Tuesday, 17 December 2019 20:08 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altUK blue-eyed soulstress JO HARMAN returns to action with the release of her version of the country soul single 'Loving Arms'. Written by Tom Jans, the song has been recorded countless times – perhaps most famously by Dobie Gray; but check out versions by Billy Eckstine, Mille Jackson and Bo Kirkland and Ruth Davis too. Unsurprisingly, given Ms Harman's track record (work with Lamont Dozier and Hamish Stuart), this new version bears real comparison with those older treatments. Well, this new take was recorded live in just one take!

We're told that the new 'Loving Arms' is the focus cut on an upcoming Harman EP.... 'Signature Soul' – a set that also includes a version of the Beatles' 'Don't Let Me Down'. The mini album is set for release in the New Year, when Jo also embarks on a mini tour with the dates below....

22nd Jan, Under The Bridge, London (co-headliner with Mike Farris)

23rd Jan Silsden Town Hall, Yorkshire

25th Jan Cornerstone Arts, Didcot Oxfordshire

31st Jan The Forge, Basingstoke, Hampshire

2nd Feb Saint-Agathon, France

5th Mar Spring Theatre, Havant, Hampshire

7th Mar Theatre On The Steps, Bridnorth, West Midlands



Monday, 16 December 2019 19:05 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altDon't know too much about New Orleans band JANK SETUP. I do know, though, that their latest release, 'Shy' is a delicious slice of gentle, contemporary soul.

Oddly for a modern band, their internet profile is decidedly low.... facebook... yes but that didn't tell me too much. After a little detective work I learned that the oddly named band (no explanation, could I find!) are a five piece ... Ethan May on the drums, Adam Samolsky on the bass, Luis Carlos Villaseñor as the guitarist, Derrick Butler on the keys, and Kentro Mason is the vocalist. Though they add other musicians to the line up "as required". With or without those "extras", Jank Setup make a lovely sound.

'Shy' is just the sweetest of soul meanders... lazy and laconic, a jazzy undertow, gentle brass riffling and a soulful falsetto (there's even twittering birds in there!) all add up to a surprising sound that deserves to be a year end hit. It is an odd concoction but all the disparate ingredients really work together.... highly recommended!

Last Updated on Monday, 16 December 2019 19:13



Monday, 16 December 2019 19:00 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altYou all remember FIRST CHOICE.... course you do; c'mon tell the truth .... you probably still bop around to stuff like 'Armed and Extremely Dangerous' and 'Doctor Love'! What you may not know (yet!) is that original band member WARDELL PIPER is forging a successful solo career for herself!

Back in August she wowed dance floors with a driving 'Be Sure'... a classic. old school dance vibe... shades of Chic!

Now Ms P has just unleashed the official follow up... a slightly more sedate (but still eminently danceable) 'Distant Star'... a touch of electro and a heavy groove.., maybe a Christmas party floor filler? It's out now



Monday, 16 December 2019 18:56 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altLatest track off GEORGIE B and his GROOVE ASSOCIATION'S' More And More Remixed' album to win acclaim is another visit to the band's feel good anthem, 'Feeling Happy. Over the years we've had 3 mixes of the song (including a lovely 'Steppers' mix) and now George delivers the tune in a "Development Mix".... Yes, you're right the sample comes from Arrested Development and it really is an ear worm. The remixed album is out now!



Friday, 13 December 2019 16:19 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altWith 2019 not yet over, plenty of top names are lining up big 2020 releases.... amongst them US soul and jazz chanteuse ROBIN McKELLE. As we've previously announced Ms Mc will be releasing a new set on February 14th; and the album, 'Alterations', marks something of a departure for the lady who enchanted audiences with her magnificent 'Fairy Tale Ending' back in 2012. You see the 11 tracker that is 'Alterations' is a "covers album" – but no ordinary "covers album". Robin has selected a set of songs originally presented by female innovators ... people like Dolly Parton, Sade, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Janis Joplin, Carol King, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and Lana Del Ray.

Amongst the repertoire are 'Back To Black', 'Jolene', 'Rolling In The Deep' and 'No Ordinary Love' – which is the album's lead single, offered in a new jazz setting with sparkling piano accompaniment from co-producer Shedrick Mitchell,. The treatment here illustrates the flavour of the whole collection... new ideas on old favourites, fusing jazz, soul, r&b, blues and rock. 'Jolene' for instance is quite transformed. There is one McKelle original song too.... 'Head High' which easily holds its own in such august company.

Robin McKelle: 'Alterations' released on Doxie Records on February 14th... full review very soon.


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