Thursday, 12 March 2020 19:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMy guess is that only the deepest soul collector will know the name of LAMONT BUTLER. Born just over 70 years ago he has just one album to his name, 'It's Time For A Change' and over the years (you've guessed!), it's become highly collectable!

Lamont (still alive, by the way) was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky by a god-fearing family headed by locally-renowned gospel, blues and R&B singer and pianist Clifford Butler. As he grew older Lamont toured with his father and eventually broke out on his own as well as working with groups like The Enterprise, The Dynamics and The New Beginnings. He started writing his own songs and, using his dad's old 4 track recorder, he started to put them on tape – eventually having enough for an album – the aforementioned  'It's Time For A Change'. Lamont peddled it at his gigs (secular and in the local churches) and he tells us it was "big in and around Louisville"!

After the death of his father, Lamont lost his passion for music and drifted away from the business and was unaware of the interest in his album, which Acid Jazz imprint, Miles Away, are all set to reissue in April (with his full co-operation). The set is a gospel 8 tracker and highlights include 'Come Into God's World' and the rousing 'Get Up And Praise The Lord'. The sound throughout is rough and ready... homespun even, but none the worse for that! Gilles Peterson and Craig Charles are already playing tracks on their shows and receiving plenty of positive feedback.

Lamont Butler; It's Time For A Change; Released April 24th; Miles Away Records; LP/CD/Digital

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 March 2020 20:11



Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:25 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altJason Lee Bailey is a soul and gospel muso from Sheffield- yes, up there in Yorkshire. He works under the intriguing name MR BAILEY and he's just launched his album 'Love @ 43'. He tells us that he grew up listening to modern gospel (people like Andre Crouch, Jesse Dixon, The Clark Sisters and The Winans,) but as he got older his tastes became more secular. He cites people like Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Sam Cooke, Eric Benet, Kim Burrell, Boyz 2 Men and Jodeci as heroes/influences.

Mr B began his pro music odyssey as a backing singer – he's sung behind the likes of West Life ('Hey Whatever'), Alexandra Burke ('Hallelujah'), Leona Lewis ('A Moment Like This'), Lamar ('Time To Grow' & 'Lullaby'), Texas, Baby Spice, Andrea Bocelli and Gareth Gates. In 2018 he struck out on his own with his self-penned set 'Open' which kind of slipped under the radar. Hopefully the intriguingly titled 'Love @ 43' will enjoy a different trajectory... it sure deserves to; it's an excellent, carefully crafted, lavishly produced modern soul set that though totally contemporary, pays homage to some of those who Jason Lee counts as influences.

The overriding flavour of the 11 tracker is the sound of neo-soul with most of the cuts being tasteful, solid, mid-tempo soul grooves. Amongst the highlights is a sweet ballad, 'I Really Don't Think That' that kind of combines the best of the Philly soul groups with the Boyz II Men sound. And it's the harmonies throughout the album that offer the sweetest attraction. Check out the simple, 'I Love You' to hear what I mean. Yes, the title's not particularly original but the treatment is but if you want something a little heavier there's the sinister 'Against The Wall' and the a-cappella 'Chains' which harks back to Mr Bailey's gospel roots.

For something completely different there's a "bonus track" – 'Sunny Day' – as "up" and optimistic as the title suggests. It the LP's tightest (sedate and sophisticated) dance groove with huge potential as a floor filler. It comes hugely recommended –as does the whole album. The greatest compliment I can give is that listening to it "blind" you'd be forgiven for thinking it's an American recording, the sort of thing that Rahsaan Patterson or the aforementioned Eric Benet might have come up with. Out now.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:38



Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:21 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDespite UK tours and some BBC coverage, you may not have heard of 'em yet but BUSTY AND THE BASS are BIG in Canada – well certainly in their native Montreal. That could be all set to change as the octet (Nick Ferraro [vocals, alto sax], Evan Crofton a.k.a. Alistair Blu [vocals, keys, synths], Scott Bevins [trumpet], Chris Vincent [trombone], Louis Stein [guitar], Milo Johnson [bass], Eric Haynes [keys, piano], and Julian Trivers [drums)) release a new single... the first from their upcoming album.

Cut in question is 'Baggy Eyed Dopeman' –a tune as bonkers and captivating as the title suggests! It runs in at three and half minutes and all kinds of everything is going on! It sort of combines West Coast harmonies (remember Alessi?) with Tower of Power brass, big booming bass lines, off the wall sections and a flavour of Outkast... hardly surprising... the track was produced by the Grammy-winning Neal Pogue a regular OutKast collaborator and it features no less a personage than George Clinton adding his unfettered interstellar psychedelic funkiness like only he can! Like we said bonkers... but brilliantly bonkers. We look forward to the album. 'Baggy Eyed Dopeman' is out now on Arts and Crafts records.



Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:14 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt was December when we enjoyed a new single from the lovely LINDSEY WEBSTER. 'Feels Like Forever', we were told, was the hors d'oeuvre to Ms W's "upcoming" album.

Well that album is almost ready to roll. Her people tell us that the  'A Woman Like Me', set will be good to go on March 27th on Shanachie Records.

Like her previous work, 'A Woman Like Me' has been co-produced by Lindsey's (recently divorced) husband, Keith Slattery and it features input from people like drummer Vinnie Colaiuta , bassist Nathan East and percussionist Luis Conte. Lindsey says: "It was incredible to be able to work with Nathan, Vinnie, and Luis. So many of my favourite recordings feature these guys, and my mind would get blown frequently while recording, as I would remember that I was working with my idols! Also, working with different people gives a different vibe and feel. I love what everyone brought to the music."

The eleven track album features one cover – a treatment of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' and we'll feature a full review very soon.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 15:39



Monday, 09 March 2020 19:03 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt was December when LOS CHARLY'S ORCHESTRA launched their wonderful 'Soul Unity'' – a joyous call to the floor that paid homage to the great days of the 70s: they say: "a period when Northern soul was still mighty strong and when clubs like the Blackpool Mecca and Manchester's Ritz were playing sounds that laid the foundation of the "modern soul" scene"... with big vocals from Andre Espeut it was a proper floor filler...

... and just when you thought it was safe... it's back – in a bigger, new re-work from JOHN MORALES is his M+M guise. Running in at 7 minutes plus, it's guaranteed to keep those floors filled! Officially out 14th March

Last Updated on Monday, 09 March 2020 19:11


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