Tuesday, 14 June 2011 06:56 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

Teena_First_ClassGreat news for TEENA MARIE fans - Hip-O Select release three CDs by the late chanteuse at the end of June.

Out of print for some years - and fetching outrageous prices on the internet - the albums 'Lady Tee' (1980) and the self-produced 'Irons In The Fire' (also from 1980) have been remastered and will be reissued with bonus tracks. The former album contains additonal tracks in the shape of different versions of Teena's smash dance hit, 'Behind The Groove,' while the latter LP contains a bunch of additional live tracks recorded in Long Beach during a 1981 tour with mentor Rick James and his Stone City band.

Probably of most interest to Marie devotees is the 26-track 2-CD set, 'First Class Love: Rare Tee,' which has exhumed a load of previously unheard material from the Motown archives. Much of the material dates from the years 1976 and '77 and originates from aborted sessions Marie took part in prior to her debut LP release 'Wild & Peaceful' in 1979. It includes a duet with Ronnie McNeir plus tracks scheduled for an unreleased fifth Motown LP and a clutch of acoustic demos. It all adds up to a fascinating package that's presented with Hip-O Select's customary panache. 

Look out for full reviews soon at SJF.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 14:42



Friday, 10 June 2011 10:07 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

HilzZambian-born/UK-based Hil St. Soul singer, HILARY MWELWA – aka HILZ – has her first solo album, 'Bring Back The Love,' released on August 8th by the Global Phusion label. The 9-track set is helmed by UK production duo, The Rural – who've previously worked with Beyoncé and Beverley Knight.

Stylistically, the music ranges from savvy street soul to dub-inflected Lover's Rock and hip-hop-infused pop and from a commercial perspective, the album looks likely to take Hilz to a new audience. At SJF we've already had a sneak preview and we reckon it's going to be one of the year's most talked about set's on the soul scene.

For more info go to:

Look out for a review of 'Bring Back The Love' soon at SJF.



Thursday, 09 June 2011 19:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

elec_groupDiscerning radio listeners and committed seekers of real modern soul will know by now that 'Baby Your Lovin'' by Australian band, ELECTRIC EMPIRE is building to be the big summer soul groove. Its gorgeous laid-back vibe has already won over taste makers like TREVOR NELSON and RALPH TEE and no wonder. Someone much better with words than this SJF scribe described the tune as "the best recording AL GREEN never made"... and you know, that's bob on! The tune has an irresistible melody, a sweet vocal and a committed arrangement and production that good old WILLIE MITCHELL and the Hi crew would have been proud of.

The band – ELECTRIC EMPIRE – were formed in Melbourne in 2009 and right away the trio's live shows were garnering rave reviews. The threesome - DENNIS DOWLUT (guitar), JASON HEERAH (drums) and AARON MENDOZA (keys) all had extensive experience working with other local groups but as ELECTRIC EMPIRE they established an instant chemistry while their mutual love and respect for the soul sounds of the 60s and 70s soon got them into the studio to work on their debut set. All three band members contributed vocals, wrote the songs and handled production duties; the end result saw their fan base increase dramatically. Live work increased too – with ELECTRIC EMPIRE winning support slots on tours with THE BRAND NEW HEAVIES and MAYER HAWTHORNE.

elecThe album's lead single is the aforementioned 'Baby Your Lovin''. Already acknowledged as a soul classic down under, it's now set to charm the rest of the world with its insidious attractions and old school flavours. ELECTRIC EMPIRE will be touring Europe in the summer too and amongst their high profile shows is a spot at Glastonbury... by then Australia's best kept soul secret won't be a secret anymore! For more information go to

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 June 2011 19:45



Thursday, 09 June 2011 18:14 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

silk_-_midnight_dancerThe Dutch specialist reissue company, Vinyl Masterpiece, has just reissued another batch of sizzling vintage soul albums on their PTG label. Best of the bunch is 'Midnight Dancer,' a 1979 album originally released on Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International label by the seven-piece group, SILK (not to be confused with the '90s R&B group of the same name). Recorded at Sigma Sound and helmed by producers/songwriters Joseph B. Jefferson and Charles Simmons (who had previously worked with The Spinners) the set features the alluring vocals of Debra Henry.

Male vocal quartet, LOVE COMMITTEE, also hailed from Philly and featured in their ranks one Ron Tyson, a singer/songwriter who later joined The Temptations. Their self-titled 1980 LP (originally issued by Salsoul's Gold Mind imprint) is now available for the first time with two bonus tracks.

Two collectable albums by legendary group THE DRAMATICS – namely 'Any Time, Any Place' and '10½' – are back in circulation again. Originally released by MCA in 1979 and 1980 respectively, they find the group flirting with funk and disco.

Finally, west coast tunesmith, GARY TAYLOR, has his 1983 A&M debut reissued by PTG. It contains the classic ballad, 'Without You In My Life,' a track that established the singer/songwriter's smooth yet intense romantic style (and which was previously recorded by Marlena Shaw on her 1982 'Let Me In Your Life' LP).

Go to for more info.



Tuesday, 07 June 2011 20:08 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

jai_reedReal soul seekers know that some of the very best modern soul comes from the Gospel community and one Gospel singer currently making soul waves is New Orleans' JAI REED. REED was born and bred in the Crescent City and though he's always sung in church he's also been influenced by the city's distinct soul idioms. He began his professional career working in the groups ENDURANCE and NU BEGINNINGS but in 2000 he took the decision to go solo.

He's currently promoting his latest album – 'Anointed For Purpose' and the promo single currently doing the rounds indicates that the LP will be worth investigating. The cut – 'How Much You Mean To Me' is a delicious down tempo groove that delivers its message via insinuation. The melody's sweet, the harmonies are superb and JAI'S delivery is faultless... a feel of the best of BILLY and SARAH GAINES about this one. Find out more by going to


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