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TRIBUTE ... RIGHT ON

Wednesday, 07 May 2008 14:57 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

TRIBUTE ... RIGHT ON

At first the prospect of MICK HUCKNALL recording a tribute album to the great BOBBY "BLUE" BLAND sounds bizarre, but dig a little deeper and it starts to make sense. HUCKNALL was brought up in Manchester by a soul-loving father and he's always cited people like MARVIN GAYE, ARETHA FRANKLIN and indeed BOBBY BLAND as big influences on him. Check the chart statistics and you'll see that SIMPLY RED'S first hit was a cover of the soul tune 'Money's Too Tight To Mention' while many subsequent hits and album tracks were often tinged with soul - albeit of a smooth variety. MICK HUCKNALL'S now 47 and he acknowledges that his voice is changing and now with his life experiences he's ready to tackle the BOBBY BLAND back catalogue. MICK explains: "What I've tried to do with these songs is get them across to people who don't know Bobby's work. I've also tried not to forget that this is the 21st century, so that it would be pointless to re-record the original horn arrangements and productions. It was important to put a contemporary slant on it, but keep that traditional R&B sound". Songs chosen for the "contemporary slant" include 'Farther Up The Road', 'Yolanda', 'Stormy Monday Blues', 'Chains Of Love', 'I Pity The Fool' and 'Cry, Cry ,Cry'… and what does BOBBY BLAND himself think of the project? Well, he's enthusiastic - "The first time I hear anybody do my material, usually they try to do it like me, but Mick's changed everything, which I really liked… he's either gone through the ghetto or slept in there!"

MICK HUCKNALL'S 'TRIBUTE TO BOBBY' is released on May 19th on simply red.com

 

JULIETTE HAS HER DAY

Monday, 05 May 2008 10:20 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

JULIETTE HAS HER DAY

UK soulstress JULIETTE LEON returns to the fray in June with the release of brand new single aptly called 'Summer Day'. With passionate vocals, a sweet melody and a sensual groove, the tune will be perfect for those warm summer evenings which we've been promised. The song has already been featured in the short film 'Lark And Cher', and when it was recently aired on US MTVJ both movie and music drew good critical responses. The single will be available as a digital download from the label Die Hard through www.dittomusic.com . There's a soon-to-be-released album too, and JULIETTE and her team are enthusiastic that the variety of the music will surprise and delight soul fans both here and in the States.

 

SOUL MEN ON DVD

Wednesday, 30 April 2008 14:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

SOUL MEN ON DVD

May sees the release of a Universal/Historic Music DVD devoted to classic soul's definitive duo, SAM AND DAVE. The two hour film traces the full story of SAM MOORE and DAVE PRATER from their gospel roots, through to their 60's peaks and on to a SAM MOORE solo concert from 2007. MOORE is also featured in an extensive interview while DUCK DUNN, DAN AYKROYD and ROSEMARY PRATER offer their observations on the impact of the dynamic duo. The film features 22 vintage concert performances from SAM AND DAVE and is enhanced with three classic gospel clips from THE SOUL STIRRERS, THE DAVIS SISTERS and BROTHER JOE MAY - all of whom, MOORE admits, were big influences on the SAM AND DAVE sound and style. 'THE ORIGINAL SOUL MEN: SAM AND DAVE' will be available from May 5th.

 

PHILLY FEAST

Friday, 25 April 2008 05:13 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

PHILLY FEAST

The UK's numerous Philadelphia soul fans have lots to look forward to over the coming months. First, there's a brand new compilation of real Philly rarities on the Universal Love label. The magnificent 18 tracker is collaboration between Philadelphia legend WELDON A MCDOUGAL III and soul collector ANDREW DEMETRIADES. McDOUGAL, of course, was a key figure at Philly's Harthon Records and over a forty year career he worked on all kinds of soul projects with most of the major players on the Philadelphian music scene. This album, 'Philadelphia Soul Rarities' brings together cuts that WELDON worked on between the early sixties and 2007. Featured artists include JIMMY RANDOLPH, BARBARA COLE, SHARON PAIGE, JOE SHAMWELL, THE LARKS, LOU GORDON and BARBARA MASON… and it's Ms. MASON who provides another upcoming soul treat. "Philadelphia's First Lady Of Soul" is coming to the UK in the Autumn for a show at the Jazz Café. She's scheduled to appear at the Parkway venue on Sunday 6th September and there's the possibility that more dates will be added to her schedule. For details of the BARBARA MASON gig at the Jazz Café go to www.jazzcafe.co.uk while the album 'Philadelphia Soul Rarities' is currently available through the usual soul retailers; there'll be a full review on www.soulandjazzandfunk.com soon

 

AL WILSON PASSES

Thursday, 24 April 2008 11:55 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

AL WILSON PASSES

AL WILSON, long time favourite with the UK real soul fraternity, has died aged just 68. News sources state that WILSON died on Monday 21st April of kidney failure at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, California. WILSON, who was born June 19th, 1939, in Meridian, Mississippi, started his musical apprenticeship in the Church fronting a series of juvenile gospel groups. A stint in the US Navy saw AL performing as part of the famed enlisted men's chorus and after returning to civilian life, he toured the Los Angeles nightclub circuit, where he sang with R&B groups THE JEWELS and THE ROLLERS and later played drums with the SOULS. In 1966, singer JOHNNY RIVERS signed him to his Soul City label where he recorded the legendary 'Searching For The Dolphins' album. The album, recently re-released on Kent Records, featured the original version of JIMMY WEBB'S 'Do What You Gotta Do' and the Northern Soul anthem 'The Snake'. After Soul City folded AL recorded for Bell, Carousel and Rocky Road. It was at Rocky Road that he scored his biggest hit in 1973 with the smooth soul anthem 'Show And Tell', but as the seventies rolled on, success was limited. With 1979's 'Count the Days', WILSON scored his final chart hit, and he spent the next two decades touring clubs and lounges. In 2001, he re-recorded his classic hits for the album 'Spice of Life' but he continued creating new material. "He was always singing," his son said. "He would often call me in the middle of the night with a new song that he had written". WILSON is survived by his wife, PATRICIA; his son, TONY; daughters ALENE HARRIS and SHARON BURLEY; a brother, EDDIE WILSON; sisters LOTTIE ROSS, RUBY CONYERS and MAEBELL COLE; and 13 grandchildren

 

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