Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:04 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altProper soul collectors know that it all began in church.... many of soul's true greats served their apprenticeship in Gospel music. Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin. Jerry Butler, Johnnie Taylor, James Brown and countless more all found their voices in spiritual music while the structures, format and harmonies of classic soul took Gospel as their template.

Helping underline what we all know CRAFT RECORDINGS have just released an authoritative 40 track compilation that pulls together key cuts from what many consider the Golden Age of the small gospel group – 1951-1965...the very period when the rubrics of soul music were being crafted.

'JESUS ROCKED THE JUKEBOX' comes as a double CD and in a 3 LP vinyl pack and delves deep into the vaults of influential labels like Specialty and Vee-Jay and features music from many of Gospel's biggest names, amongst them The Staple Singers, The Blind Boys of Alabama, The Swan Silvertones and The Soul Stirrers. There are also plenty of rarities – notably 'Father Don't Leave' by the Silver Quintette and 'People Don't Sing Like They Used To Sing' by the Original Blind Boys.

The album comes complete with extensive liner notes from gospel music author, talk show host, and editor-in-chief of the 'Journal of Gospel Music', Robert M. Marovich. He writes: "Whether stolen, borrowed, leased, or subconsciously emulated, the music of the African American church in the twentieth century has had a profound and permanent influence on popular music. Every perspiration-drenched performance by a soul singer [and] every shouting improvisation from a rock-and-roll vocalist...evokes the exuberance of black preachers, church singers, and church musicians in the throes of the spirit." Amen, brother!


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:16



Wednesday, 21 February 2018 20:49 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe soul and jazz world has been agog with rumours that the lovely ROBIN MCKELLE is about to release a brand new album. Those who've thrilled to her previous work (can anyone not forget the still remarkable 'Fairytale Ending'?) will be delighted to know that the rumours are true as Robin confirms that April will see the release of 'MELODIC CANVAS' – a brand new ten tracker that sees the Rochester-born singer return to her jazzier roots.

Previews reveal a definite, intimate jazz vibe though there's a strong soul undertow throughout – witness the emotion-tugging 'Lyla' – guaranteed to melt the hardest heart (and soul). For the first time, I think, Robin also offers a song in French (she's hugely popular in France and spends much of the year gigging there) and if you like, say, artists like Stacey Kent, you'll love the French version of Ms Mc's 'The Sun Died'.

Full review her @ SJF just as soon as we have our copy.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:21



Wednesday, 21 February 2018 20:45 Bill Buckley E-mailPrintPDF

altThe small but perfectly formed STUTTER & TWITCH RECORDS are starting a new soul night in dear old Manchester. It all kicks off this Saturday, 24th February, at THE NIGHT PEOPLE venue...that's on Princess Street, right in the city centre.

Over the course of the residency, the label will be collaborating with some of the city's top notch DJs, Simon Ham and Diesler, who will, naturally, bring some proper funk, soul and tropical disco to weekend Manchester.

Dubbed "BIG AL'S FUNK SOCIAL", the nights will also allow Stutter and Twitch to feature music from their own artists like The Haggis Horns, Agbeko and Broken Brass Ensemble. We're told that on the first night the opening ribbon will be cut by someone called Craig Charles while funk purveyors the Buffalo Brothers will be in attendance.

Find out more @ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 21:01



Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:13 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altThe wonderfully-named DONTAVIUS TURNER has turned plenty of knowing soul heads with his first commercial recording 'AIN'T NOTHING (LIKE THE LOVE)'.

Mr T is just 22 years old and, working out of Atlanta, he's proficient on any number of instruments, though the guitar is his instrument of choice. He cites George Benson and Wes Montgomery as his primary influences and the crate digging Dontavius recently discovered an old demo by one time Luther Vandross backing singer, PHILLIP BALLOU. The song goes back to 1978 and over the years it has become a rare groove classic. The tune, with its insistent, soul hook, haunted Turner so much that he felt he just had to record it... and that's what he did, laying down some sweet and slinky smooth jazz grooves under Ballou's original vocal.

David Nathan (now there's a knowing soul head!) was so impressed with the recording that he's just released it on his SoulMusic Records and like we said up top it's starting to make big waves ... and rightly so. Sadly Phillip Ballou has passed on but in this impressive Dontavius version his legacy lives on.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 February 2018 20:19



Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:46 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt2018 marks the anniversary of BARRY WHITE'S first ground-breaking release on 20th Century Records and record companies always like to honour such occasions with some special releases. Consequently on 13th April UMC/Mercury will release the first of a series of catalogue releases of Barry White's classic work, in a yearlong celebration of the anniversary.

The White reissue series launches with a pair of remastered White hits collections: 'Love's Theme: The Best Of The 20th Century Records Singles' - a single-CD compilation incorporating 21 classic White hits, (also available as a double vinyl LP including the bonus track 'Satin Soul' by Love Unlimited Orchestra) and the three-CD, 46-track 'The Complete 20th Century Records Singles (1973-1979)', which will be presented in a specially-designed box with the three discs packaged in individual wallets. Both albums will feature expansive liner notes and track details.

Later in April, UMC/Mercury will release a box set of 10 seven-inch vinyl singles that replicates White's original hit single releases. The ten singles will be housed in a two-piece rigid box, with each disc in a 20th Century Records sleeve and 7" labels that duplicate the originals, along with a four-page illustrated book. The vinyl set features newly remastered audio from the 20th Century Records master tapes, cut at Abbey Road Studios for the highest possible sound quality.

Over the rest of the year White collectors will be able to enjoy more 20th Century Records LP and CD album box sets, and new compilations and album box sets spotlighting Love Unlimited and the Love Unlimited Orchestra.

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 February 2018 16:51


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