VARIOUS: Luxury Soul 2024 (Expansion)

Grey, cold and pretty miserable – we’re well into 2024 and the year-heralding soul fest that is the Blackpool Luxury Soul Weekender has come and gone. The music, however, lives on! The event’s accompanying CD box set is now widely available and, as ever Ralph Tee and his team @ Expansion have done a magnificent job sourcing the very best indie, contemporary and modern soul to ease us through the winter and  beyond.

The collection is a 3 CD, 35 tracker and as you would expect it includes tracks from the Weekender’s headline acts. So if you were there, once again  you can enjoy the remix of Shaila Prospere’s ‘Keep On Giving’, Hil St Soul’s ‘Together’ and Natasha Watt’s ‘Right The Wrong’. If you weren’t there you can revel in that classy, soul trio – though if you’re reading this I guess you know the tunes already!

Interestingly (and it may be just a coincidence) but this 2024 Luxury set delivers plenty more distaff soul from artists like Carol Riddick, Dawn Jospeh, Felece Tillman, Heather Haywood, Kea, Kenya (who fronts Kloud 9’s ‘Don’t Stop), Lynn Davis, Linda Muriel (who’s at the mic on Kr8iv 4ce f’s funky ‘Treat Me Right’), Natalie Duncan, Patrice Isley, Rose Spearman and Vivienne McKone who takes the lead on the Requestors’ much in demand, ‘Love Has To Be Easy’.  You also get a track from veteran Paulette Mc William’s acclaimed 2023 album, ‘These Are The Sweet Things’ .

Amongst the featured guys are some big names – Will Dowing, Narada Michael Walden amongst them. However with compilations like this one, it’s often the lesser known artists  that bring the real  surprises. So take an aural gander (if such a thing exists!) at Steven Thad’s ‘Do You Remember’ – an unusual, intriguing sound or Zaimie’ ‘Hidden Highs’ which, again, delivers something just a little different.

Now it’s obvious  that most soul collectors will have most if not all of these tunes somewhere in one format or another but for many of these tracks (like that Requestors’ one) this is the first time they will have appeared on CD while there’s also an exclusive mix of The Paradise Projex’s ‘Here And Now’. And, as ever, it’s just so good to have so much quality (dare we say “Luxury”) soul in one place to help banish all the grey, the cold and the misery!

(BB)  5/5