Saturday, 30 December 2017 14:07 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt's become something of soul music New Year tradition – the January Trevor Nelson compilation. Since 2013, our man has helmed a successful series of soul and R&B retrospectives. Two of said collections have topped the charts and with sales of over 900,000 it makes sense to keep the tradition going!

This year, though, Trev offers something just a tad different..... 'Slow Jams'. The brief was simple – find, compile and sequence the very best modern soul ballads and R&B slowies and over 3CDs (54 big tunes) that's just what the award winning DJ has done. And like his best selling 'Collection' albums, this new album offers loads and loads of fairly recent chart riders alongside a plethora of timeless classics.

Representing the newbies are people like Bruno Mars ('That's What I Like') and The Weekend ('The Hills'); they're cheek by jowl with legends like Marvin Gaye '(Let's Get It On') and Aretha Franklin ('Until You Come Back To Me'). Yep, something for everybody here; the soul crew will be particularly delighted that stars like Bobby Womack, Roy Ayers, Eddie Kendrick's, Maze, Teddy Pendergrass and the Isley Brothers are given priority.

Top tunes and favourites? Well everyone will find their own memory and emotion jerking moments amongst the generous 54 tracks. Right now we're reminding ourselves about the romantic intensity of Joe's 'All The Things' (no wonder the Beckhams chose it as their wedding song) and mourning (still) the loss of dear Amy Winehouse.... her 'Love Is A Losing Game' still touches a nerve.

TREVOR NELSON; SLOW JAMS is released on UMOD on 12th January

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 December 2017 14:29



Friday, 29 December 2017 13:47 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt2018 is the centenary of the birth of blues pioneer ELMORE JAMES. To commemorate the occasion SYLVAN RECORDS will be releasing a very special tribute to the man whom most blues specialists revere as the bridge between the early blues players like Robert Johnson and the electric bluesmen like Muddy Waters.

'STRANGE ANGELS: IN FLIGHT WITH ELMORE JAMES' is a 13 track long player that brings together performers like Tom Jones, Rodney Crowell, Bettye Lavette, Keb Mo, Shelby Lynne and ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons. Marshalled by producer Marco Giovino, the artists work their way through a set of James' best known songs – stuff like 'Shake Your Moneymaker', 'Look On Yonder Wall', 'It Hurts Me Too', 'Person To Person', 'Dark And Dreary' and, of course, 'Dust My Broom' which is reactivated by Deborah Bonham.

The music was recorded in various studios across the States and all profits from the album will go to Music Cares – a charity that looks after the health and welfare of the music community and Edible Schoolyard USA – a foundation that encourages schools to integrate cooking and gardening into the curriculum.

'STRANGE ANGELS: IN FLIGHT WITH ELMORE JAMES' is released on SYLVAN RECORDS on January 26th.... Elmore James' birthday.



Friday, 29 December 2017 11:59 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUS soul sites are reporting the death of singer GLORIA TAYLOR, best known for her vocal rendition of Al Kent's 'You Gotta Pay The Price'. Few details are being made available save that Ms Taylor died on December 8th at her South Toledo home. She was 73 and, sadly, her daughter, Laretta Martin, had died aged 56 in November.

Gloria Ann Taylor was born in 1944, in Dehue, West Virginia but the family moved to Toledo when she was just 2. Suffering from rheumatic fever, she attended several special schools but gained her musical training in the church. To help pay bills she sung in night clubs where she was discovered by Walter Whisenhunt (whom Gloria was to marry). He took her to Detroit to look for a record deal. She cut sides for the King label but her biggest hit was her version of the Al Kent tune 'You Gotta Pay The Price'. The record was nominated for a Grammy; Gloria lost out to someone called Aretha Franklin!

After a stint in California working with Columbia, Gloria returned to Toledo. Then, after her marriage failed she quit show business to concentrate on her family and singing gospel. Ms. Taylor became a featured soloist at River of Life Church on Upton Avenue, founded by a nephew, Bishop John Williams. He said: "Her voice was melodic, and she could sing out as the material required. There was none like her voice."

Gloria Taylor is survived by her sons, Glenn and Edward Taylor and Walter Whisenhunt; sisters, Doris Williams Johnson and Daisy Birchfield; brothers, George and Leonard Taylor, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Last Updated on Friday, 29 December 2017 12:05



Thursday, 28 December 2017 17:26 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe annual Expansion Records sponsored LUXURY SOUL WEEKENDER is good to go in a few days time – 5th to the 7th January to be precise and at its regular home - the Blackpool Hilton Hotel. This year's bonanza feature Keni Burke, Shirley Jones and Linda Clifford (amongst others) performing alongside a line up of top DJs from across the whole soul spectrum.

As ever, to tie in with the event, Expansion will be releasing their annual 'Luxury Soul' compilation and this year's edition is particularly strong featuring the very best new and in-demand soul cuts along with some mighty tasty oldies.

Amongst those oldies are 'So Emotional' from Kashif, 'If You Don't Start Nothing' from The Jones Girls, 'Heartbeat' from Leon Ware and everyone's fave - 'Galveston Bay' from Lonnie Hill. As ever, though, it's the new stuff that provokes the real interest and amongst the exciting fresh tunes is 'Stand Strong Stand Tall' from the Brit Funk Association (a review of their exciting album coming very soon) and 'Negative Pleasures' from hotly tipped UK soul man Rob Scott. The tune is a sultry modern soul groove that features svelte vocals from Sylvia Mason; it bodes well for the parent album – 'Siren' available via Expansion in March.

EXPANSION'S LUXURY SOUL 2018 is released January 5th

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 December 2017 17:31



Tuesday, 26 December 2017 18:53 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altFUNKALLISTO are Italy's premier funk band. The outfit blasted out of Rome in 2004 and with four long players to their name and a string of sold out shows, the octet goes from strength to strength.

Right now they're mightily busy promoting their latest album, the fiery 8 tracker that is 'Saturday Night Dogs'. The set's soundscape is typically Funkallisto – that's to say tough funk with its roots in the 70s, garnished with jazz flourishes, Afrobeat nuances and a smattering of Latino flavours. The title track's reference point is the golden age of blaxploitation and TV cop shows (a genre hugely popular in Italy, we're told). There's more of the same on 'Piamose' while 'Darkalabro' and 'Rhythm' explore Afrobeat. The album's big vocal is the gritty 'Take A Little Time' which features UK soulstress Jess Roberts at the mic.

FUNKALLISTO; 'Saturday Night Dogs' is out now Express Yourself Records.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 December 2017 19:09


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