Wednesday, 25 July 2018 19:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in May, we hugely recommended a new album from a new US soul man – RAI. Rai is a little enigmatic and we learned little about him save that his LP – 'Love's On The Way' was/is a mighty fine modern soul album. It reminded us of people like Howard Hewett, Marvin Gaye, and Donny Hathaway and from more recent times, Maxwell. Stand out cuts are the title tune, the 60s/70s harmony group flavoured 'You're Al I Need', the jaunty 'Priceless' and the finger-clickingly good 'Save Yourself'.

After a slow start, the album is now taking off and savvy jocks (radio and live) are cherry picking their faves for out consumption. Tune that seems to be winning out at the moment is the sprightly mid-tempo 'Fall Back'... well worth investigating, especially if you're a fan of Maxwell.. Do yourself a big favour, though, check out the whole album!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 July 2018 20:14



Wednesday, 25 July 2018 07:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altWe've been singing the praises of UK soulstress BASHIYRA for some time now. Indeed she made her solo début in 2009 with the long player, 'Thought You Knew' but before that she was in demand for bvs both in the studio and on the road – her CV includes work with an A list of top performers.

Since 'Thought You Knew', her presence has been even more in demand. The session work grew and grew, she performed at The Opening Ceremony of The London 2012 Paralympic Games and she was signed as an artist in her own right to America's NuVybe Records (USA), the label headed by Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum record producer Herb Middleton, an industry veteran, The deal has produced a slew of fine singles that scaled all the credible soul charts and won Ms B a raft of awards.

Tantalisingly, we've long been promised another album – and, alleluia, it's now with us. The set, 'Independent' is set for release this very week and it confirms what those recent singles indicated – Bashiyra's innate talent and her long experience alongside the production/writing work of people like Herb Middleton, Peter Moore (of LA Reid fame) and Richard Rudolph have conspired to create a consummate, satisfying modern soul album.

All the aforementioned singles are included. They include the respectful version of Phyllis Hyman's 'You Know How To Love Me', 'Mystified' (a tight modern soul dancer) and the lovely ballad 'Loving Free'. Of the new stuff, the set's title track is another tender ballad; 'Life's So Fun' is a feisty R&B call to the floor; 'Mother Earth' skilfully combines a neo soul vibe with Bacharach style muted horns and 'Delightful' is, well, delightful!

Bashiyra's 'Independent' has been a long time coming; we'll just say the wait was well worth it!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 July 2018 07:08



Tuesday, 24 July 2018 19:06 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altCORNELL "CC" CARTER has won himself plenty of supporters in the last few years and as they eagerly await his long promised new album, 'One Love' (due August 3rd), appetites are being whetted by the gorgeous lead off track, 'That's My Baby'. The tune is a collaboration and co-production with Soulpersonna and like the previous album "taster" 'That Feelin'', there's more than a whiff of classic soul about it. Strong melody, passionate delivery, tight and tough backing track and layered harmonies will remind you, I'm confident, of a certain Marvin Gaye! Yes, it is that good... little wonder it's all over soul radio right now.

'That's My Baby' is a fab set up for the long player – for which we'll bring you a full review very soon. For now, though, go to our interview archive to read more about "CC".

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 July 2018 19:13



Tuesday, 24 July 2018 19:03 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBack in May we warmly welcomed back TAMIA in to the proper soul fold! The Canadian soulstress who wowed us through the 90s made a great comeback with the single 'Leave It Smokin''. OK, we know her fans will say she's never been away (remember her 2015 LP?) but the Salaam Remi produced 'Smokin'' reinforced what her fans always knew – this lady is a serious contender!

Whatever, 'Leave It Smokin'' is now available in a breath taking new remix courtesy of DJ Spen and Michele Chiavarini. Needles to say, the tempo is cranked right up – but it's Spen – so be assured it's tasteful... classy soulful house at its best.

We're told there's a Terry Hunter on its way too and a whole album from the lady in the autumn!



Sunday, 22 July 2018 13:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe last few weeks have seen the deaths of three soul stalwarts who, though never major players, have each contributed something to the development of soul music.

Born in Chicago in 1940, CLINTON GHENT (pictured above) died on July 7th. He'd been suffering with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was aged 78. Mr Ghent will be remembered as a choreographer and host of the iconic Soul Train TV show. He was a close friend of the show's founder, Don Cornelius and he was co-host between 1970 and 1979. As a choreographer he worked with the Jackson 5 in their early days and also the Emotions, the Whispers and the Chi-Lites. After his show-biz career ended , he worked for the US postal service.

altPhiladelphia's CLARENCE SCOTT (pictured) died back n May. Known as "Scotty" he was a member of doo-wop group the Royal Serenaders. He then went on to work with the Castelles (for whom he also played guitar). He also featured on the Drifters' version of 'White Christmas' and he sang with the Clovers on their 'Love Potion No 9'.

altNew Orleans' R&B singer JOE VALENTINE (pictured) died on 13th July in Austin, Texas. He was a prolific songwriter, producer, promoter, club owner and artist in his own right. In a lengthy career he worked with people like James Brown, Joe Tex, and Jackie Wilson as a keyboard player and fronted his own band, Joe Valentine and the Imperials.


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