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SOUTHERN AVENUE: Be The Love You Want (Renew Records)

SOUTHERN AVENUE is a Memphis-based, self-contained band. They debuted in 2016 with an eponymous  album on the revitalised Stax label. That was followed by 2019’s ‘Keep On’. Both collections won the band lots  of...

PRESTON GLASS : Cycle of Chills (SoulMusic/Platinum Garage Records)

Garlanded music biz entrepreneur PRESTON GLASS is a real busy man -writing and producing here, there and, it seems, everywhere! Over the past few months though he’s managed to put together his own album…...

LEDISI; Ledisi Sings Nina (Ledisi.com)

Indie soul heroine LEDISI is revered by the contemporary soul crowd, but I wonder just how many of her disciples realise that she, herself, is a disciple of Nina Simone. Indeed Ledisi freely admits...

LEVEL 42: ‘The Complete Polydor Years 1985-1989’ (Robinsongs/Cherry Red)

Released last year, the first volume chronicling Level 42‘s stint at Polydor Records charted the beginnings and meteoric rise of the jazz-funk quartet from the Isle Of Wight. Now, comes this second and concluding...

BOOK REVIEW; JESSICA LIPSKY; IT AIN’T RETRO (Jaw Bone)

The unique and idiosyncratic  DAPTONE label is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The pandemic and various lockdowns have meant that celebrations have had to be low key but the anniversary is being marked...

PHYLLIS HYMAN: ‘Old Friend – The Deluxe Collection (1976-1998)’ (SoulMusic Records)

Is there such a thing as a desert island box set? If there is, then this superlative compendium of recordings by Phyllis Hyman, which has been lovingly assembled by David Nathan’s SoulMusic label, is...

HODGES, JAMES, SMITH (& CRAWFORD); Early Years & Unreleased Pearls (Kent)

I’m guessing that only hardened soul connoisseurs will have heard of 70s female group Hodges, James and Smith – who sometimes recorded with a fourth member, “Crawford” and, to make things even more confusing...

LAURA NYRO: ‘American Dreamer’ (Madfish)

Laura Nyro peaked early. The Bronx-born singer/songwriter was eight months shy of her twentieth birthday  when she lit up the pop firmament like a supernova in February 1967 with the release of her landmark...

Celeste: ‘Live From London’ (LIVENow)

Some performers come out on stage with all guns blazing, pulling out all the stops on their opening song to get an audience’s full attention. But that isn’t the case with BRIT award winner...