Over the last few months we’ve been mightily impressed by the prowess of London born soul sister SHIRLEY DAVIS. She’s unleashed (correct word in this context) a series of powerful singles pointing the way to a new album. And that album has just won release via Lovemonk Records.
The 11 track LP is ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ – titled for a nod to advice given to Shirley by the late, great Sharon Jones. Ms Davis worked with Sharon several times and the Daptone diva sort of took young Shirl under her wing. So with a connection like that you can probably guess the sound that ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ offers up. Yep – old school, organic, tough soul and funk as witnessed by those aforementioned singles, ‘Stay Firm’, ‘Culture Vulture’ and ‘Take Out The Trash’.
If that’s your bag you’ll be delighted to know that ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ offers plenty more of the same – cuts like ‘It’s Alright’, ‘True People’ and the LP’s title track are all fast, frantic and funky … very James Brown (in places) via Sharon Jones with Shirley’s band, the Silverbacks coming on every bit as feisty and fearsome as the famous Dap Kings.
But the menu on ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ isn’t all funk and fury. There are plenty of downtime moments too. Cuts like ‘Wild Girl’, ‘Love Insane’, ‘Outdoor’ and ‘So Much To Me’ are bluesy, Southern soul meanders that could’ve come from Memphis or Muscle Shoals – most boast truly impressive brass work that recalls the best of the various Stax/Hi horn combos.
Lyrically the bulk of the songs on ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ deal with empowerment and self-realization… very 21st century but it’s the full frontal music that hits you first … very 60s and 70s!