CLASSIC TWIST is a cross-genre musical project marshalled by  R&B/jazz singer/songwriter GENE-O and based in Southern California, the team launched their debut single – a heartfelt plea for love, peace and harmony, ‘Time For Change’ earlier this year.  

Classic Twist and Gene follow that with a superb and emotive cover of Simply Red’s 1985 classic ‘Holding Back The Years’. The song, of course,  was the launchpad for Mick Hucknall’s career and the song certainly resonated within the soul world having been covered countless times – notably by the Isley Brothers, Billy Valentine, Roachford and Randy Crawford.

This new Classic Twist version doesn’t stray too far from  the original template – the vocal’s a lot bigger and a whole lot more soulful while the track’s  enhanced by sweet harmonies and  stunning and sensual sax work from J. Henry (a former winner of Showtime at The Apollo, no less) .

Gene explains why he chose the song: “The reason I gravitated to it in the first place was because it was a great song, very well known by music fans everywhere, and I felt I could do a great job creating a version of it in my style. My original recording of it didn’t have the sax. A friend had introduced J. Henry and me but I never heard him perform until he came to San Diego and invited me to sit in with him at his gig at Humphrey’s Backstage Live. Later I let him hear my original version and we looked at each other and thought, ‘Why not try it with the sax?’ J’s brilliant playing on this newly recorded update, takes the song to the next level, and I’m very proud of it – and excited about letting people hear this amazing collaboration.”  

This new, soulful version of ‘Holding Back The Years’ augers well for Classic Twist’s upcoming album