Thursday, 05 July 2018 18:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'The Stranger in the Mirror' is the first album from the side project of Cookin' on 3 Burners' organist, JAKE MASON. For the ten tracker he's working with drummer Danny Fischer and guitarist James Sherlock and as 'The Jake Mason Trio' they set out to pay homage to those great Blue Note and Prestige, Hammond-led soul-jazz albums of the 60s. And with the collection, recorded in Melbourne using analogue equipment, they've done just that.

Amongst the album highlights is a wailing 'Please Please Please' (not the James Brown song, - an original, like all the tunes). This one features guest sax input from Paul Williamson who adds welcome shading. However, the best tracks to capture that magic Jimmy McGriff/Jimmy Smith/Jack McDuff feel are the 'The Grain Store' and the fabulous swinger that is 'Candy Smack'. That one really does take you back to what Mason describes as "The place where soul meets jazz".

THE JAKE MASON TRIO; The Stranger In The Mirror' is out now on Soul Messin' Records.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2018 18:56



Thursday, 05 July 2018 18:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIn the olden days (I'm talking the 60s) we used to have "showbands' – large groups that toured the ballrooms up and down the land playing to the kids for whom this was their only proper music fix. Van Morrison started off in such a band – Ireland was wash with proper showbands!

Well, I'm reliably told, that the showband ethic still exists in the States and one of the best and most popular (down in the Florida area, anyway) is TALLAHASSEE NIGHTS LIVE (once they were simply TNL). They follow a tough gigging itinerary and offer fans a varied diet of Jazz, R & B, Soul, Pop, Latin, Country, Rock, hip-hop, Dance, Spoken Word and Comedy!

In between their live shows, they've managed to record a whole album of original material that's just been released as 'Tallahassee Nights Live- VOL 1' and never mind all the different music genres they say they offer, this ten tracker is proper, solid old fashioned soul ... try the oddly named 'Antigravity' to hear what I mean. Yes, the title is odd but the song itself is a good old school soul, southern ballad with searing vocal from an unnamed female singer. It's followed by another top ballad, 'So Gone' which the band has wisely chosen as the album's lead-off single. This time the lead voice is male. There's lots more evidence here to prove that those who say real soul's stopped being made are way off the mark... try 'Superstar' –another goodie, or 'It's You'. Recommended!



Thursday, 05 July 2018 18:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altEstonia no less is the source of a new, intriguing funk, soul and disco outing from THE LEXSOUL DANCE MACHINE. The nine tracker aims to take the listener to the fantasy holiday island of Lexico  , hence the title 'Sunny Holidays In Lexico'. Indeed the pack comes complete with a map of Lexcio with recommendations about the best bars and so on.

Musically there are all kinds going on.... funk, soul, rock, disco, Latino and more. Best cut to give you the flavour is the closing 'Trans Lexico Express'. The overriding feel is sparse and tight James Brown style funk... but add to that an Isaac Hayes type, drawled rap and a crazy guitar solo and you'll see that were talking about something very different here... very Clinton-esque (that's George, by the way, not Hilary!)

Craig Charles has been playing cuts from this album for a few weeks now. He described the music as "hot blooded, full frontal funk assault... not for those of a delicate disposition". The genial scouser is bob on!

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2018 18:57



Wednesday, 04 July 2018 19:39 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLast month lovely, little LISA STANSFIELD treated us to two wonderful remixes of one the great tunes on her current long player, 'Deeper'. Cut in question was 'Never Ever' and the mixes came via Cool Million's Rob Hardt and Mark "Snowboy" Cotgrove (that latter was actually the original recording, edited somewhat for the album). Both kept the modern soul brigade hugely happy!

But what about the soulful house crew, you may ask.... well here comes 'Never Ever' again. This time in a thumping, bass heavy, energy packed Brian Power mix. Tasteful... yes; respectful ... yes and yes, set to fill floors in the big clubs and at the big festivals through the summer!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 July 2018 19:49



Wednesday, 04 July 2018 14:09 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altTo many DAVID RUFFIN is up there with the greatest soul voices of all time. Sadly a lethal combination of ego and addiction took its toll and the iconic Temptation died tragically too young in 1991. His impact though has been huge – his albums (solo and with the Tempts) are hugely collectable and he's influenced generation upon generation of wannabee singers.

One who's felt the Ruffin influence is San Francisco blue eyed soul man JACK MOSBACHER. Despite a varied CV (Jack's a published writer, a university baseball star and a human rights activist) he's chosen music as his career and he's determined to share his love of classic soul – especially Motown – with a wider community.

To that end he's just released a four track EP to his especial hero – David Ruffin. The mini-album is called 'Whynot' (the name of Ruffin's Mississippi hometown) and here's the story. In the late 60s and early 70s David Ruffin recorded countless tracks at Motown and as was the Motown way, many stayed unreleased. In 2004 an album of some of those cuts was released as 'David' and billed as "the long player that never was". The 12 tracker was embellished with 11 "bonus" cuts and Ruffin fans were delighted. However, the collection was soon out of print and though it has been reissued, it's still not that easy to find.

Enter Mr Mosbacher. He's chosen four of those Ruffin rarities for his remarkable tribute. The songs are 'Your Heartaches I Can Surely Heal', 'I've Got A Need For You', 'It's Gonna Take a Whole Lot Of Doin'' and 'Get Away Heartbreak'. In best Motown tradition, the four cuts have been recorded in analogue using live instruments and top session players and the result would, we're sure, have pleased Mr Ruffin!

Find out more @


Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 July 2018 14:18


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