Monday, 04 June 2018 15:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIf you're down in the south east (England, that is) and you want to enjoy summer in a properly soulful fashion you could do worse than check out the SUMMER SOULSTICE FESTIVAL set to take place on Saturday June 23rd 2018, 11am-11pm at Old Elizabethans Memorial Playing Fields, Gypsy Corner, Mays Lane, Barnet EN5 2AG.

Performing live on the Main Stage: are The Real Thing, Soulful Emma Louise (S.E.L), Howard Johnson and Daisy Hicks while DJs confirmed so far include Jeff Young, Dr Bob Jones, Nicky Holloway, Bigger, Brandon Block, Richard Earnshaw, James Anthony, Stretch Taylor, Ash Selector, Aitch B (Soul II Soul) Double J, Jester Groove, Niki Golding, Ginger Tony, Grumpy Brown & Fistfunk on percussion

We're told that the 12 hour show is in aid of Cherry Lodge Cancer Care and in memory of Andy Weekes and as well music there's licensed bars, cocktails, food outlets, merchandise stalls, a free kids play zone, entertainers, gazebo/picnic area, limited camping & car parking. And to top it off you can jump a ride on their handy free Soul Bus shuttle to and from High Barnet tube station on the day.

The event is now in its 12th year and past visitors have always commented on how the Soulstice is always family friendly, safe and fun ... a great soulful day out guaranteed for all


Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2018 15:33



Friday, 01 June 2018 19:24 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEarlier this year the soul world was thrilled by a three track EP from JOHN REID and THE NIGHTCRAWLERS. All three cuts were goodies but the one that really grabbed attention was the lovely 'Love Comes Around'.

Many pundits thought that Reid was a new kid on the block.... how wrong! John's been on the scene since 1992 when after a spell as a club DJ he formed the Nightcrawlers. He then went on to pen hits for people like Westlife and Rod Stewart – but we won't hold that against him; he needs to pay the mortgage!

Anyway that 'Soul Sessions' 3 track EP (produced by Michael J McEvoy and Ernie McKone) established Reid as a major player and we're very pleased to report that there's a whole album from him and 'Crawlers on the way at the end of June. The LP is prefaced by the gorgeous modern soul single 'All Night Long' (no not that one... it's a new song!). This is proper groove – classy and tight and Mr Reid's in fine vocal form. There's a whiff of Cool Million about the thing – and we heartily recommend it. It's out June 15th with the parent album available from June 22nd.

Last Updated on Friday, 01 June 2018 19:29



Friday, 01 June 2018 12:09 Bill b E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Lioness' is the latest album from Texan soulstress K.AVETT (pronounced "kay uh vet") - a lady we've been watching, listening to and enjoying since her 2016 debut 'K.Avett: Revelations'. This new set continues her upward trajectory with plenty of soul commentators giving the collection a huge thumbs up for simply being soul music for grownups.

And they're right; there's real maturity and care about 'Lioness'. Take the title cut.... it's svelte and slinky and sonically captures the power and the stealth of the creature in the title; it's one of the album's highlights. Proper soul followers will also be aware of 'Feelin' Good' and 'The Matter' released as a double A sided single in March. We loved 'Feelin' Good' back then and it's lost none of its charm and feel good summer vibe.

The whole album is worth checking – especially if your thing is neo/nu soul but even if it's not I'd suggest you'd still love things like the gentle, semi-spoken 'Time Won't Wait', the sweet ballad that is 'In My Life' and the very different, finger-clicking, mover and shaker – 'Soldier' (that one is a duet with the underrated Noel Gourdin).

The singer tells us that the album attempts to show "an amalgamation of strength, vulnerability, truth, joy, sensuality, pain and resilience... the qualities of a lioness". I'd suggest Ms K.Avett has succeeded and without wanting to sound sexist or patronising , the gorgeous cover portrait captures the same feline qualities!

Last Updated on Friday, 01 June 2018 12:28



Wednesday, 30 May 2018 19:51 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in April we featured veteran keyboardist DAVID GARFIELD and his intriguing long player 'Jazz Outside The Box'.... a star studded long player that featured people like Poncho Sanchez, Steve Jordan, Randy Brecker, Tom Scott, Michael McDonald, Eric Marienthal, Brain Auger, Airto Moreira and, poignantly, Chuck Loeb and Larry Coryell. More name dropping – well David is also long serving MD for George Benson and the guitar giant joins David on his latest single – and incendiary version of Rufus' 'Stay.' The cover also features someone called David Sanborn while the vocal is taken by sometime Rufus drummer and the song's writer, Moon Calhoun. Sadly Calhoun was paralyzed in a bike accident 25 years ago and although he can no longer play drums, he sure can still sing!

Benson and Sanborn take turns on the cut's solos while the other players include Eric Marienthal on tenor and Tower of Power's Doc Kupka on baritone; Paul Jackson Jr. (rhythm guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Freddie Washington (bass) and Lenny Castro (percussion). 'Stay' is a taster for Garfield's next album project 'Jammin' Outside the Box' which is out on Creatchy Records on June 15. That one (name dropping again!) has input from (amongst others) Smokey Robinson, Michael McDonald, Ray Parker Jr., Oleta Adams, Phil Perry, Marcus Miller, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun and of course the legends we've already listed.

We'll bring you a full and fulsome review just as soon as we have our copy!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 May 2018 19:57



Wednesday, 30 May 2018 19:47 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Permutations' is the latest release from intriguingly named Aussie band PICKPOCKET. The nine piece - Craig Strain – Bass; Matthias Edwards – Drums; Neil Boland – Guitar; Jason Liacos – Guitar; Alex Howroyd - Trumpet/Sax; Phill Binotto - percccussion; Miles Izzo - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Brett Evans – Sax and Andrew Boyle – Keys- describe their music as "Contemporary instrumental groove music for dancing to (mostly — there are some tunes for the brain, too)".  By the way, for the album, Pickpocket are joined by Nils Landgren and Tom O'Grady.

Listening to the six tracker that is 'Permuations' that is about right. Pickpocket Funk make a big sound and with a horn line up like theirs in places they come on like Earth Wind And Fire crossed with , say, smooth jazz legends, the Rippingtons. Take the tune 'Break Dog' as an example... big brash and brassy, there's a clever mood change after about a minute and half – see what they mean by "tunes for the brain"!

Elsewhere the opening cut, 'Slam', is a lovely, slinky soul/funk groove while to prove that they can "do mellow", things slow right down on 'The Croft' which comes complete with a somewhat sinister bass solo.

If we tell you that Pickpocket Funk cite amongst their key influences Idris Mohammad, Joshua Redman, Grover Washington Jnr, Joe Zawinul, Jaco Pastorius, Parliament, The Bar Kays, Azymuth, Larry Carlton, Miles Davis, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Charlie Hunter, and the Headhunters you'll know just where they're coming from.

Find out more @

Last Updated on Friday, 01 June 2018 12:21


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