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ROYAL PREROGATIVE!

Friday, 23 June 2017 12:51 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBlue-eyed soul collectors know all about JAMES ROYAL. For those who don't – a brief bio. Born James Naim in Ealing, West London, James' first band was an R&B combo, The Skyways. When they imploded he formed his own band – Jimmy Royal and the Hawks who quickly won a large following on the London mod soul and R&B scene. With a little string pulling by Ronnie Woods (yes the Rolling Stone but then in The Birds) and a subtle name change from Jimmy to James the band scored a deal with EMI.

By 1966 the band were "The James Royal Set" but later that year Royal went solo and signed with CBS. Eleven singles and one album followed. His recordings were an eclectic mix of covers and originals and though plenty enjoyed airplay none saw positive chart action so, in 1972 he relocated to Australia with his Aussie wife.

Good music, though, has a habit of resurfacing and in the late 70s "new mod" crate diggers discovered James Royal's music and over the years a demand for his old stuff has grown and grown... and lo and behold –RPM Records now oblige with a 25 track retrospective of Royal's work between 1964 and 1970.

The album is named for 'Call My Name' - arguably James' most in-demand song. A moody, soulful item, it was the song that first got fans of mod music digging into James Royal's back pages. The album also features some tasty Royal covers of soul classics like 'Work Song' , 'Black Cloud' (an old Jackie Wilson song),Van McCoy's 'I've Lost You', 'I Can't Stand It' and a great take on 'She's About A Mover' – Royal's very first single.

JAMES ROYAL; CALL MY NAME – SELECTED RECORDINGS 1964 – 1970 is out now on RPM

Last Updated on Friday, 23 June 2017 13:08

 

BACK TO AVALON....

Friday, 23 June 2017 12:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBerklee Music College graduate, JAMES ROSOCHA has an impressive CV. The bassist is a long time member of the BD Lenz group who have nine albums under their belt while he's also played with people like Randy Brecker, Hiram Bullock and Jay Beckenstein.

James has just released his first solo set – the nine tracker that is 'Avalon'. The long player's title cut is a proper showcase for James' bass virtuosity – it's essentially a four minute bass solo with just gentle shading from guitarist Audric Jankausklas. The album boasts plenty more bass heavy grooves – but you'd' expect that. Cuts like 'Dysfunction Junction', 'Turbulence Ahead' and 'Harlem River Drive' meld bass-led jazz, funk and soul but there's respite too from the bass heavy pieces.

'Ariana' is a lovely, light Latin confection with some fine piano from Steve Kramer. Then there's 'By The Wayside' –an interesting and intricate waltz. There's one vocal track on the album - 'Lost' – a funky soul groove with a peculiar falsetto vocal from the song's writer, guitarist Dave Haywood.

James and his band will be touring the UK in July with dates right across the country. You can check the dates and venues and learn more about  'Avalon' @ www.jamesrosocha.com

Last Updated on Friday, 23 June 2017 18:10

 

PROPER OLD SKOOL

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:10 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe CHIDI vocalised 'Old Skool Days' was always a highlight of TOM GLIDE'S 'Diva's Got Soul' long player and the good news is that the tune has just won remix courtesy of remix don, Ashley Beedle.

Using the North Street moniker, Ashley offers us a new twist on the song alongside a "stripped" version and there's not a lot to choose between them... Ashley just lets the lovely song and the sweet vocal of Chidi do all the work!

The digital versions of the mixes will be avilable on TGee Records first week in July while there will also be a very special blue 12" vinyl release on Ramrock Records available the same month.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 June 2017 18:46

 

CHUBBY: IN THE MIX

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:07 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEarlier this month the venerable CHUBBY TAVARES made a comeback of sorts with a catchy single, the Preston Glass production 'Can't Knock Me Down'. A bit of an oddity - semi sung/semi spoken- it had a real hypotonic quality.

Well, if you enjoyed it, you can enjoy it all over again as the cut hits the racks in a new mix courtesy of Nigel Lowis. Given Mr L's credentials you can probably guess that the new mix has a rolling Philly feel that's perfect for the modern scene.

If you need more encouragement to investigate then note that Chubby has dedicated the song to the victims and families of the recent terror attacks around the world. Chubby knows a little of what people are feeling - his own son was sadly murdered 15 years ago

Chubby Tavares - Can't Knock Me Down- The Nigel Lowis mix – is out now

 

HOMELESS....

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:04 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altOver the past few years (Stuart) MATHER has won lots of friends in the soul community. Working both as Mather and Kingdon and out on his own, he's issued a slew of classy singles and a fine album, 'No Looking Back'.

Mather's latest outing is a little different to his norm – a haunting ballad, 'Homeless'. The song tells of the plight of a young man who has lost everything after been drawn in to a world of addiction.

Helping Stuart deliver is sax man Alan Hook while the art work came from the studio of Jenny Cottingham. Jenny asked Stuart that rather than pay her for her work, he should make a sizeable donation to charity. So Stuart decided that monies received from the sale and royalties for this track be donated to the homeless charity 'Shelter'. Alan Hook came on board too, as did the promotion man Gary van Den Bussche....

Mather - Homeless – for the Shelter Charity is out now

 

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