Wednesday, 08 January 2020 19:52 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIn his native Italy multi instrumentalist ALEX PUDDU is an acclaimed soul and jazz man and at the back end of last year the UK soul scene took to its heart Signor P's 'Don't Hold Back' –a groove-heavy throwback to the '70s / early '80s which featured GENE ROBINSON Jr on vocals (the brainy ones out there will know that Gene was/is the lead singer with Philly group, Breakwater).

The track was taken from Alex's upcoming 'Discotheque' long player and his label (Schema Records) has just released another sweet little taster – an energetic, pacy 'You Are My Fire' with another vocal from Gene Robinson. We're told that Robinson features on three of the album tracks. 'You Are My Fire' is a real mover and Alex gets to show off his Ernie Isley style guitar too. Out now!



Tuesday, 07 January 2020 19:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast month (December to be precise) we spotlighted a new track from DIANE MARSH ... a blue eyed soulstress from England's mighty North West! A top sessioneer, Diane has worked with people like Odyssey, Kleeer, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, Adina Howard and the legendary Edwin Starr.... and her cut ''I'M STUCK ON U' was a classic slab of modern soul. In fact the old Andy "Madhatter" Holmes production (it was recorded back in 1996 but had never been properly released) hit the heights of the UK soul chart!

Well to add more momentum for the New Year, the tune has had a "Yearning 2 Step" makeover and this new mix is set to follow the original up the soul charts. It is really catchy, ticks all the modern soul boxes and is a definite head nodder/foot tapper in the manner of those great old Atlantic Starr tunes. It comes highly recommended but is only available via Ms Marsh's web site ...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 January 2020 19:42



Tuesday, 07 January 2020 11:14 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altOver the years there have been any number of compilations and collections chronicling the impact and importance of Liverpool on modern pop culture. And rightly so! No other British city has contributed more ... little wonder that eminent philosopher Carl Jung called the pulsing port city "the pool of life". So what better way to start a new year than with another slice of scouse nostalgia! Ace has just released a new 25 track retrospective of Liverpool pop.... but this one's a little different. You see, as the title makes obvious, 'She Came From Liverpool' turns the spotlight on the women artists that the city produced.... and you may well be surprised by how many there are!

The album has two main focuses... the Vernons Girls and the Liver Birds. The Vernons Girls predate the beat era and were formed by the social department of Vernons Football Pools as an artistic outlet for their female workers. The choir became so good that they won a recording contract and went on to feature on TV rock and roll shows like 'Oh Boy' and '6 5 Special'. In time the "Vernons" splintered into various smaller combos – like the Breakaways and the De Laine Sisters while others forged solo careers and/or became in-demand session singers. Soul covers collectors will be delighted to have here one-time Vernons Girl, Samanatha Jones' version of Teddy Randazzo's 'I Don't Want To Be The One'.

The Liver Birds (not to be confused with the TV sit com) were very different – a proper guitar and drums combo who became "big in Germany". They were so popular there that they rarely played in Liverpool and this album offers a couple of their tracks which proved that despite what a certain John Lennon said "girls could play guitars".

In between the Vernons and the Liver Birds, there are all kinds of Scouse ladies – some, like Cilla Black, a lot more famous than others. Most notable is Beryl Marsden – a singer rated by Scousers as far superior to "our Cilla". Little wonder that Martha Reeves regularly used Beryl as a Vandella when she toured the UK! Here you can enjoy two Beryl Marsden tunes including the Motown esque 'What's She Got' while if you're looking for soul and R&B covers you may well be surprised by Cilla Black's take on Arthur Alexander's 'Shot Of Rhythm And Blues'.



Monday, 06 January 2020 19:16 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLatest offering from English-born, Australian-raised singer-songwriter DAISY HICKS is an EP based around a new tune, 'Lifeline' – a cut from an upcoming long player. The song, co-penned with George MacFarlane, has an R&B edge in its original mix but my guess is that the soul crowd will go for the insistent, percussive, groove-heavy Met Life mix. The Met Life crew ((Michael Gray and Jon Pearn) have worked with Daisy before. Remember their lovely tweak of Ms H's 'When I'm Gone'? And their look at 'Lifeline' has more of the same infectious modern soul feel about it.

Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2020 19:22



Monday, 06 January 2020 19:12 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altSoul collectors in general and Philly fans in particular will be sad to learn of the death on 30th December of Philly soul stalwart Herley Johnson Jr., best remembered for his work with cult group the Ambassadors. Formed in the mid-1960's, the quintet were first signed to Atlantic where they released three singles before moving to the legendary Jimmy Bishop' Arctic Records in 1968. Their biggest hit was 1969's 'I Really Love You' while their 'Soul Summit' LP is hugely collectable. Little wonder, the Ambassadors channelled the classic Philly sweet soul sound while album credits include input from people like Bobby Martin, with help from Philly studio legends like Vince Montana, Norman Harris, Leon Huff, and Bobby Eli.

After the demise of the Ambassadors, three members -Herley Johnson Jr., Robert Todd and Orlando Oliphant later formed Creme D'Cocoa while Johnson also worked for a while under the solo alias, Jay Novelle.


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