A+ SOUL...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 20:44 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

jesse_jSoul Junction's latest release is a lovely 7" vinyl single from JESSE JAMES. The A-side features a track which JESSE recorded for Gunsmoke Records in the 70s – 'I Gave You Love With An A Plus'. Penned by PERCY SMITH and HARVEY SCALES, it's a sedate, old school stepper with JESSE in great vocal form and helping to maintain the soul quotient, the cut features a quirky organ break.

The single's B-side was recorded back in 1964 when Mr. J was pacted to Shirley Records and though 'Are You Gonna Leave Me' owes rather a lot to the IMPRESSIONS' 'I'm The One Who Loves You' it's still an unmissable slice of 60s soul. It has been around on one or two Northern soul compilations but somehow it just sounds so much better on vinyl!

For more info go to –


bbe BITS...

Monday, 14 March 2011 17:12 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

beta_generationBarely Breaking Even Records – bbe to their committed fans, have just released four great albums – all of which deserve checking out. First up there's a tenth anniversary collection based around bbe's wonderful 'Beat Generation' series. The idea behind the series is to allow top soul and hip-hop musos to pick and mix their favourites without the constraints and licensing issues that major labels often throw up. Here bbe have allowed DJ SPINNA and MR THING to look back over the previous nine sets and pick the very best – then go away and tweak them in their own way. Between them, the boys have worked on stuff like KING BRITT'S 'Transcend' and DJ JAZZY JEFF'S 'We Live In Philly' which of course helped launch JILL SCOTT'S career.

Second goodie on the bbe list is an eight tracker that looks at what's currently coming out of JOHNNY DE MARIO'S famed Brooklyn studio, Henry Street. 'Henry Street Grooves' features music from THE FORCE, E-SMOOVE, DJ DUKE and others and it's soulful, funky house all the way. The flavours are more hip-hop on T.R.A.C.'s 'The Network'. Produced by MARC MAC the 15 tracker shows where Brooklyn hip-hop is at right now.

The fourth new bbe set is a great soulful dance compilation from top Scottish DJ, AL KENT. Those who like their soul laced with irresistible beats will find The Jock jock's 'DISCO LOVE Volume 2' superb throughout. Go to our review pages for a full run down on the album.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 March 2011 17:23



Friday, 11 March 2011 16:21 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

4Universal/Hip-O Select continue apace with their reissue of SMOKEY ROBINSON'S solo work by releasing a fourth "twofer". This new set pairs the great man's 'Love Breeze' with 'Where There's Smoke'. The former was released in February 1978 and, surprisingly, the ballad highspot of the set is not one of SMOKEY'S own songs. The wonderful 'Feeling You, Feeling Me' was written by JERRY BUTLER (pacted to Motown at the time) and it really is one of SMOKEY'S finest moments. Elsewhere, 'Love So Fine' sees our man in an almost jazzy mood.

'Where There's Smoke' was first released in 1979 and the album's big tune was, of course, 'Cruisin''. SMOKEY admits the song came to him as a mix of THE YOUNG RASCALS' 'Groovin'' and THE TEMPTATIONS' 'Just My Imagination' and at first other Motown execs weren't too keen on it. When it was eventually released as a single, it became SMOKEY'S biggest hit to date and propelled the album into the top 20. The album buyers were able to enjoy many more classics – like 'Ever Had A Dream', though the jury has always been out on the discofied version of 'Get Ready'. .. well it was the high watermark of disco! Here the instrumental version of that track is included as a bonus.




Friday, 11 March 2011 15:42 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

alexandraYoung ALEXANDRA LEGOUIX fronts a band called THE SUNFLOWERS and they currently work in and around London and the South East of England. Last year their beguiling mix of laid back soul and gentle Latin rhythms saw them win a BBC talent show – 'Introducing...' That accolade brought them to the attention of production team RED RHYTHM and while we await the outcome of that collaboration, the band has just released a five track CD.

The EP takes its name from the lead song – 'Let's Go', and those who enjoy the current vogue for whimsical female vocals will find much to enjoy. The melody is catchy and MARTYN ELLIS' guitar adds a distinctive Latin flavour. The EP's other big tune is the SADE-esque 'Balcony Of Wonders'. You can check both out (along with the three other tunes) by going to



Friday, 11 March 2011 15:00 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

mayer-coffey-01-350"Legendary" is an adjective used with far too much impunity in the music biz... however no one would ever doubt the right of Detroit guitar man DENNIS COFFEY to have the adjective tagged to his name. COFFEY, of course, was an integral member of MOTOWN'S FUNK BROTHERS and he played on countless hits. Notably, his distinctive wah-wah guitar sound came to dominate many of the TEMPTATIONS' hits in their so-called "physco-soul" period. Beyond that, it's DENNIS' guitar on FREDA PAYNE'S 'Band Of Gold' while the anoraks will gladly list hundreds of pop hits on which he played.

COFFEY has enjoyed a sporadic solo career too; his 'Scorpio' becoming a staple of the break beat brigade. April 25th sees him release a brand new solo album. Simply titled 'DENNIS COFFEY', the 11 tracker features a mix of new tunes and old songs on which he originally featured. To add relish to those "oldies", the guitar man has hand-picked some up and coming artists to handle the vocals. So – amongst others - FANNY FRANKLIN (of funk combo, ORGONE) takes on WILSON PICKETT'S 'Don't Knock My Love' and PAOLO NUTINI contributes on RODRIGUEZ' 'Only Good For Conversation'. One of the highlights is MAYER HAWTHORNE (pictured with DENNIS) guesting on THE PARLIAMENTS' 'All Your Goodies Are Gone'.




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