Wednesday, 31 October 2018 20:19 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altMADISSON WILBURN is the son of soul singer Rudi Wilburn (check our archive for info on him). Like his dad, 27 year old Madisson has recently been working throughout Europe. (His family are now domiciled in the South of France).

We're told that Madisson is moving back to California to move his soul career forward but in the meantime he's just issued a single on Chocolate Lips Records. The cut is the steppers' tune, 'Reminds Me Of You' and it has all the classic traits that make steppers tunes so irresistible. Soulful vocal too!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 20:40



Wednesday, 31 October 2018 14:57 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altInfluential Louisiana singer/songwriter TONY JOE WHITE died last Wednesday, 24th October. He was 75 and reports suggest that he had had a heart attack at his home in Leipers Fork, Tennessee, just outside Nashville. In soul circles he will always be remembered for penning the nostalgia soaked 'Rainy Night In Georgia' – a huge hit for Brook Benton, though White's original is worth checking too.

Born in 1943, Tony was youngest of seven children raised on a cotton farm about 20 miles from the nearest town, Oak Grove, Louisiana. He saw music as a way out of rural poverty and with his own band he found work in and around Louisiana and Texas. In 1969 he recorded the 'Black Ad White album for Monument. A move to Warner Bros saw him working with producer Peter Asher (of 60s Peter and Gordon fame); deals with other labels followed with his most recent work being issued on his own Swamp Records and the indie Yep Roc.

But it's as a writer that Tony Joe White will be best remembered. 'Rainy Night In Georgia' will remain his most enduring legacy and though it's been recorded countless times, most would agree that Brook Benton's world-weary reading is the definitive one. White's other most famous song of course, 'Polk Salad Annie' – a tribute to his Louisiana backwoods roots. Elvis Presley enjoyed a hit with the song but like most of White's oeuvre it's been covered by many. Amongst those who have recorded Tony Joe White songs are Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Tim McGraw, Dusty Springfield, Ray Charles, Hank Williams Jr., B.J. Thomas, Shelby Lynne, Tina Turner, Conway Twitty and Sam Moore.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:40



Tuesday, 30 October 2018 19:24 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThis year the COOL MILLION team - Frank Ryle and Rob Hardt – are celebrating a big ten years of crafting their ab fab, infectious blend of retro soul and modern vibes. Over the last ten months or so they've released some choice singles and we're promised a 10th anniversary album very soon!

In the meantime, they've released a brand new single which shows that over the last decade they've lost none of their verve, vitality and knowledge and respect for the modern soul groove. Said single is the ultra catchy 'Save Your Love' which features US soul man David A. Tobin on vocals alongside extra production input from the Boogie Back collective.

COOL MILLION'S 'Save Your Love' will be available on Sed Soul from November 16th

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 19:30



Monday, 29 October 2018 17:22 Charles Waring E-mailPrintPDF

        altLondon's Under The Bridge venue is set to host the Grammy-nominated British soul man, JAMES HUNTER and his sextet on Saturday 17th November. The much-anticipated gig comes in the wake of the critically-acclaimed 'Whatever It Takes, ' the 56-year-old Essex-born singer's second album with his band for the Brooklyn-based soul label, Daptone, which came out earlier in 2018.

Hunter's career began in the 1980s when he played with the UK band, the wonderfully-named Howlin' Wilf & The Vee Jays. After making four albums with them, he went solo and issued his debut album, 'Believe What I Say,'  in 1996, which was distinguished by guest cameos from Van Morrison and Doris Troy. After three more solo albums, all for different labels, Hunter launched the James Hunter Six in 2013, and recorded the much-lauded LP, 'Minute By Minute,' for Universal. In 2016, the band joined Daptone, and since then, Hunter and his group - who have opened for the likes of the late Aretha Franklin, Tom Petty, and Willie Nelson - have gone from strength to strength with their energetic brand of vintage R&B.

See the James Hunter Six live at Under The Bridge on Saturday 17th November 2018


Read SJF's interview with James Hunter here:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2018 19:29



Monday, 29 October 2018 14:43 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altProper old school soul fans will know about Minnesota-based WEE WILLIE WALKER. Willie's been working the soul business for over five decades but he's probably best known for the records he made for the legendary Goldwax label in the 60s. Sides like 'I Don't Want To Take A Chance', 'There Goes My Used To Be' and 'I Ain't Gonna Cheat On You' are revered by soul collectors... and rightly so.

Like many of his peers, Willie began his soul odyssey in the church, eventually finding a place in the line up of The Redemption Harmonizers then the Royal Jubileers. A chance meeting with music biz hustler, Timothy Easton, took Willie over to the devil's music and a place in the Val Dons, then when performing in Memphis on 1965 he was poached as a solo artist by Goldwax. Like many indie label owners, Goldwax's Clinton Claunch was a hard task master and always behind on royalty payments as well as making sure he got his own name on song writing credits too. Willie Walker, despite cutting quality sides at Goldwax, saw little success or money and he eventually moved on, working in outfits like Willie and the Bees and Salt, Pepper and Spice.

More recently, Willie has collaborated with The Butanes. Together, they recorded three highly acclaimed modern soul records and toured the Netherlands, Switzerland and Japan. He also fronted his own R & B unit, Willie Walker and We "R" with whom he had a monthly residency at the Minnesota Music Café in St. Paul. Willie has also partnered up with Minnesota singer, songwriter, and author Paul Metsa. And despite his poor treatment at Goldwax, Willie is proud of his association with the iconic label and earlier his year, alongside Percy Wiggins, he performed a Goldwax tribute at the Porretta Soul Festival.

Backing for the show was provided by the seven piece Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra and Walker has teamed up with the group again for his latest album – a wonderful 12 tracker, 'After A While'. And, yes, it might have been a while since we've had a Wee Willie Walker record but with this album it's as if time's stood still. 'After A While' takes us right back to the golden age of Goldwax and Memphis soul. Highlight amongst many is a re-recording of the classic George Jackson song ''I Don't Want To Take A Chance'... absolutely gorgeous. Amongst the other covers are versions of the Coasters' 'Lovey Dovey' and the Hayes/Porter classic 'Your Good Thing Is About To End'. The new material particularly 'Second Chance' and 'Cannot Be Denied' (both penned/co-penned by Christine Vitale) are classic old school songs – the last one in particular is an epic tale of cheating and love gone wrong.... firmly in the Memphis soul tradition.

In essence that's the attraction of this album. If you're pining for the golden age of soul, here's your opportunity to revisit all its power and passion. Little wonder that 'After A While' had been nominated for countless 2018 Blues and Soul awards.

Find out more @


Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2018 14:59


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