Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:05 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

backMost proper soul fans have a penchant for mod music; indeed, it's true to say that many veteran soulsters were original mods, getting their first taste and continued love of soul in that golden age. The good news for all the above is that RPM Records (a Cherry Red imprint) have just issued a tremendous three CD box set of 60's mod music.

'Looking Back' contains a massive 80 cuts of what the set's subtitle calls 'Mod, Freakbeat and Swinging London Nuggets'. All the featured artists were British (or British based) and what you get is their unique sixties take on soul and original R&B. Amongst the featured artists are the SPENCER DAVIS GROUP (Mark II, sans STEVIE WINWOOD), THE ARTHUR BROWN SET, JOHN LEE'S GROUNDHOGS, THE IN CROWD, TONY RIVERS, EPISODE SIX and JOHN'S CHILDREN - MARC BOLAN'S first group. There's also an appearance from the self-styled "King Of Ska", LAUREL AITKEN (with a rough and rustic 'Bongo Jerk') and great cut from Bronx-born soul man, J J JACKSON ('Come See Me').

You also get lots of great soul covers like 'Daddy Rolling Stone' from Merseybeat band EARL PRESTON'S REALMS and a take on the MAR-KEY'S 'Last Night' from the aforementioned LAUREL AITKEN and his band, THE SOULMEN. Lots of modern bands and artists aspire to create an authentic 60s sound but never quite get it right. With this wonderful collection as a primer they would, I'm sure, have much more success. Find out more @

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 May 2012 19:14



Sunday, 06 May 2012 17:33 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

RightLots of great blue-eyed soul reissues around at the moment... first up is a new, re-mastered 20 track collection on the genre definers – THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS. 'Retrospective 1963 – 1974' offers the very, very best of everything that BILL MEDLEY and BOBBY HATFIELD created together. The set kicks off with the fabulous 'Unchained Melody' and ends with 1974's 'Rock And Roll Heaven'... a track that sadly lists deceased rock and soul singers. Sounds tacky... but it works and it gave the duo their last hit. In between there's everything you'd ever need on the BROTHERS. The PHIL SPECTOR-helmed 'You've Lost That Loving' Feelin'' will still create shivers, but then so too will other SPECTOR masterpieces like 'Hung On You', 'Just Once In My Life' and 'Ebb Tide'. Other great moments include the GOFFIN-KING gem 'On This Side Of Goodbye' and '(You're My) Soul And Inspiration'... and to prove the duo could rock too, there's 'My Babe' and 'Little Latin Lupe Lu' – both staples of most decent 60s UK beat groups' repertoire. Fabulous stuff... and offered here for the first time in remastered format using the new Direct Stream Digital technique. Label, by the way, is ABKCO via Universal.

jayNext up there's a three LP on two CD set from JAY AND THE AMERICANS. The group have always had a strong following from the soul contingent and by the time these three albums - 'Sands Of Time' (1969), 'Wax Museum' (1970) and 'Capture The Moment' (1970) – were released the lead vocalist was the one-time DAVID BLATT who'd morphed in to 'JAY BLACK'. On the first two of the above listed LPs the group offer their own spirited versions of soul and rock classics like 'This Magic Moment', 'Gypsy Woman', 'So Much In Love', 'Message To Martha', 'Let It Be Me' and 'Some Kind Of Wonderful' .

The third LP in the set, 'Capture The Moment', contains original material from a variety of sources and collectors will be interested to note that the album contains four songs which are arranged by WALTER BECKER and DONALD FAGEN. The soon-to-be STEELY DAN duo was part of JAY AND THE AMERICANS' road band and on stuff like 'She'll Be Young Forever' you can hear them cutting their studio teeth.

PhilAnother set worth checking is 'Star Spangled Springer' from PHIL EVERLY. This was his first album without brother DON and is essentially a pop/country collection. Yet it boasts two wonderful songs that have gone on to be covered by a number of soul artists. First there's the original version of 'The Air That I Breathe' and then there's the saddest paean to introspection and loneliness that you're ever likely to hear – 'Snowflake Bombardier'. That one song alone is worth the entrance ticket. Find out more about this set (and JAY AND THE AMERICANS too) @

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 May 2012 17:40



Thursday, 03 May 2012 19:40 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

macy-gray-new-life-albumGrammy award winning, 15 million album selling, singer-songwriter, MACY GRAY, has her new album 'Covered', a collection of all new recordings of songs handpicked and reinterpreted by the US star in her own inimitable fashion, released on June 25th. To coincide with the release of the album MACY plays nights at London's Jazz Café on June 27th and June 28th.

Produced by HAL WILLNER (LOU REED, METALLICA), 'Covered' tackles material largely drawn from the indie scene from the last decade. Featured tracks include ARCADE FIRE'S 'Wake Up' and MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE'S 'Teenagers'

MACY says that with 'Covered' she aims to turn the cover album concept on its ear choosing contemporary choices and approaching them in an innovative and uncompromising way.

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 May 2012 19:45



Thursday, 03 May 2012 19:38 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

mannFans of the easy listening genre will be delighted to learn that El Records (a Cherry Red imprint) have just released a wonderful 23 tracker from the doyen of the genre.... JOHNNY MANN. 'Sixties Man' from the JOHNNY MANN singers includes all the very best stuff from the 36 albums that the prolific Baltimore arranger/producer recorded through the 60s.

The album contains MANN'S best known outing – his version of the JIM WEBB song 'Up Up And Away' that pipped the FIFTH DIMENSION'S take in the chart stakes. Interestingly there's another FIFTH DIMENSION song on the set – a dreamy version of their 'The Worst That Could Happen'. Elsewhere expect lots of BACHARACH and BEATLES along with distinctive tweaks on staples like 'Never My Love', 'Windy', 'Call Me,' and 'The Girl from Ipanema'.

It's all beautifully relaxing stuff and though SOUL BROTHER No. 1 might not approve, I'm sure AUSTIN POWERS would!

Find out mroe at


Last Updated on Friday, 04 May 2012 11:15



Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:33 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

PartriceRushen_AuthorizedHI_Res_RecliningR&B hit-maker, singer and jazz-funk keyboard sorceress, PATRICE RUSHEN, jets in to the UK next month for a couple of live appearances.

On May 12th, she appears on the bill of the annual Southport Weekender fronting a 'must-see' band of friends that comprises bassist 'Ready' Freddie Washington, guitarist Doc Powell, saxophonist Everette Harp and drummer Leon 'Ndugu' Chancler.

On May 14th and 15th, Patrice can also be heard at Ronnie Scott's in London for a couple of concerts billed as "1+ One." At those dates she will be playing as a duo with drummer, Ngudu Chancler.

Coincidentally, Patrice's  first album for Elektra – 1978's 'Patrice' featuring the US R&B hits 'Hang It Up' and 'When I Found You' – has just be reissued by SoulMusic Records.

For additional info go to:


Look out for an interview with Patrice Rushen soon at SJF.

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 April 2012 18:39


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