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SOULSCAPE. . .RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVES

Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:48 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

SOULSCAPE. . .RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVES

When it comes to bona fide, rare-as-hen's-teeth antique soul - especially the gritty Southern variety - look no further than the current catalogue of the UK-based indie label, Soulscape. Set up by soul aficionado Garry J. Cape a couple of years ago as the successor to his well-regarded Grapevine imprint, Soulscape has found a niche as a company that specialises in exhuming the lost and forgotten recordings of soul music's most obscure cult figures from the '60s and '70s. The label has several fine new releases just out on the shelves. Of interest to fans of blues-inflected soul is a compilation dedicated to the '70s output of gutsy singer GEATER DAVIS, whose raspy voice sounds like an amalgam of James Carr and Bobby 'Blue' Bland. 'I'll Play The Blues For You: The Legendary House Of Orange Sessions' features 16 tracks and includes his collectable LP, 'Sweet Woman's Love.' Another fine collection devoted to an obscure Southern soul man is 'Lay Another Log On The Fire,' a sterling set from C.L. BLAST (aka Clarence 'Junior' Lewis). 'The Complete Juana Sessions: 1976 to 1984' focuses on Blast's work with producer Frederick Knight.
A singer also revered by the soul cognoscenti is DORIS ALLEN, whose declamatory, gospel-reared voice shines brightly on an excellent 23-track set called 'Shell Of A Woman: The legendary Playground Sessions', which features some previously unissued sides from the 1980s as well as the singer's brilliant late '60s solo 45s (her popular duets with Big John Hamilton are also included).
Look out too for an exciting September Soulscape release that focuses on the highly coveted work of falsetto-voiced Southern soul singer SAM BAKER. 'I Believe In You' is a 22-track compendium spanning the years 1965-1969 and features all the sides Baker cut for John Richbourg's legendary Nashville label, Soundstage 7. For more information go to www.garryjcape.com

 

BOBBY'S BACK ...AND HERBIE TOO

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:34 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

BOBBY'S BACK ...AND HERBIE TOO

Considering his importance and stature, there are surprisingly few BOBBY 'BLUE' BLAND albums currently available. Hopefully, that will start to change with the upcoming Universal/Island release of a "Best Of..." on the great man. Clearly put together on the back of the recent MICK HUCKNALL tribute set, this collection boats 27 cuts from BOBBY'S period at Duke Records and all his classics are included - notably the sublime 'Cry, Cry, Cry' and the soulful 'Share Your Love With Me'. By coincidence, one of BOBBY'S best songs - 'Turn On Your Love Light' is one of the key note cuts on an EMI release from HERBIE GOINS AND THE NIGHTIMERS. A US serviceman based in the UK, GOINS became a mainstay on the 60s British live circuit where he helped keep the soul flag flying with energy-packed, cover-heavy shows that kept the soul-starved British mods more than happy. Taking its title from HERBIE'S own mod anthem, 'Number 1 In Your Heart', the album has 22 tracks and will be available at the end of September.

 

LEMAR'S REASONS

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:33 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

LEMAR'S REASONS

Marking a new chapter in his career, LEMAR is set to release his fourth studio album - 'The Reason' and the lead single 'If She Knew' this November. For the album he collaborates with producers JIM JONSIN (LIL WAYNE), JIM BEANZ (TIMBALAND, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, NELLY FURTADO), JACK SPLASH (ALICIA KEYS, CEE LO) and SOULSHOCK & KARLIN (WHITNEY HOUSTON, 2PAC) SALAAM REMI (AMY WINEHOUSE, NAS, FUGEES). LEMAR has spent the last two years crafting his new LP, recording in Los Angeles, Miami and Sweden. Showcasing his production and writing talent, his people claim that the new album signals a new direction in LEMAR'S musical sound. The first single, 'If She Knew', co-produced by SOULSHOCK and KARLIN comes in a number of remixes with the SNOWFLAKERS tweak offering most for soul people with its infectious mid-tempo groove and delightful keyboard fills.

 

MORE PHILLY TREASURES

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:31 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MORE PHILLY TREASURES

Philadelphia label Jamie-Guyden has just reissued some terrific archive material. Top offering is a 13 track collection of all of THE FANTASTIC JOHNNY C's singles. It naturally includes 'Boogaloo Down Broadway' but collectors need to look out for some classic MFSB-backed items from 1973 including 'Waiting For The Rain'. CLIFF NOBLES worked for the same Phil-L.A. Of Soul Label and all his six singles (A and B sides) are now available too. Naturally 'The Horse' is in there along with the in-demand vocal version, 'Love Is All Right'. BRENDA AND THE TABULATIONS are featured on two albums - one covering late sixties recordings for Dionn and the second tracking the group's career with Top and Bottom Records. The former has some early GAMBLE-HUFF songs and productions, while the bulk of the second set offers impeccable VAN McCOY productions. Jamie-Guyden, though, is still working with new artists, and steppers might like to check out the 'Soul Butterfly' album from LINDA LAWS. The LP's opener - 'Las Vegas Groove' is doing big stepper business Stateside. All albums will be reviewed here at www.soulandjazzandfunk.com very soon

 

MIGHTY MOTOWN CELEBRATIONS ...

Saturday, 06 September 2008 10:41 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

MIGHTY MOTOWN CELEBRATIONS ...

Soul anoraks will know already that next year - 2009, Motown will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary and beginning in the winter of 2008 and running through 2009, Universal Music will be celebrating the anniversary in fine style. The history books tell us the Motown Sound went worldwide in the '60s, and that the sound still resonates today. The label's scored more than 180 No.1 songs and statisticians are still counting. Motown hits continue to appear in commercials, TV and movies, and remain an influence on today's biggest pop and R&B stars. But to real soul fans Motown stands for more than that mere statistics. Motown has provided the soundtrack to individual lives and collectors cherish every release on any of the labels within Gordy's iconic stable. Equally it's not just about the music; it's all about a time and a place and a reflection of the hard work of dedicated individuals overcoming incredible obstacles to achieve great success. On January 12th 2009, Motown will be precisely 50 years old, and to honour this monumental event in musical history, Universal Music is planning multiple new releases across all mediums throughout the next year. Heralding these will be a brand new 50th anniversary CD due December 1st 2008, featuring songs voted for online by the fans of Motown. Universal Music plans to release many different versions of the compilation across the globe, reflecting each market's favourite songs and in turn celebrating the enduring popularity of Motown across the planet.

 

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