Wednesday, 29 May 2019 21:02 Bill E-mailPrintPDF

altIt's being reported that in the last few days two more soul men have sadly died – WILLIE FORD (above) of the Dramatics and JOHN GARY WILLIAMS of Mad Lads fame.

Details of Ford's death are sketchy save that he was aged 68 but his friend, singer, writer and producer, Michael Henderson has posted that Willie had recently undergone surgery.

Willie Ford was a founder member of the Dramatics and it was his booming bass voice that provided the bottom notes to their legendary harmonies. Indeed many soul commentators believe that in the basso profondo department Willie was second only to the great Melvin Franklin of the Temptations.

The Dramatics of course enjoyed numerous hits and their 'Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get' remains a true soul classic. Like most groups, the Dramatics underwent numerous personnel changes often causing disputes. In 2010 after lead singer Ron Banks died, there was a major dispute over who had the rights to use the group name. In the end two groups claimed to be the "real Dramatics" – one led by L. J. Reynolds and another led by Ford.

altJohn Gary Williams (above) died yesterday, Tuesday, May 28, at his Memphis home. He was 73 and as with Willie Ford few details are available save that he had had throat cancer. Williams was a founder member of the Mad Lads who, though, never major leaguers, enjoyed a decent run of hits on the Stax subsidiary Volt. Oddly (or not) Williams had a sabbatical from the group when he was drafted to fight in Vietnam and for a time in the 70s he worked as a solo artist. Prior to that in the mid 60s he was a vocal political activist. Indeed in 1968, Williams was charged in connection with the wounding of a Memphis police officer during a demonstration.

John Gary Williams was the last surviving member of the original Mad Lads .

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 21:16



Wednesday, 29 May 2019 19:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe lovely MICHELLE LAWSON is a busy girl! Hot on the heels of her last chart-riding single, 'Looking For Love' comes another splendid soul beater and another potential hit in the shape of a cover of Teddy P's 'When Somebody Loves You Back'.

The cut is a proper, old school soul groove produced by the Full Crew who've included a sweet, but annoyingly hard to define string sample! (Thinking its from George Jinda's version of 'Just My Imagination'). The track is from the lady's album – due autumn.

MICHELLE LAWSON; 'When Somebody Loves You Back' out June 21st on Rhythm Records.

Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2019 18:38



Wednesday, 29 May 2019 19:35 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altALVIN DAVIS is a  Birmingham (UK)-based  multi instrumentalist – but his instrument of choice is the saxophone. He's been in the business since the 1990s and he's worked with people as diverse as of Maxi Priest, Edwin Starr, The Foundations, Neville Staples, Alton Ellis, Ken Booth, Dennis Alcapone, Macka B and Dennis Bovell.

Alvin has a number of solo albums under his belt and right now he's busy promoting his latest set – 'Make A Stance'. The 12 track LP offers Mr D's take on smooth, sax-led jazz and the overall mood is slow and slinky. Many of the cuts would not be out of place on any Quiet Storm radio show – notably the melodic opener, 'Cool Skool' and 'Giving Up' and the lovely, catchy 'Just Us' . Rarely does the tempo increase save on the pacey and crisp 'Freedom Reigns' and 'Stomp' which boasts just a garnish of reggae – the influence of some of the people Alvin's worked with?

Most dramatic of the tunes is 'I'm Coming Home' (would love to know where the protagonist has been to merit the drama!) while the best soul groove is 'The Ride To Love' which like many of the cuts features a sort of "semi vocals" – you know what I mean, gentle, choruses. For added interest, the album ends with the only cover on offer – a very respectful take on Junior Walker's 'Walk In The Night'.

Alvin Davis' 'Make A Stance' is ready to download from all the major portals.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 21:17



Tuesday, 28 May 2019 19:17 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'The Good Times' is what young Scottish old singer/songwriter CHRIS SMALL is offering on his latest single – a driving blend of old school, organic soul with a nod to the Northern fraternity!

Chris has been working the Scottish club circuit for a few years with different acts but now fronts his own trio. Helping him deliver his take on soul are Ivan Sveda on drums and Dave Shaw on bass... both music biz veterans.

Chris tells us that 'The Good Times' is all about positivity and self purpose and the soundscape matches that optimism. The song is the lead track from an upcoming EP due later this summer. In the meantime 'Good Times' is good to go from your favourite download portal!



Tuesday, 28 May 2019 19:11 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDon't know if I'm on the right track but I've been led to believe that OMG is the short cut to "oh my God!". Musically it's also the name of a new (to me) band – the OMG COLLECTIVE. They comprise Orin Norbert – vocals; Chris Fosh – vocals; Josh Davies - keys/vocals and Will Roberts – guitar.

They debuted a while back with their EP 'Inhibitions' - which gained support and regular airplay on the dear old BBC. Now OMG Collective have joined forces with award-winning Brit soul producers Michael J McAvoy and Ernest McKone to work on a full album 'Delusion of Grandeur' due out in the autumn.

In the meantime they've just issued a taster single.... 'Part Of Me'. It's a shifty, moody modern soul groove that the quartet describe as "a fusion of rhythm and blues, funk, soul, house, hip-hop and reggae; paired with witty lyricism and soulful harmonies."

Make up your own mind when you check it out at a download portal near you..... we look forward to the long player!


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