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STERLING WORK....

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

swMost of the soul media concentrates on the iconic legends, the current big names and the hotly-tipped wannabees but the soul world is also peopled by hundred of performers who will never fit into any of those categories. I'm talking of the countless solo singers and bands who still play the so called Chittlin' Circuit –just like thousands have done before them. Maybe they dream of the big time breakthrough, but many are content to carry on working the small clubs and juke joints often in their own local area. They are happy picking up appearance money, garnering some applause and hopefully selling a few self-financed records to their audiences along the way.

One such soul singer is STERLING WILLIAMS. Walter Sterling Williams was born in Bryan, Texas, in 1944 and you probably can guess that he started singing in church before crossing over to the secular world. In his mid-twenties he met Gene "Bowlegs" Miller who introduced him to soul heavyweights like Joe Tex & O.V. Wright. Miller cut one single in the 60s and performed regularly throughout the 70s right across the South, fronting a band called Universal Language. In the 80s Sterling relocated to California and in 1995 he cut his first solo album, 'One Day At A Time' on Everready Records. It took him 7 years to come up with a second album, 'My Baby's Love'; then in 2006 he released a third, 'Brand New Man'.

Sterling has just issued another long player; simply called 'Sterling', it's a robust and rustic Southern soul set. The 10 tracker includes some new songs and re-workings of some of his old material and throughout, his chief collaborator is former Artistic, Morris J Williams. Sonically the set will appeal to fans of the Malaco sound and moods veer from the bluesy 'One Day At A Time' to the gentler 'Learning To Live'. Undoubted highlight though is the sweet 'Private Party'. Understated and totally captivating, it comes on like Johnnie Taylor doing Lou Rawls. The track deserves a hearing but something tells me that won't happen. Sterling Williams lacks the big bucks to fund a media campaign; why... he doesn't even a web site! Yes, that's how old school he is! Diligent internet searching might find his music and if that fails I'm reliably informed you can go straight to his manager via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 21:45

 

MARCELL RUSSELL LIVE.....

Monday, 29 September 2014 21:22 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

marcel_hoochieAs October looms, just time for a timely reminder for what promises to be one of THE soul gigs of the year... and for once this show's not in London!

Friday October 17h and Saturday October 18th sees US soul star MARCELL RUSSELL appearing exclusively at Newcastle's Hoochie Coochie Club.

Baltimore-based Russell is one of America's biggest indie soul draws and is currently appearing in a Luther Vandross and Grover Washington tribute show. Marcell has enjoyed an eighteen year career and has been nominated for over 20 independent music awards. He first came to prominence fronting the group, The Truth and proper soul connoisseurs number their 'Hopes Too High' as an all-time classic.

A star on the US indie soul circuit, Russell is constantly likened to Luther Vandross, Levi Stubbs, Donny Hathaway and Gerald Levert while those who have witnessed his powerful performances understand why fellow soul stars have dubbed him "The Voice".

Hoochie Coochie Club owner, Warren Thomson is a long time fan of Marcell and is delighted to be bringing him over for the two shows. He says; "Marcell Russell is a phenomenal soul singer and so that everybody can come along and witness the shows the admission charge each night will be just £5. I want the whole UK soul fraternity to come along and see this guy".

Find out more @ www.hoochiecoochie.co.uk

Last Updated on Monday, 29 September 2014 21:28

 

RESURFACING!

Friday, 26 September 2014 12:23 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Fwd_We_can_fly_new_cover_-_soulfoodmusicukgmail.com_-_GmailRemember SURFACE? Course you do! Every self-respecting soul fan will have a soft spot for their gentle 'Happy' anthem. Yes it has been many moons since we've last heard from the band but the good news is that the band has RESURFACED (terrible pun... but what would you expect?)

Surface began originally as flutist David "Pic" Conley, guitarist David Townsend, and vocalist Bernard Jackson and through the 80s and early 90s they developed a gentle, laid back, smooth soul sound typified by 'Happy'.

David "Pic" Conley has reconvened the band – now called RESURFACE - and has joined with singer John Feva to concoct more gentle, smooth soul. Feva is the son of George Malone of the Monotones (their biggest hit was 'Who Wrote The Book Of Love') and was lead vocalist in a band called the Black Flames

The new Resurface has just released two tracks 'Diamonds and Pearls' (not the Prince song!) and 'We Can Fly'. The former is a sweet slice of smooth soul with more than a hint of the 'Happy' sound to it; the latter is tougher and tighter and rides a great soul groove. Fans of a certain Michael Jackson will be impressed, I'm sure, by the similarities between Mr. Feva's vocal approach and MJ's!

The good news is that there's more to come... there's a whole Resurface album scheduled for later in the year.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 12:28

 

EARLY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, 26 September 2014 12:20 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

maysaWe all know that Christmas arrives earlier and earlier each year.... but October, blimey! Yes, October sees the release of MAYSA'S Christmas album.... 'A Very Maysa Christmas'.

Ms Leak says of her project;" I've been wanting to do a Christmas record for years. I hope people enjoy my take on the songs they've heard done by hundreds of artists over the years. My biggest wish for mankind is that people truly learn what it means to love yourself. I believe a healthy self esteem is the basis for true happiness." .

The album, we're told, features Maysa's distinctive readings and new arrangements of a whole host of seasonal favourites. Lead track from the album, though, is a little more obscure.... it's a cover of Edwin Hawkins' 'Pray For Peace'. Diligent internet search will allow you to have a listen.... Merry Christmas everybody!

Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 12:29

 

MORE SOULUTIONS.....

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:04 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

SouLutions_Philly_Line_Listen_The_RemixesNewcastle duo SOULUTIONS (Steve Lee and Louise Mehan)) are just putting the finishing touches to their eagerly awaited debut long player. The first single from Soulutions, 'Listen', has been the biggest soul hit of the summer – sitting atop all credible soul charts for week upon week.

In the meantime the Soulutions' people have been getting some top remixers to tweak some of the band's other songs. The Drizabone team are working on a new version of 'Listen' while Ray Hayden from Opaz Productions is having a look at 'Mr Sun'.

Biggest buzz though has been on the Colin Watson remix of the wonderful 'Philly Line'. The 'CW Philly Mix' (original title!) is a magnificent piece of modern soul and after its airing on Jazz FM last weekend the station's lines went berserk as soul connoisseurs wanted to know more about it (you can check it out by the way via YOUTUBE) . At the moment it's a toss up as to whether this 'Philly Line' mix beats 'Listen' as the year's classiest modern soul groove.

To make things a little more complicated Colin Watson has also done a more laid back 'After Midnight' mix while the mixes of 'Listen' still come thick and fast with a housey 'Reverie' mix and an almost instrumental Mike Maurro bootleg.

Whatever, it's been a busy few months for Soulutions and set to get busier when the album hits the racks

The band are pictured below on stage.

SouLutions_camp_soul

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 20:17

 

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