Famed UK soulman DAVE LEE (also once known as JOEY NEGRO) – yes he of the SUNBURST BAND is a musical one off. He’s fiercely independent. Without a manager, A&R man, or boss, every major decision – from a tune’s beats to where to play live – is all up to him! So far his own judgements have proved winners. In a long career, in whatever alias, our Dave has crafted plenty of memorable tunes right across the soul, house and disco genres as producer, remixer, DJ and curator. And with something like 30 years’ experience in his locker Mr L still isn’t ready to hang up his metaphorical boots just yet. He’s always up for making new, vibrant music – as witnessed by his latest album – ‘Produced With Love II’.
The 12 tracker is the logical follow up to his 2017 ‘Produced With Love’ and like that set, volume II is stuffed with soulful dance and disco workouts! The album was heralded by a lovely, lithe single, ‘Starlight’. This heady, groove-heavy cut was fronted by Omar and it was an irresistible call to the floor… no surprise there!
Omar is just one of many big names helping Dave deliver his magic on the new collcetion. Also featured on the album are people like Gina Carey, Angela Johnson, Xan Blacq, Raw Essence, Lifford and Billy Valentine. Billy (one half of the ‘Money’s Too Tight To Mention’ Valentine Brothers) is even more of a soul vet than Dave and he brings all his experience to ‘Taste My Love’ and ‘Power Of The Mind’ – both perfectly crafted soulful/dance artefacts! Dave really enjoyed working with Billy: “It helps enormously when you’re working with some really talented people and I’ve always tried to work with musicians – like Michele Chiavarini, Kaidi Tatham and Tony Remy – who are some of the best at what they do. On this album I’ve got seasoned vocalists like Omar, Lifford and Valentine Brothers’ Billy Valentine who have the classic soul sound I love. For me I simply think about the voice, not how marketable the person is.”
Apart from his ability to draft in top names to work with, it seems that one of Dave’s other major skills is to really pay attention to detail. He makes sure that every part of every track is just right, even if it means taking time and effort – an old fashioned approach for sure but one that pays dividends… the proof’s right here across the 12 tracks of ‘Produced With Love II’.
And by the way, we need to remind you that in 2020 Dave decided it was time to retire his Joey Negro moniker. “I was never that mad about it in the first place. I was struggling to think of a name for my first solo release in 1990 which I’d licensed to Nu Groove. I had a pile of records on my desk, J. Walter Negro’s ‘Shoot The Pump’ and ‘Reach Up To Mars’ by Pal Joey and put the two together. In my mind, the Negro was the Spanish pronunciation of black and sounded like a hip NYC street kid. I never saw it as a long term alias but I did re-use the name a year later and that song “Do What You Feel” was a big club hit, on the back of which I signed to a major label. After that the name became known to most clubbers”.
Joey Negro, the Sunburst Band or just the prosaic Dave Lee, it matters little. Our man can still deliver!
DAVE LEE – PRODUCED WITH LOVE II RELEASED: 10JUNE 2022 LABEL: Z RECORDS FORMAT(S): VINYL / DOWNLOAD / STREAM