Sunday, 26 August 2012 19:01 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

donProper soul fans have always had a soft spot for the great DON COVAY. His 60s songs 'Mercy, Mercy',' See Saw' and 'Sookie Sookie' were genuine soul staples. Then in the 70s stuff like 'I Was Checkin' Out She Was Checkin' In' and 'It's Better To Have' were picked up by the more discerning. Many of that discerning crowd however were probably unaware of DON'S parallel career as a great song writer.

From the 50s and on to the 70s COVAY was a prolific songwriter, penning songs (many hits) for the likes of WILSON PICKETT, SOLOMON BURKE, ARETHA, JOE TEX, ETTA JAMES and many more.

Ace Records latest release in their 'Songwriter' series focuses on COVAY the writer and assembles a generous 26 of his songs in versions that range from the obvious to the more obscure and the downright eclectic. There's stuff like ARETHA'S 'Chain Of Fools' and CHUBBY CHECKER'S 'Pony Time' cheek by jowl with BILLY FURY'S version of 'Letter Full Of Tears' and CONNIE FRANCIS'S take on 'Mr Twister'. Great too to see that the compilers have dug into the UK's 60s beat boom archive for material. Most jobbing 60s band featured COVAY material in their sets and here you can enjoy GRAHAM BOND'S version of 'Long Tall Shorty' and CLIFF BENNETT'S take on 'See Saw' as examples.


'Have Mercy – the Songs of Don Covay' is out now on Ace Records.

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 August 2012 19:11



Sunday, 26 August 2012 18:59 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

BBKingIn celebration of B.B. KING'S 50th Anniversary of signing to ABC-Paramount Records in 1962, Universal Records are releasing a three format career retrospective on the iconic Blues Boy. The main component of the release is a 10-CD, 194 track collection chronicling his entire career from his first recordings in 1949 through to his most recent studio album. This particular set is housed in a de-luxe box which includes a 72-page silver gilded hardback book, featuring essays FROM ASHLEY KAHN and DICK SHURMAN. The set is also packed with key images and memorabilia, illustrating KING'S long and influential career.

There will also be a 4 CD cut down version and digital version (essentially the 4-CD pack plus the bonus album 'Lucille Talks Back').

Whatever format KING fans choose, they'll enjoy all the key moments from his career (including a plethora of pre-ABC Paramount material). There's also collaborations aplenty (tracks with people like THE ROLLING STONES, BOBBY BLAND, ETTA JAMES and ERIC CLAPTON). There are also a number of previously unreleased tracks – including material from the famous 1970 Carnegie Hall concert.


Last Updated on Sunday, 26 August 2012 19:11



Sunday, 19 August 2012 15:42 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

obSEAN O'BRYAN SMITH is an in-demand bass player on the American session and live circuits. He's also a committed Christian and three years ago he hit on the idea of creating his own gospel album based on the familiar hymns and spirituals he regularly heard in church when his touring commitments allowed him the indulgence.

Bringing in a stellar cast of musicians (amongst them GERALD ALBRIGHT, RANDY BRECKER AND CHUCK LOEB), O'BRYAN created fresh arrangements to familiar material like 'How Great Thou Art', 'Blessed Assurance' and 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken'. Then for variety, he developed two new tunes, 'Called' – an infectious soul-jazz groove and 'Reflection' – a spoken word sermon delivered by MALCOLM JAMAL-WARNER. SEAN and his team were so impressed by the end results on that cut that they named the whole album for it.

The 12 tracker was recorded in the bassist's own Nashville studio where an old Trident analogue console was used to create and authentic old time religion feeling.

'REFLECTION' by SEAN O'BRYAN SMITH is out now on Groove Therapy Record. You can find out more about the project @



Sunday, 19 August 2012 13:03 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

germainOriginally released in 2000, ST GERMAIN'S 'Tourist' quickly became a chilled beats classic. The brain child of French muso, LUDOVIC NAVARRE it was an hypnotic mix of roots music, futuristic beats, eclectic structures and deep house. Released on the legendary Blue Note label and realized by a team of top Parisian session players the LP won favour in all kinds of quarters – right from laid back Ibizan chillers to broad minded jazzers with the lead cut – 'Rose Rouge' - becoming a staple on the most discerning DJs (live and radio) playlists.

The album has just been reissued – fully remastered - using the latest 24 bit technology – and none oft the original magic of things like 'Latin Note', 'Pont Des Arts', 'What You Think About' and, of course, 'Rose Rouge' has been lost.



Sunday, 19 August 2012 13:00 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

detroitAce's subsidiary BGP's latest funk offering is another dip into the archive of Detroit guitar man DAVE HAMILTON.

HAMILTON'S music career began in the 1940s and by the late 50s and early 60s he was part of the Motown session band. In 1964 he left the Gordy fold to set up a whole succession of labels like Temple, Topper, TCB and New Day. 'The Detroit Funk Vaults' boasts 22 rare and rarefied tracks drawn from those labels and others (like Rojac) to whom he licensed material. The LP's title indicates the general mood – dirty, down home urban funk like 'You Fool, You Fool' from PROPHET AND THE DISCIPLES and 'Love Bandit' by O C TOLBERT.

Other flavours are represented too. 'Clap Your Hands' from THE TOKAYS and 'You Don't Miss Your Water' by CHICO and BUDDY are great examples of harmonic soul and will please Northern die-hards too, while HAMILTON'S own 'Ghetto Stride' is a jaunty, jazzy affair. Many of the tracks are either seeing the light of day for the first time or making their digital debut and the album's available now.


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