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IT’S A MOD, MOD WORLD!

Friday, 24 January 2020 16:11 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIt's a fact. Old mods never die. They grow old gracefully and thankfully plenty of record labels serve them with new mod music and, more importantly maybe, with plenty of reissues of classic material from their hey days! Universal/Motown has done sterling work; so too has UK label Ace via their Kent imprint and there are plenty of indie labels serving up classic mod and soul in that new fangled 7" vinyl format. Right now, though, mod brand leader seems to be ACID JAZZ records. Founded in 1987 by Eddie Piller and Gilles Peterson (both second generation mods, though Piller's mum did run the Small Faces fan club in the 60s!), the label, of course, has issued plenty of cutting edge new music of its own...D' Influence, Jamiroquai and The Brand New Heavies anybody? However, of late Piller and his people (Peterson is lon gone) have focused plenty of time and attention on reissuing classic mod music. You may well know Piller's collaborative soul compilations with actor Martin Freeman (a self-confessed soulie and mod) but maybe you don't know that the Acid Jazz catalogue has a whole section devoted to mod music.... here are some highlights to get you started!

The Small Faces were often touted as the classic mod band, but before the Faces, singer STEVE MARRIOTT fronted a band called The Moments and Acid Jazz offer a 4 track 7" EP of Moments music on which you can hear Marriott seeking a signature sound via things like a cover of the Kinks' 'You Really Got Me' and an odd version of Stephen Sondheim's' 'You'll Never Get Away From Me' (from the musical 'Gypsy). To hear another icon searching for "his sound" try the RIOT SQUAD'S Acid Jazz EP. For just 12 weeks a certain DAVID BOWIE (then David Jones) was a band member. They cut four songs, amongst them a cover  of Lou Reed's 'I'm Waiting For My Man' and an S&M "oddity", 'Toy Soldier'. All four are on the EP.

alt60s soul/mod collectors will know the FLEUR DE LYS chiefly as Sharon Tandy's backing band. Hear them in their own right on 'The Two Sides of the Fleur De Lys' ... four previously unreleased tracks. Maybe offering more interest for the soul crowd is 'Hitsville London'. An EP with four tracks produced by Graham Dee. They include the backing track of DONNIE ELBERT'S version of 'This Old Heart Of Mine' and a lovely 'Silent' from ex US serviceman JAMES PATTERSON who cut the track whilst serving in the UK in 1967. There's also 'We Got Good Lovin'' from THE FANTASTICS who soul veterans will know came to the UK in the 60s to masquerade in clubs as the "Fabulous" Temptations!

On CD now, Acid Jazz also offers a string of 'Rare Mod' compilations all offering a cross section of 60s music.... blues bands, soul groups and assorted wannabees with their own originals and idiosyncratic covers of soul standards. There were 6 of these compilations at the last count.... find out more @ www.acidjazz.co.uk

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Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 18:05

 

STAY COOL!

Friday, 24 January 2020 15:44 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altIn August COOL MILLION released their 'Stronger' album... a celebration of their ten years at the top of the modern soul scene. One of the key cuts was 'Skintight' with vocals from Rachel Matthews. At the back end of 2019 it won remix status via the Cool's own Rob Hardt who gives the original Boogie Back production a proper 90s vibe.

Now there could be a whole new 'Skintight' remix on the way. The Cool Millionaires have revisited the cut giving it an authentic Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis flavour – no bad thing I hear you say! Yes, it does work wonderfully but Rob and Frank can't decide to make it commercially available.... the Man From Del Monte says yes... we'll keep you posted!

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 16:44

 

VIRGINIA FOR LOVERS!

Friday, 24 January 2020 15:40 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Virginia Is For Lovers' is the tourist slogan for the US state of Virginia. The epithet was coined in 1969 and since then Richmond, Virginia has branded itself as "the capital of romance" (don't tell Paris!)

Now we learn that US soul man LYDELL WILLIAMS has penned and recorded a song with the same theme. His 'Virginia Is For Lovers' has just been released as a single and it's a catchy modern soul/R&B inflected type of thing... very insistent! Bob on his mission statement to: "spread love and get us back to the roots of R&B and Neo-soul with substance". He adds - "'Virginia is for Lovers' is, a great representation of what love is, and my recent experiences with love, Richmond being considered by many the city of love, period."

'Virginia is For Lovers' is, we're told, the lead track from Lydell's upcoming full-length album 'Without You'.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 16:31

 

GOOD TIMES!

Thursday, 23 January 2020 19:41 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

alt'Good Time' is the newest single from keyboardist DEE BROWN who hails from what is fast becoming a hive of music excellence... Albuquerque, New Mexico (home town of certain Isaac Aragon, you'll remember!).

Dee began his music odyssey in the church (both his parents were ministers) and it was at high school that he decided to make music his career. He studied music at the University of New Mexico and Santa Fe University of Art and Design whilst also serving as music director at St Timothy's Lutheran Church. It was there that he formed the gospel group Dee Brown and Breakthrough who released one album – 'Jesus Never Fails'. Since then Dee has worked with various bands and artists in and around Albuquerque including NuMethods, The Diamond Empire Band, Isaac Aragon and the Healing, Rebecca Arscot and One Heart Fiya.

Now, with 'Good Time' Dee is breaking out on his own. Dee says: "This single ('Good Time') is just the beginning of my plan for a three album series entitled 'Life', 'Love', and 'Faith', respectively. These are the things that matter most to me". Sonically, 'Good Time' is a loose funk workout with an intro taken out of the Chic songbook... a good time guaranteed for all! Out now.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 January 2020 16:32

 

GETTING MIGHTY CROWDED!

Thursday, 23 January 2020 19:36 Bill B E-mailPrintPDF

altCROWD COMPANY is an 8-piece  band offering a modern take on vintage soul and funk. They try to evoke the spirit of 60s and early 70s with a vintage Hammond sound and a full horn section and their 2017 album 'Stone & Sky' was well received while their date book is always full with prestigious gigs at places like The 100 Club, The Jazz Café, Brooklyn Bowl, 229, RichMix and Manchester's' Band On The Wall.

Right now Crowd Company are gearing up for the release of their next long player.... 'Lowdown' which is being flagged up by the single 'A New Direction'. It's a proper 60s throwback – shades of 'The In Crowd'! The punchy horns come courtesy of Ryan Zoidis and Eric Bloom of Lettuce while production's down to Soulive's Alan Evans! Crowd Company's 'A New Direction' is out now on Vintage League Music and it augers really well for the parent album!

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2020 19:48

 

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