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MAKE MINE A CHERRY B!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 14:52 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

cherry_bAll broad minded soul folk know that the music they love is universal and a re-invigorated album from the wonderfully named CHERRY BOOP AND THE SOUNDMAKERS underlines that particular point.

The lovely Ms Boop is, I'm sure, Spanish.... her album was recorded in Girona – and she's pacted with a French label (Ray Muse Records), but the soulful polish on the LP, 'The Way I Am', was provided in Philadelphia.... to be precise in the Grooveyard studios of a certain Bobby Eli, guitar maestro and one of the architects of the Philly sound.

The album was released in France in May and odd cuts were played by UK specialist DJs like Craig Charles. Musically the sound on the LP is retro pop soul. Ms B cites her influences as Tammi Terrell and Brenda Holloway and there's certainly a big Motown influence going on – notably on a tune called 'Weakness', but the cherry on this Cherry cake is without doubt the wonderful ballad cover of Carl Douglas' 'I Want To Give You My Everything'. Producer Eli has drafted in another bona fide Philly legend to help our lady to deliver here, as the Delfonics' William Hart adds his svelte tones to the track. The whole thing has the same delicious feel as Barbara Mason's 'Yes, I'm Ready'... hands up if you remember that one!

The album is being re-promoted and it's worth investigating if only for 'I Want To Give You My Everything'.

Cherry_Boop_and_the_SoundMakers

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 15:00

 

GET CONNECTED....

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 14:50 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

musicconnexLondon's MUSICCONNEX LIVE NETWORK is promoting two new "Talent. Parties" in September.

Following the huge success of its February event, MusicConnex Live comes to London's Jazz Cafe on 28th September, for another top night of live soul. The show has been affectionately dubbed 'The Soul Exchange' and features a mainly international line up, Algebra Blessett – USA; Gwendolyn Collins – USA; Sulpacio Jones – USA; Dolla Lova – Finland; Imaani – UK.

The previous night (27th September) the show debuts in Liverpool.... At the famous Parr Street Studios, no less!

Find out more by accessing the MusicConnex crew via facebook.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 15:01

 

IAN LEVINE SUFFERS STROKE...

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 19:49 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

levIAN LEVINE – for many years a major and influential player on the UK soul scene- has suffered what appears to be a debilitating stroke. Details are vague since it seems that Levine and his family wanted to keep the sad news out of the media. It seems that the information was leaked out, oddly, via a Dr Who fan forum website (Levine was an avid Dr Who fan and collector of "lost" episodes). Despite being hospitalised Levine posted the following message:

"As many of my close friends know, I am in hospital having suffered a major stroke. The left side of my body is paralysed and I am bitterly unhappy and resentful. I did not want this making public, but the last person in the world who I wanted to know, Philip Morris (fellow Dr Who collector), has seen fit to tell the whole world against my wishes. I am very upset over this, so therefore have to own up what happened. I am fighting hard to recover the use of my foot but may never get my hand back.... Keep your fingers crossed for me."

Ian Levine was born into a wealthy family who ran nightclubs in Blackpool. He began collecting Motown records from the age of 13 and once claimed he owned every Motown issued 45! His love of Motown drew him to the Northern soul scene and he began DJ-ing at the Blackpool Mecca. There he played the usual Northern fare but soon began playing exclusive singles that he'd sourced during his family holidays in the States, often "covering up" the discs to keep them exclusive and to prevent other DJs getting hold of them (the atmosphere on the scene then was particularly cut throat between rival DJs.) Since many of these "Levine exclusives" weren't the usual Northern oldies he was helping to steer the scene into a new, "modern" direction and many Northern devotees never forgave him for it!

Openly gay, in 1979, Levine began advising London's gay disco, Heaven, on its music and he became the club's first resident DJ, remaining there through most of the 1980s. He also began producing his own records – often using veteran Motown performers on new versions of their in-demand favourites. From there Levine moved into what became known as Hi-NRG music ... he even produced Take That's first three singles, managed bands and worked for a while with Simon Cowell.

Levine is also an enthusiastic Dr Who fan and an avid collector of American DC comics, claiming to have the only complete set of DC Comics in the world, with at least one copy of each DC comic book sold at retail from the 1930s to present. A far cry maybe from the quirky world of Northern soul, its rivalries and tensions, but souljazzandfunk are sure that whatever side of the Northern soul divide you're on, all real soul fans will wish Ian Levine a swift recovery.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 19:56

 

BELIEVE!

Monday, 25 August 2014 11:18 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

Sarethereal_EP_Ray_HaydenHackney's RAY HAYDEN'S been round the soul block a few times and in various guises, most notably working under the Opaz moniker.

Ray's back on the scene in fine style with a brand new EP intriguingly called 'The Sarethereal EP'. The mini album's lead cut is a lazy, summery slab of soulful house called 'Believe'. The main vocal mix is right on the money, riding sweetly on a pulsing bass line and features those almost essential semi-spoken bits! The "Sarethereal Mix" is longer (almost 12 minutes) and much more complex. It's clearly the "ethereal" element in the EP's main titling.

The EP's completed with 'You Are' – a gentler, laid back Ibizan vibe, and 'Do You Want Some Lovin'' – an urgent, mid-tempo, properly soulful groove.

The usual download portals will allow you to investigate more. Recommended.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 August 2014 11:24

 

DRIVING ALEXIA WILD....

Monday, 25 August 2014 11:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alexiaALEXIA COLEY is a new kid on the UK soul block, but habitués of the London soul scene will tell you that she's been around for a year or two wowing the crowds at places like The Paradise, Mau Mau and even Ronnie Scotts. Alexia's even released a trio of limited edition vinyl 7" singles but, signed to Jalapeno Records, she's now ready to take her career up to the next level.

October sees the release of her debut album – 'Keep The Faith' and to herald it Jalapeno have just issued the lead single – a pulsing pop-soul romp called 'Drive Me Wild'. Old soulies might think that the song's popping bass line is nicked from the venerable oldie 'Ride Your Pony' but apart from that the song's totally contemporary.

As is the way these days the song comes in plethora of mixes with the "Skeewiff" remix invoking the spirit of Amy Winehouse while tweaks like the "Valique" remix set things in house territory.

 

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