Wednesday, 02 November 2011 10:12 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

elecThe wonderful ELECTRIC EMPIRE album finally gets its official UK release on November 14th.... hotly tipped as an album of the year – it's an essential item. (Check our review and interview) To promote the LP the band are taking to the road in the coveted support slot on the BEVERLEY KNIGHT tour.

The dates are as follows

Saturday 12th November London, Kensington Roof Gardens

Monday 14th November Liverpool Philharmonic

Tuesday 15th November Leamington Spa Assembly

Wednesday 16th November London Royal Albert Hall

Thursday 17th November London Islington Assembly Rooms (supporting GWEN McCRAE)

Friday 18th November York Barbican

Saturday 19th November Preston Guildhall

Sunday 20th November Manchester Bridgewater Hall

Tuesday 22nd November Wolverhampton Civic Hall

Wednesday 23rd November Nottingham Royal Centre

Thursday 24th November Salisbury City Hall

Saturday 26th November Gateshead Sage

Sunday 27th November Bristol Colston Hall

It's important to check the venues for full details.

The album's killer track, 'Baby Your Lovin' is currently available in a number of remixes too. Best of the bunch comes from old maestro CHRIS BANGS who gives the anthem an almost DRIZABONE flavour. MCM keep it soulful while SMOOVE & TURRELL speed things up to make it a soulful house winner... but do check out that BANGS tweak!



Tuesday, 01 November 2011 19:07 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

amyA "new" AMY WINEHOUSE album – featuring mostly previously unheard material - is set for release on December 5th on Island Records. The set, which will be called 'Lioness' (after her own label), is subtitled 'Hidden Treasures' and offers 12 tracks put together by MARK RONSON and SALAAM REMI.

The music comprises of previously unreleased tracks, alternative versions of existing classics as well as a couple of brand new AMY compositions. The album has been compiled in close association with AMY'S family, management and record label Island Records.

Amongst the songs on the album are covers of RUBY AND THE ROMANTICS' 'Our Day Will Come', THE SHIRELLES' 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow', DONNY HATHAWAY'S 'A Song For You' and the JOBIM perennial 'The Girl From Ipanema'. There's also the original, slow tempo version of 'Valerie' and 'Like Smoke' with guest input from NAS.

Speaking about the album Amy's father Mitch had this to say:

"I spent so much time chasing after AMY, telling her off that I never realized what a true genius she was. It wasn't until I sat down with the rest of the family and listened to this album that I fully appreciated the breadth of AMY'S talent, from jazz standards to hip hop songs, it really took my breath away. If the family had felt that this album wasn't up to the standard of 'Frank' and 'Back To Black' we would never have agreed to release it and we believe it will stand as a fitting tribute to AMY 'S musical legacy."

A donation of £1 from the sale of each album in the UK will be donated to the AMY WINEHOUSE FOUNDATION, which was launched on what would have been AMY'S 28th birthday September 14th 2011.



Tuesday, 01 November 2011 14:08 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

tasha_taylor_album_coverTASHA TAYLOR is the daughter of soul legend JOHNNIE TAYLOR and she's about to launch her debut musical project 'Taylor Made'. On it you'll hear the lady's unique take on soul music – an amalgam of diverse influences like ARETHA, ETTA JAMES, BB KING, NATALIE COLE, LAURYN HILL and , of course, her father.

TASHA grew up in Texas before moving to Boston to study theatre at that city's university. That training has led to parts in 'House' and 'Ugly Betty' as well as in indie films. She tours with JIM BELUSHI and DAN ACKROYD in their official BLUES BROTHERS tours and she's about to feature in a stage musical about RAY CHARLES. In 'Unchain My Heart' she'll play the part of MARGIE HENDRIX.

Earlier this year TASHA hooked up with producers STUART BENJAMIN, ROB ARBITTER and GARY ADANTE and headed for the recording studio to cut a soul album in loving memory of her dad, who passed away in 2000.The result -'TAYLOR MADE' – is a 16 track set, written, produced, arranged and performed by TASHA. Recoded in Los Angeles, the album features live instrumentation and a full horn section – the aim being to re-capture the spirit of authentic soul. The set's big cover is a throwback to her father's first million-selling hit on Stax, 'Who's Making Love', while the first single is a solid slab of old school soul, 'Queen'.

Clearly JOHNNIE would be proud of 'Daddy's Girl'.... full review of the album and interview with TASHA here at SJF very soon.


VARIOUS: Expansion Soul Sauce 25 (Expansion)

Monday, 31 October 2011 14:39 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

soulsauce_25The title's the big give away here. Yes, this ab fab 16 tracker is part of Expansion's 25th anniversary celebrations and as with all good music parties there's plenty of exciting new stuff and lots of cherished oldies.

A trio of stunning new cuts opens the collection. They are the Shirley Jones/Jean Carne collaboration, 'Whatever It Takes'; 'Luv is Comin' Up' from Tom Glide; and 'Step By Step 'from Leon Ware... and before you say, "hang on the Tom Glide tune isn't new"... well, yes, the song isn't - but this remix is. Here, good old Chris Bangs gives it his best Drizabone sound-alike shot and creates an instant, irresistible modern soul classic. Same description applies to the other two... though with those artists you wouldn't expect anything else would you? On any other album they'd be the absolute standouts, but here, there's so much more it seems that Messrs Tee and Searling are really spoiling us. Other choice brand new cuts come from Kloud 9 ('Sweet Sensation'), Soul Talk (the Cool Million mix of 'Really Don't Mind'), Manchester's very own Victor Haynes ('From The Bottom Of My Heart') and James Day ('Young Hearts (Will Never Be Lonely))' – a fine down tempo moment with vocal from Chauncey Matthews).

Then, there's stuff that - though not brand new - is still of recent vintage – like Keni Burke's 'So Real', Sheree Brown's 'Just A Simple Love' and Kindred The Family Soul's 'Magic Happen'.

Add to all that a wonderful smattering of oldies – Maysa Leak's 'The Bottle', James King's 'Memory', Kuh Ledesma's 'Dreaming' and Leo's Sunship's 'Give Me The Sunshine' and you have all the ingredients that make this the best modern soul compilation of the year.

(BB) 5/5

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 October 2016 18:30



Sunday, 30 October 2011 19:33 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF


The redoubtable continental reissue specialist, Holland's Vinyl Masterpiece and its PTG imprint, has just revived some collectable '80s soul and funk titles on CD. Pick of the bunch is 'On Target,' the 1983 RCA album by the Philly songbirds, THE JONES GIRLS. The set was co-produced by Fonzi Thornton and features the uptempo title cut (a Top 50 US R&B chart entry) and '2 Win You Back.'

Another tasty platter comes from LA singer, JERRY KNIGHT, who started out as the bass player in RAYDIO. 1983's 'Love's On Our Side' was originally released by A&M and contains 'She's Got To Be A Dancer.'

Released a few years earlier was 'Saturday, Saturday Night' by the LA octet, ZOOM. The title track was a US R&B chart entry as was the song 'Love Seasons,' which was a Stateside Top 40 hit in 1982.

Also hailing from Los Angeles were the LA BOPPERS led by singer/drummer, Vance Tennort. Their 1981 Mercury album, 'Bop Time' featured a hit revamp of the Delfonics' 'La La Means I Love You' and is reissued for the first time.

The same goes for the eponymous Mercury debut by released by forgotten Texas band, PHYREWORK in 1978. Helmed by Con-Funk-Shun main man Michael Cooper, the album found the seven piece band delivering some scorching Bar-Kays-style earthy funk and slick ballads. Highlights include the strutting down-home funk of 'Put Your Hands Up,' the breezy 'Do You Feel The Same' and 'Make It Last,' a sophisticated mid-tempo cut with an addictive churning groove and super-soulful vocal from Clarence Pitts.

Anyone remember SELECTION? The early '80s group was studio creation masterminded by Italian producers, Claudio Donato and Franco Donato (in the mould of the CHIC-influenced bands CHANGE, BB&Q BAND and HIGH FASHION). The group's self-titled album originally surfaced on Full Time Records in 1980 and makes its CD debut via PTG. The key tracks are 'I'm So Glad,' 'Ride The Beam,' and 'Rebel On The Run.' As well as the original album, the new reissue contains five bonus extended remixes.

For more info, go to


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