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PASSINGS

Friday, 16 March 2018 10:51 Bill b E-mailPrintPDF

altVarious media sources are reporting the recent deaths of two artists – CLAUDIA FONTAINE and CRAIG MACK.

Ms Fontaine was a London born singer who died aged just 57. She began her music career working in the reggae/lovers rock idiom. In 1982 she joined the group La Famile which also featured Caron Wheeler. They enjoyed a disco hit with 'Dancer', followed by the acclaimed 'All Night Long'. The following year Claudia joined Raymond Simpson in Raymond and Claudia; then she was part of the Afrodiziak collective – an in-demand backing group. Claudia then went on to work with people like The Jam, Annie Lennox, Elvis Costello and The Attractions, Betty Boo, Dusty Springfield, Claudia Brücken, Julia Fordham, Marilyn, Pink Floyd, Madness, Neneh Cherry, The Specials, Heaven 17, Hothouse Flowers and Howard Jones. She also sang on 'Free Nelson Mandela' and was the lead vocalist on The Beatmasters' hit singles 'Warm Love' (1989) and 'Deeper Into Harmony' (1992).

altRapper Craig Mack, one of the artists who laid the foundation for Bad Boy Records, has died aged just 46. Former marketing director of Bad Boy, Michelle Joyce, confirmed his passing, adding that Craig had been ill for some time. Mack's death comes just days after the 21st anniversary of the death of his label mate Christopher Wallace, the rapper known as Biggie Smalls (a.k.a. The Notorious B.I.G.)

Born in Queens, New York, Craig Mack will be best remembered for his 'Flava In Ya Ear' – the first single on Bad Boy. Former president of Bad Boy, Kirk Burrowes opined,"It's not only one of the greatest debut singles in hip hop history, it launched a label." Bad Boy did, of course, go, on to huge success with people like Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim, Mase, Faith Evans, 112 and Total.

Craig eventually retired from music and appeared to renounce his old lifestyle. In a video posted on You Tube in 2012 he is seen being asked during a church service what he used to do when he was in the world:"Wickedness and rap," Mack said. In answer to the question "What are you doing now?" Mack responded, "Righteousness."

Last Updated on Friday, 16 March 2018 11:00

 

HAPPY FEELINGS!

Thursday, 15 March 2018 15:15 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Feeling Happy' is the latest single from GEORGIE B's GROOVE ASSOCIATION. Knowing UK soul fans know all about GEORGE BROMFIELD (Georgie B) and his collective. Over the years, without massive publicity and huge fanfares, they've won the hearts of soul lovers wherever they've played while their recordings are eagerly anticipated. Those with long memories will know that George started in the 80s with Second Image and apart from his own work he's collaborated with people like Womack & Womack, Bobby Womack, Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Jean Carne, Maze, Rod Temperton and Paul Weller.

'Feeling Happy' offers up Georgie's optimistic take on the modern soul sound and it comes in two mixes – the "R&B" mix and a "steppers" mix with not much to choose between them. George tales lead and he's ably supported by protégé Deborah Bell who earlier this year enjoyed success with her Georgie B produced version of the old Jaki Graham number 'Round And Round'.

Both songs, by the way, are only available on Georgie's own official web site www.georgiebmusic.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 March 2018 15:22

 

SITTING.... 50 YEARS ON

Thursday, 15 March 2018 15:12 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altHard to believe, but it's been fifty years since OTIS REDDING'S monumentally sad 'Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay' scaled music charts worldwide.

Any self-respecting soul fan will tell you that Otis penned and recorded the song with Steve Cropper just days before the plane crash that took away his life. After Redding's death, Cropper mixed the song at Stax Studios. He added the sound of seagulls and waves crashing to the background, as Otis had requested, recalling the sounds he heard when he was staying on a houseboat in Sausalito, California when he was on tour the previous summer. On release, the song topped the US charts (the first posthumous single to do that) and went to #3 in the UK.

To commemorate the anniversary, streaming service DEEZER has launched two special playlists.... 'Essential Otis Redding' and '50 Years of Soul'. Both are available now.

 

LET’S PRETEND....

Thursday, 15 March 2018 12:18 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in January we reviewed the excellent 'Uncovered Soul' album from Detroit's KATHY KOSINS. The album lived up to the expectations that had been raised by the earlier singles that had been lifted from the long player over the previous months.

Over a similar time span we've tracked the career of UK DJ/producer/ entrepreneur BRIAN POWER and his SOULHOUSE label. The label's recent compilation, by the way, has been one the fastest selling soul sets of recent years with the first pressing selling out!

So you can guess that when Ms K and Mr P get to work together, the end result will be something special... and it is! Brian has just remixed one of the key cuts on 'Uncovered Soul'. It Kathy's cover of the Bill Withers' tune 'Can We Pretend' (written by his then wife Denise Nicholas).

In its original Kosins incarnation, 'Can We Pretend' was a melancholy jazz meander with producer Kamau Kenyatta's piano weaving in and out of the vocal. Brian Power re-imagines the whole thing and creates two, light soulful house mixes.... "laid back" and "club". Neither is too frantic and he wisely retains the jazzy undertow. There's a third new mix – a "pop" version which is nearer to the original take in tempo and aimed squarely at the sophisticated radio playlisters.

'Can We Pretend' is out very soon; 'Uncovered Soul' is out now and Kathy will be appearing live on April 17th at Piazza Express' Chelsea Pheasantry.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 March 2018 12:25

 

GET CARTER!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 22:08 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altCARTER AND THE CAPITALS are a blue-eyed soul band fronted by LINDON CARTER. The Capitals are - Eric Wildeman, Eric Doucet, Ali Mirzaie and Sam Malowany and, formed in 2015, they hail from Edmonton, Canada. Right now, apart from serious gigging, they're working on their debut album –set for an autumn 2018 release.

In the meantime, the band have just released the first single and 'One Step From Magic' is a lovely, sweet slab of blue-eyed. Mr Carter possesses a properly frail, soulful falsetto and he works it to good effect on the catchy, earworm melody and, a little thing maybe, but the cut has a great, old school ending.

Find out more about the band this lovely single @ www.carterandthecapitals.com

alt

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 March 2018 11:39

 

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