driven, horn-based funk... and 'Bump City' is the lead off LP in this pack.

The eponymous follow up (also included here) saw TOP reinforce their status. The LP contained the still lovely 'So Very Hard To Go' – one of vocalist, LENNY WILLIAMS best performances and the classics 'What Is Hip' and 'This Time It's Real'. The three other LPs in set are 1974's 'Back To Oakland', 'Urban Renewal' and 'In The Slot' – both from 1975. The band – founded as THE MOTOWNS by EMILIO CASTILLO back in 1967 – has been through many changes since the Warner Bros days but critics and fans alike recognize that period as their Golden Age... relive it all with this essential collection – a lovely little artefact in itself, presenting the 5 albums as mini long players complete with original sleeves.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 February 2013 15:37

 

BURDON’S BACK...

Thursday, 14 February 2013 20:11 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

burdonSoul fans with long memories will know all about ERIC BURDON. The gravel-voiced Geordie was lead vocalist in seminal 60s British R&B band THE ANIMALS whose repertoire was stuffed with classic soul and blues numbers. He quit the band when they were riding high and decamped to the States where he helped form WAR before moving onto a solo career which has been a series of highs and lows.

Now the man who Rolling Stone magazine hailed as one of the "100 Greatest Singers Of all Time" is set to release a brand new album – 'Til Your River Runs Dry'. The 12 tracker has been chiefly written by ERIC and he co-produced it with TONY BRAUNAGEL. It was recorded in Santa Barbara and New Orleans – a place which ERIC freely admits brings him closest to his musical roots.

He revisits those roots on one of the album's key cuts – 'Bo Diddley Special'. It's a semi-autobiographical piece that echoes the very first track on the very first ANIMALS LP. That song was the rumbling 'Story Of Bo Diddley' ... what goes around comes around.

Other goodies include the searing blues of 'Before You Accuse Me' (another nod to his roots), the tango that is 'Wait' and the intriguing 'Invitation To The Whitehouse'.

ERIC BURDON'S 'TIL YOUR RIVER RUNS DRY' is released on ABKCO/Universal Records on March 4th.

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 February 2013 10:32

 

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY...

Wednesday, 13 February 2013 10:09 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

grace_kellyGRACE KELLY (no not THAT one!) is a rising star on the US jazz scene. The Boston born sax prodigy is only 20 but she already has 8 albums under her belt. She's worked with people like WYNTON MARSALIS, RANDY BRECKER, HARRY CONNICK Jr, DAVID SANBORN and JAMIE CULLUM; GRACE holds the distinction of being the youngest name person cited in the Downbeat Critics Poll; oh ... and she played at BARACK OBAMA'S first inauguration.

To celebrate Valentine's Day, she's set to release a single that's a marked departure from her usual straight-ahead jazz. 'Sweet Sweet Baby' is a lilting little pop-soul ditty which GRACE hopes captures the mood of Valentine's Day. Sure, it's a throw away, candy-coated song but she still manages to drop in some of her trademark sax licks.

The single, released on Woodward Avenue Record, will be available from February 14th from all the usual download portals.

 

BRIXTON BASH...

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:19 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

flyer-damg-at-jamm-brixton-side-a-213x300DISCOVERING ARTS MUSIC GROUP (DAMG) is a London-based collective charged with discovering and spotlighting new talent and February sees them launching the first of what will be a monthly showcase of British talent who the DAMG people are already calling "The Stars Of Tomorrow".

This first show takes place on 27th February and runs from 8pm to 3am. The venue is the Brixton JAMM 261 Brixton Road, London SW9 6LH, London. UK.

"We would like to provide London's audience with a star quality music experience. Bringing new artists to such a prominent venue like Brixton JAMM is unmissable. We aim to sign talented acts and introduce their sounds to a crowd wider than just their closest group of friends", says ELLIOT AVNON, DAMG's MD.

The event will be filmed in HD and will be presented by SHANIE RYAN (MTV), giving the audience the chance to see themselves and the event in the forthcoming DAMG digital TV show. Advance tickets can be purchased from www.wegottickets.com/event/208310

 

PAUL CARRACK: LIVERPOOL

Tuesday, 12 February 2013 17:17 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

carrcak_liveThe UK's favourite blue-eyed soulster is coming to the end of his epic, annual tour and SJF caught the show at Liverpool's prestigious Philharmonic Hall. The evening opened with a performance from the brothers TINLIN – offering a distinctive take on harmonic balladry. Low-key, they were the perfect foil for the energized CARRACK who bounded on with the title track of his current album, 'Good Feelin' About It'.

The genial Yorkshireman's set naturally focused on the album and – as usual – his fans were already familiar with song s like 'If I Should Fall Behind', 'I Can Hear Ray', 'I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love' and the pop classic 'When My Little Girl Is Smiling'. For one of the new songs – 'Make It Right', CARRACK brought the TINLIN brothers back on stage... a nice touch, they penned the song.

The new stuff was interspersed with familiar CARRACK chestnuts like 'Eyes Of Blue', 'Over My Shoulder' and the song that was famously covered by the EAGLES, 'Love Will Keep Us Alive'. 'The Living Years' and 'How Long' remain the big set pieces though the loudest applause was saved for a Merseybeat tribute in the form of PAUL'S beautiful version of GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS' 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' and the show-climaxing, moving rendition of 'He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother' – that much more poignant in this venue given that the song's been adopted by the Hillsborough Justice Campaign.

Ever the consummate musician (guitar, organ, piano, vocoder, mouth organ) and self-deprecating performer, CARRACK was supported by a fabulous band that included son JACK on drums and the wonderful STEVE BEIGHTON on saxes. The tour ends in March and you can check out the remaining dates @ www.paulcarrack.net . The album 'Good Feeling' is still available and you can find a review of it in our archive along with an in-depth interview.

 

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