Good old UK indie label bbe (barely breaking even) have just released a second volume in their blue-eyed soul series called ‘Americana’. This new 16 tracker is imaginatively entitled ‘Americana 2’ and carries the strap line “Rock Your Soul”…. and indeed that’s an excellent and succinct description of the music.
The album’s been compiled by inveterate crate diggers Zaf Chowdhry and Mark “Goodvibes” Taylor and they’ve restricted their search to that long lost musical golden age – the 1970s and ’80s. The set’s stuffed with rare blue-eyed soul from largely unknown singers and groups and though some of the cuts maybe veer too far to the “rock” in the LP’s strap line, nevertheless, there are plenty of goodies here.
Try ‘Make Me Believe’ from Archie James Cavanagh for starters… a light , refreshing, jazz-lite, latin-tinged romp. There’s more of the same on Joseph Nicoletti’s sax-heavy ‘Night Time Stars’ while for something very different try the balxploitation funk of Luc Cousineau’s ‘Vaya Mulata.’ The most obviously soulful offering comes from Hal Bradbury whose ‘You Win I Lose’ is a great modern soul style mid-tempo shuffle in the style of Michael Wycoff. For all that I kept going back to Steve Eaton’s pretty ballad, ‘Without You’. Sort of Hall and Oates meet the Eagles, it’s catchy, ultra insinuating and worth investigating for those who like a good, proper tune!
AMERICANA 2 … ROCK YOUR SOUL will be available via bbe Records from November.