Thursday, 19 October 2017 18:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEarlier this year the lovely TAMAR BRAXTON treated us to the single 'My Man' – a thoroughly contemporary R&B tune that told of love, lust and cheating. She (Tamar) was the wronged partner and I think we said back then that Ms B delivers the song with such venom and passion that it would be a very foolish "other woman" to interfere.

We were told that the single heralded an album ... and lo and behold... the new long player is with us. Released on the lady's own Tamartian Land records, 'Bluebird Of Happiness' boasts a wonderful "arty" cover and is stuffed with plenty more contemporary R&B jams like 'My Man'... and yes, more tales of love, lust and cheating!

That aside, the dance brigade will probably go for the raunchy 'Pick Me Up' – a lovely tight foot tapper while those who like their modern R&B with a hip hop swagger will love 'Hol' Up' which features Yo Gotti.

The soul crew will find loads to like too. 'Empty Boxes' is a plaintive ballad while 'How I Feel' is a tad more dramatic but the real soul highlight is a tremendous, full production cover of dear old Curtis Mayfield's 'The Makings Of You'. Always a great tear jerking, romantic song, Tamar's delivery does it full justice. She possesses a unique voice and it's perfectly suited to the inherent poignancy in the Mayfield masterpiece.

TAMAR BRAXTON'S 'Bluebird Of Happiness' is out now



Tuesday, 17 October 2017 19:02 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEarlier this year the UK soul world was in thrall to a track called 'I Can't Help But Love You' from US soul man FREDERICK. Research revealed that Frederick has very long soul CV. Indeed Frederick Millard Davis (to give him his full moniker) charted way back in 1985 with the quiet storm classic 'Gentle (Calling Your Name)'

Another of Frederick's best tunes from that era was the sensual 'Games' and the Cleveland-born soul man has just re-recorded the song as his latest single. Riding a steady, groove the vocal betrays the years Mr. Davis has invested in the crazy world of soul music. He even finds time for a humorous old school poetic rap! It's oddly mesmerizing and we believe that there's an Ashley Beedle Ramrock remix in the pipeline!

FREDERICK'S GAMES is available via the usual download portals.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 20:34



Tuesday, 17 October 2017 18:59 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUK soul connoisseurs will be more than familiar with ERROL HENRY. In 1989 he founded the legendary Intimate Records. Throughout the 90s Errol enjoyed success working with major record labels such as Arista, BMG, Warner Music, Island, EMI and Atlantic Records while Intimate continued to issue quality UK soul. Mr H went on to work with the Jones Girls on their 'Coming Back' long player and he produced much of Lulu's best ever album, the Dome-released 'Independence'. Errol then went on to produce UK soul classics on artists like Anthony Drakes, The Affair, Chris Ballin, Richard Anthony Davis, Jaki Graham and Deni Hines.

In 1993 he set up THE SOUND PRINCIPLE as an outlet for his own music and he enjoyed especial success with the inspirational album, 'Heaven's Glory', which is still held in high esteem by UK soul collectors.

Though the Sound Principle is still around, Mr H is working on a new imprint i2 which brought us the wonderful 'First Night' from Everett earlier this year. Now i2 hits us with a remarkable, properly soulful 4 track EP 'THE LOVE MUSIC SAMPLER'. The lead track comes from that man Everett. The ex-Syndicate singer delivers an infectious 'Your Side Of Love' which, we're told, comes form his upcoming album. We defy you to sit still through this one!

The EP's other tracks are the old school 'Bring Back The Love' from Kansas-based Le Velle, 'Nothing Like The Love Of A Woman' by South Carolina's wonderfully-named Carmichael Music Lover and the simple, jazzy 'Love Song' from Jorel "JFLY" Flynn. This one's the cherry on this very special soul cake as it features input from a certain Frank McComb. His name guarantees excellence... this cut is absolute proof!

This 4 track 'THE LOVE MUSIC SAMPLER' is just that – a taste of soulful things to come from i2.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 October 2017 19:07



Monday, 16 October 2017 15:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTo mark the 50th anniversary of ARETHA FRANKLIN joining Atlantic Records, Rhino Records will be releasing a new 14 tracker on the Queen Of Soul. Cleverly and intriguingly titled 'A Brand New Me' (after one of the included songs) the album pairs Ms F with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

However, to be precise, the album is not all "brand new". Rather, with the whiz and wonder of modern technology, the producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman have created new backing tracks with the RPO (recorded at Abbey Road, by the way) and dubbed Aretha's original vocals over them. You may remember they did the same with Elvis Presley last year.

Amongst the songs on Aretha's album are 'Think', 'Respect', 'I Say A Little Prayer' , 'A Natural Woman' and, of course, 'A Brand New Me'.

It all sounds very exciting especially since we've learned that there are new backing vocals too – and amongst the new backing singers is Patti Austin.

In the meantime, rumours persist that Aretha is actually working on a proper brand new album – collaborating with people like Elton John, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder.



Monday, 16 October 2017 15:34 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUS soul sources are reporting the death, at age 66, of "space cadet" DEBBIE WRIGHT. Followers of the Clinton/P Funk/Funkadelic circus will recognize Debbie as a member of Parlet, the collective's girl group.

With Mallia Franklin and Jeanette Washington, Debbie joined P Funk in 1975, morphing into Parlet in 1978. Between 75 and 78, the trio contributed to all of the Funkadelic albums of that period. However just prior to Parlet's first album release 'Pleasure Principle', Debbie was replaced by Shirley Hayden.

Ms Wright's background was in music. Born in Detroit, her mother was a background singer for gospel great Mahalia Jackson

Last Updated on Monday, 16 October 2017 15:46


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