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SOUL TESTIMONY

Thursday, 03 May 2018 19:31 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altHailing from Washington DC, Singer/ Songwriter/ Producer TYRA LEVONE debuted in 2015 with the acclaimed single, 'If Only I Knew' – a dramatic ballad with a "this shall pass" gospel message. Hardly surprising; Tyra served her musical apprenticeship in the church, singing duets with her father. Ms Levone then went on to master the piano, developing her writing skills and crafting her own style which, we're told, she says was shaped by artists like Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Anita Baker.

Indeed with the release of 'If Only I Knew' back in 2015, many US soul commentators made comparison with Anita Baker. That song is one of the centrepieces of Tyra's first album – 'Testimony: A Soul Set Free' which she is currently busy promoting and throughout the compact 12 tracker you'll realise that the Anita Baker comparison is an accurate one. Witness the gorgeous ballad that is 'Can't Love You More' to hear what we mean.... shades of Ms Baker, yes, but also the passion of Gladys Knight.

The album is top heavy with similar balladry – no bad thing, though, when there's a voice like Tyra's at the centre of things.... here's a couple that you need to check out – 'It's You' – so sweet and so lovely; 'You And You' – gentle and kissed with a Latin touch.

Proving that she can cut loose as required Tyra goes to danceland on 'Can You Feel It' – a loping, disco flavoured item. But Tyra and her people know that it's the balladry on which she excels. Her current single is the aforementioned 'Can't Love You More' backed with the sparser 'Fantasy'. Do yourself a big soul favour though and check out the whole album. You won't be disappointed!

TYRA LEVONE'S 'Testimony: A Soul Set Free' is out now

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2018 19:42

 

THINGS GET BETTER....

Thursday, 03 May 2018 19:28 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Better With Time' is the latest EP from Detroit writer, producer, drummer and arranger J CANADY. (the J stands for Jeff, by the way). Canady has an impressive CV; he started out aged just 7 and went on to play drums with the jazz ensemble Enchanted; then work with people like Dave McMurray, Chante Moore, Kenny Lattimore, Rahsaan Patterson, Rachelle Ferrell, Peter White, and Spyro Gyra soon followed.

He has a couple of solo projects under his belt but 'Better With Time' is his most soulful project to date. The set was inspired by the Whispers' song 'Just Gets Better With Time' a song that Jeff heard a few years back and always felt he needed to cover. Canady's smooth and infectious new take features the vocal skills of Herschel Boone, guitarist David P. Stevens, and saxophonist Randy Scott. The EP's other focus tune is 'Funktagus' – the name says it all.... a bass driven funky jazz workout with trumpeter Willie Bradley and pianist/composer Demetrius Nabors.

J CANADY ----- "Better With Time" EP ------- out now on JAC Entertainment LLC

 

DEEP DOWN FUNK

Thursday, 03 May 2018 15:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altBUMPUS are a hard-gigging Chicago soul and funk band led by James Johnston. However a serious case of vocal cord polyps limited Mr J's vocal ambitions so he drafted in a different lead voice ... Tina M Howell and it's Tina who fronts Bumpus' brand new EP – 'Way Down Deep'.

The mini album begins with a couple of retro funk burners – 'Already Mine' and 'Step Sure'. Interestingly, like those classic funk bands of yesteryear Bumpus keep up the tradition of splitting some of their tunes into parts 1 and 2. Here they offer one song – 'Way Down Deep' (the EP's title tune) in two segments – both very different. Part 1 is rough, tough and edgy but the meandering one and a bit minutes of part 2 slips into smooth jazz territory. Like we said interesting

BUMPUS 'WAY DOWN DEEP' is out now.

alt

 

PLAYIN’ HOPSCOTCH!

Thursday, 03 May 2018 15:37 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altGIGI HAROLD is a London singer who prefers to use the simpler moniker, Gg. She debuted in February this year with the well-received EP, 'Who That Girl Is'. It was an eclectic three tracker with some pleasing horn work from veteran Kenny Wellington.

Striking while the iron is hot, Gg has just released a new single – 'Hopscotch Heart' – very different to the music on the EP. In its Rob Layman mix it's a lazy, insinuating soulful house kind of thing with a jazzy undertow. Clocking in at 7 minute plus, it's already winning club plays and augers well for the long player that we have been promised

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2018 15:49

 

FEEL THE HEAT!

Wednesday, 02 May 2018 19:54 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLENNY HAROLD is a US soul man who spent five years working with Teddy Riley's Blackstreet. In 2016 he struck out on his own with the EP 'New Testament Mountain High' and he now follows that with a double A sided single 'Heat'/'Lover'.

Both tunes are currently winning favour Stateside with 'Heat' getting some big support.  Produced by multiple Grammy nominee, Armando Colon, it's a busy contemporary R&B/soul beater. Lenny says: "Mando had given me a few references to study while approaching the record. Such artists as: The S.O.S Band and Alexander O'Neal. As I got lost in their music, the vibe, lyrics and melodies just flowed from me. Mando heard it and was like, THATS IT! I just love how the song instantly makes you smile and move."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2018 20:09

 

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