Saturday, 26 February 2011 09:45 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

gwenSoul veteran GWEN McCRAE has just released a brand new single – 'Now I Found Love'. The record is out on Plain Truth Entertainment and the sound marks something of a departure for the lady who gave us soul classics like 'Keep The Fire Burning and 'Funky Sensation'. 'Now I Found Love', you see, is aimed squarely at the electronic dance audience. The beats are distinctly Europop and - for whatever reason – it seems our girl's having a tilt at LADY GA GA! That said, the voice is still sensational. 

The logic behind the release seems to be that Plain Truth enjoyed a huge European hit last year with 'My Feelings For You' from an artist called AVICII. That one sampled GWEN'S 'All This Love That I'm Giving', so it seemed logical for the label to put out something on the lady herself. Written by DAVID SEAGAL and produced by STEVE SOLA, GWEN McCRAE'S 'Now I Found Love' is out now and available from all the usual outlets.



Saturday, 26 February 2011 09:43 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

breaksTime was when hardly a month went by without the release of a soul/jazz/funk compilation stuffed with tunes whose breaks had been sampled to death by the hip-hop generation. In recent years they seem to have dried up, but if you're having withdrawal symptoms then check out the new Harmless 2CD set – 'The Breaks'. Compiled by DEAN RUDLAND as part of the label's fifteenth anniversary celebrations, it's claimed that each and every one of the set's generous 31 tracks has at some time been sampled by the b-boys and the rappers.

Included on the album are classics like 'The Champ' from THE MOHAWKS, 'It's A New Day' by THE SKULL SNAPS and CYMANDE'S 'Bra' and 'The Message'. But with music from (amongst) others like AL GREEN, THE AVERAGE WHITE BAND, THE FIVE STAIRSTEPS, MFSB, JEAN PLUM , HAROLD MELVIN and the BLUE NOTES, INSTANT FUNK and WILLIE MITCHELL (check his gorgeous version of THE YOUNG RASCALS' 'Groovin'') it's essentially a lovely little soul compilation. Even rarity collectors will find plenty to interest them – notably TAANA GARDNER'S 'Heartbeat' and LIQUID LIQUID'S 'Cavern' – the source of GRANDMASTER MELLE MEL'S ' White Lines', by the way.




Friday, 25 February 2011 20:50 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

marioMARIO PERCUDANI is an Italian singer/songwriter/guitarist. In 1997 he formed the band HUNGRYHEART. Best described a melodic blues and rock outfit, the group cut one album and enjoyed a positive response from Italian audiences. Encouraged, MARIO moved on to create a blusier sound with DOWN TOWN BLUES and then he joined MARCO TANSINI'S BLUEVILLE.

Now he's struck out on his own with the release of a solo album – 'New Day', which allows him to explore his penchant for melodic blues. Released on Tanzan Music/Fastball, the 10 tracker will appeal to anyone who likes the introspective sounds of the singer/songwriter. Here at SJF we particularly liked the gentle, soothing 'Standing In The Pouring Rain' while, interestingly, he also manages to weave something new from the standard 'God Bless The Child' – that one features some superb trumpet from GIANNI SATTA, by the way.

For more information go to



Monday, 21 February 2011 20:31 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

soultalkExpansion Records hit 2011 running with the release of great, new modern soul set from London-based trio SOUL TALK. The eponymous album features eleven brand new songs and a cover of the JAMES TAYLOR classic 'Fire And Rain'. Throughout, the sound is totally modern but there's a rugged, earthy, soulful quality that harks back to the great days of the 70s and 80s.

Lead vocalist in SOUL TALK is GARY POOLE who was previously in a band called TROI. He's also worked with D'INFLUENCE and toured with PRINCE and MICHAEL JACKSON. TOBY BAKER plays guitar and keyboards with the band and his musical CV includes work with LIGHT OF THE WORLD, JAKI GRAHAM, BB KING, ERIC CLAPTON, CHAKA KHAN and MICHAEL McDONALD. The third member of SOUL TALK is ERNIE McKONE. The owner of Boogie Back Records, he plays drums, bass and guitar and his previous gigs have included acting as musical director for CANDI STATON and MARLENA SHAW.

The album is released at the end of February and already one cut – the uplifting 'Really Don't Mind' - is making modern soul room waves. The song is one of the LP's highlights and comes in its original format and in a pacey COOL MILLION remix. 'Soul Talk' by SOUL TALK will be reviewed here @ SJF very soon.



Monday, 21 February 2011 18:52 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

Nature_Girl_013JULIET RUSSELL is a versatile UK singer with a style and sound that's hard to pin down – as a glance at her musical CV will confirm. In the past JULIET has worked with (amongst others) DAMON ALBARN, BRIAN ENO, PALOMA FAITH, RICHARD HAWLEY SEAL, RINGO STARR and BON JOVI. She's also collaborated on Bollywood film scores and – working with schoolchildren – created a vocal setting for HANDEL'S 'Water Music'.

The all-rounder is currently working on her debut solo album and has just released her first single – 'Lazy'. The song – on her own Joyfully Human label – has a real dream like quality about it and though it's not soul or jazz or any of their hybrids, there's a laid back jazzy sheen to it and comes complete with a surrealistic video. The song will appeal to any serious music lover who likes the playfully laid back. For more details go to

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 10:05


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