Saturday, July 15, 2006

Willie Walker & Butanes CD Release Party

Willie & Curt Together
Two weekends back, Willie & The Butanes held an official CD Release Party in Minneapolis for the launch of their new CD Memphisapolis.

According to reports, the CDs went out like hotcakes and the band went down a storm on their home turf. As ever I wish I could have been their to celebrate the launch of the CD.

Curt mailed me a list of the sets they played which was a mixture of the tracks from the new CD and the last one "Right Where I Belong"; plus some of Willie's favourite numbers including his classic Goldwax recordings which he enjoys performing and which the audience have come to expect.

Here are at the listings of the 2 sets:-

First Set

Instrumental - Gate Walks To Board
Double Eyed Whammy
called up Willie--What's It Take?
Can I Change My Mind
Crying To Do
I've Been Loving You Too Long
My Baby Drives Me Crazy
Real Love
Right Where I Belong
Thanks for Being There

Second Set

Nothing Can Separate Us
I Don't Know If I Can Make It Through
Party Down
No Longer For Me
I Ain't Gonna Cheat On You No More
There Goes My Used To Be
Exactly Like Me
Let's Stay Together
I'll Be AroundThe Last Time
Cry, Cry, Cry
Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You
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Friday, July 14, 2006

Willie Walker Blog

Posted by PicasaI thought the time was right to give my friend his own blog with the release of his new CD Memphisapolis with the Butanes.

So please drop by the Willie Walker blog

Willie Walker & The Butanes Memphisapolis CD

Posted by PicasaOne of the highlights of my involvement in music was hooking up with Willie and the Butanes and in particular with Curt Obeda, the leader of the Butanes. Our collaboration back in 2003 led to release of the Right Where I Belong CD which was critically acclaimed.

The acid test for any artist is can you follow up such a highly acclaimed album? Well the answer is YES!!! In fact, though this CD takes off from the last one. I would say that Curt has enhanced his production techniques and Willie's vocals sound even better!! One reason for that is that during the recording of the "Right Where I Belong" CD, Willie's voice was suffering with the harsh Minneapolis winter!!!

I will review this CD in depth soon. However, I have waited too long already to highly recommend it to everyone who reads this blog seeing I have had a copy for over a week! OK - I may be biased because of my past involvement with the guys but 2 things which drew me to investing in the last CD are here again - Willie's voice and Curt's songs both of which make this CD album of the year already - no one surpassed them in 2004 and they are back in 2006 with an album which is going to be hard for anyone to beat again.

I will do a full review soon - but listen just get a copy!! If you bought the last one you will not be disappointed and for any lovers of Southern Soul - it isn't dead it just doesn't surface too often but Willie and the Butanes continue to keep the sound alive!

If you want to buy a copy then check out these sources:-

In the UK - Curt chose Dave Porter again to distribute the CD because he sold a bunch of Right Where I Belong last time round

Electic Fetus in Minneapolis - Willie's and Butanes hometown

Blue Beat Music on West Coast - an old buddy of Curt's

Or direct from Curt Obeda

Back soon with the review and details of a Willie Walker blog I have set up which is long overdue but I thought I would coincide the launch of the new blog with the latest CD.

John Turk And Brown Door Records

Posted by PicasaWhy do certain 45s elude you? Sometimes it is actually sourcing them and no matter how much you dig they never turn up. Other times it is cost and other times with me it is priorities which is in the main back to cost and budget!!!

Why do I mention the above? Back in 1976, I was searching out obscure new releases especially from the West Coast. I had become interested in the Brown Door label because I had just bought a 45 by Marvin Holmes called "You Better Keep Her" and was trying to turn up anything on the label.

One day in 76, I get a list off a guy from Oldham(UK) who was then a big collector of new releases which had the above listed along with a load of other mouth watering sides. I had to wait until later that night when I got back from work before I could call him up - no email or mobiles then!!! I can still hear him saying "Sorry mate! 2 guys from Todmorden(UK) have just been around and bought the lot!" Those 2 guys were Jan Barker and Tim Brown - 2 well known UK collectors and in Tim's case now record dealer and DJ extraordinaire!!! That was my first introduction to them and since then they have become firm friends though back on that cold evening in 76 I was cursing them!!!

From that day on, the John Turk 45 just eluded me until recently for some reason nor had I had chance to hear it either. However, I recently changed my priorities after being giving a contact for John by Larry Vann and I thought it was time to track a copy down before I spoke to him about his part in the Bay Area music scene.

The side I have been playing is the above which has a lovely feel with complex rhythms and distinctive chord changes but it is the vocal which is a killer - I need to find out who this is - I am not sure whether it is John himself or someone in the band.

I will be back with more details when I eventually speak to John.

Billy Hambric & NY Connections

Posted by PicasaWe are back with the NY connections again. I originally got involved with Red Kelly's Soul Detective blog when he was asking for help on the first case which was about Joe Haywood.

The other day, I was playing through some sides by Billy Hambric and there in front of me was another connection - Billy Hambric also did a version of "Talk To Me Baby" on Fury which was also recorded by Joe for Enjoy. When we were putting the blog entries together for Joe this version completely slipped my mind until I played the 45.

Nothing is known of Billy except his recordings as was the case before we started digging into Joe's repetoire!!! Perhaps Billy is another candidate for a case on Soul Detective? I have read that he was an albino and that is all we seem to know and that he worked with a number of key NY players such as Luther Dixon and Bobby Robinson.His voice is across between Chuck Jackson, Tommy Hunt with a bit of Lou Johnson thrown in - all good NY singers. He has had a couple of sides notably played on the Northern Soul scene which were even issued in the UK back in the 70's on the 1st Grapevine label.

Derek Pearson did do a short piece including a discography back in Shades Of Soul 18 in the 90's and with the exception of one additional 45 turning up the information cannot be expanded. Perhaps Red Kelly could speak to Bobby Robinson about Billy and find out something?

Here is the discography as published by Derek Pearson:-

Jovial 730/731 Just Can't Take It No More/Someone To Love
Lee 5001/Soho 5001 New York City Baby/I Sure Can't Stand It
Fury 5000 Human/Talk To Me Baby
Fury 5005 Flaming Mamie/You're A Sweetheart
Fury 5006 This Is My Prayer/Everybody Needs Love
Pyramid 101 I Gotta Find That Girl/I Need Your Love So Bad
Drum 1204 I Found A True Love/She Said Goodbye
(This was Billy's biggie on the Northern scene and issued in UK on Grapevine 139 in 1979)
Ducan 1601 Just Have A Little Faith/All About Carrol

Since the above was published I have found out that there is at least one other 45 by Billy:-

Brecht ? She's Gone/?

I stumbled on this only the other day on a tape from Sir Shambling so I will contact him for more details.

Maybe, I can twist Red Kelly's arm and get him to do an in-depth feature on Billy over on Soul Detective!!!!!

Back to the featured 45 at the top of the post - "New York City Baby" is an evocative early NY side which fizzs along in a style reminiscent of some of Chuck Jackson's up tempo sides.

Joe Perkins Article In Shades Of Soul 32

Posted by PicasaI hadn't played my Joe Perkins 45's for an age. However, reading an article about him in the latest Shades Of Soul sent me off to the shelves to dig them out. It is funny sometimes because you can forget how good certain sides are and the above falls into that category. A true dep soul gem from the Bluff City itself, Memphis and one of the highlights of the 60's in that city.

However, I have yet to find anyone who knew him though I have extensive contacts in the city. It is strange how such good singers can just disappear off the radar but then he hasn't recorded as far as I know since the early 70's and that is now a long time ago!!!!!

Check out Derek Peason's article for a full run down of Joe's 45s.

The World Wonders

Posted by PicasaWhat I enjoy about discussion groups and forums is the sharing of knowledge. A few months ago John Smith, the well known and respected UK soul collector mentioned the above 45 on the Southern Soul Group. I had never heard of the 45 before and after a few other collectors raved over how good it was I was off in search of a copy.

It wasn't difficult to find but who cares because both sides are gems!!! "Don't Give Up" is a slow inspirational song with great gospel harmonising and the other side "Two Wings" is a mid tempo side with a familiar riff which I cannot place as usual until the middle of the night!

There was some discussion about he group on the Southern Soul Group which can be found in the group's archives

Bay Area Funk Continued

Posted by PicasaI still find it hard to stop myself buying 45's even though I have them on CD!!! What's new with that you say for a collector of some many years who still needs to get his fix!!! My argument is that the b-side is not on the CD which I think is valid.

Anyway this killer appeared on Luv N' Haight's first Bay Area Funk CD. Wylie Trass was the other half of the Casanova 11 with Freddie Hughes and still performs around the Bay Area to this day. "The Feeling" is a cooking number waiting to blow your speakers apart backed by a gritty version of "Chain Of Fools" which I love.

Thanks to Mark at Resolution Records for that one!!

Home Of The Groove & Lionel Robinson

Posted by PicasaFor me, 2006 has certainly been the year of the soul blogs. As I said some posts ago, while talking about James Rivers, I have found out more about soul music emanating from blogs than from anywhere else in recent times.

One of the blogs which I frequently visit is Dan Philip's Home Of The Groove which is the first port of call for anything New Orleans.

One recent post on Home Of the Groove was on Lionel Robinson aka Lonnie Robinson. Dan provided in depth look at Lionels' Knight 45 "Baby Let Me Do My thing" and had new information on Lionel which was new to me including a discography. However, one side which was missing was the above and that is why I dug it out to scan.

"Sunshine Baby" was issued circa 1975/76 and is a very old fashioned sing a long type dancer which has had a few plays on the Northern Soul scene in the UK. The B-side is a nice ballad called “Are You Sure You Want To Give Me Your Love” which was written by Johnny Angel who covered the record on Watch. I do not think that this Watch label was linked to the 60’s one, which was owned by Joe Assunto and Henry Hildebrand and had releases by Johnny Adams, Benny Spellman and others.

I don’t know any other releases by Johnny Angel and I don’t he is the same person as the veteran West Coast artist with the same name or another guy who plays in New Orleans with a band called The Swinging Demons. The song was recorded at the Knight Studios owned by the veteran New Orleans producer Traci Borges in the Old Metairie district who also produced both sides. Traci Borges worked with Lionel on his Knight 45's.

More Richard Poindexter

Posted by PicasaBack with another Richard Poindexter written song which I accidently stumbled on while scouring Ebay. I was intrigued by the writing credits plus you know before you hear the song that with George Kerr and Richart Tee on board then you are in for a treat. The sound clip on the "buy now" confirmed what I anticipated!

When I got the 45 and heard the vocal more clearly I immediatedly thought it sounded like Richard himself - I still need to confirm that with him. Both sides are Motownesque dancers circa late 60's with a sound like The Four Tops meets The Originals which is no bad thing but they are distinctive enough to stand up by themselves. The more I play them the more I like the catchy light production.

The Soul Train label is out of Baltimore which we sometimes forget was quite a soulful place back in the 60's. Kenny Hamber who I also met in New Jersey filled me in on a lot of things about his home town music scene.

By coincidence, after ordering the 45, I read a review of the 45 in the latest issue of Soul Up North by Shirley Stewart. Interestingly, she also featured a second 45 on the Soul Train label by a group called The Collection And The Civics though Richard was not on the writing credits this time.

I will ask Richard and Kenny whether they can shed any further light on the releases and the label.

NY Soul Connections

It's funny how sometimes things come together and soul mysteries are solved are further riddles ensue when you start to make connections! This is why my friend Red Kelly started Soul Detective.

Recently, I was reading a magazine in which someone mentioned the Chuck Stephens side. I thought "I must play that - I haven't heard it in years and I always loved it!!!" So the first thing that struck me was that I had completely forgotten that "Let's Get Nasty" was written by Richard Poindexter who I had met in New Jersey and I hope to interview in depth at some later stage. Richard is best known for his writing for Linda Jones and The Persuaders amongst others but his songs have been recorded by a host of people. Richard penned many songs which were recorded in NY which I presume was where "Let's Get Nasty" was recorded.

The next connection was that both sides are produced by Roy C and the other side written by the man himself "Girl, I Want To Make Love To You" is pure Mr Hammond with his usual lilting sexy style groove. Then I thought that guitar sounds familiar - it must by James Hines!!! James Hines was the subject of the 3rd Soul Detective case and another connection falls into place.

So you start off with a 45 which I bought nearly 30 years ago because it was a groovy kind of side which received a few spins on the UK rare soul scene and discover connections you had never dreamt of!!!!

Chuck Stephens did have a least another 2 45's:-

Leo Mini 110 Coffee/Paying For Your Love 1974
Jen Julius 800 Love You Madly

I haven't got the Leo Mini 45 but while doing some research on the label I turned some interesting stuff up - only problem is that I could do with hearing the 45's!!!!

Perhaps Richard Poindexter or Red Kelly's Soul Detective may turn up information on Chuck Stephens!!!

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Jimmy "Preacher" Robins

Some of you may recall that I featured Adam Gussow's Mr Satan's Apprentice in a previous post. While I was reading the book I came across a reference to Jimmy Robins who ranks as one of my biggest soul heroes. Adam Gussow said that Jimmy worked regular gigs in New York so I thought "I wonder whether he is still performing?"

I did a quick Google and to my surprise my hunch paid off - I found a number for him and before too long was talking to him.

You will be able to find out all about him and and what he is currently up to in a subsequent post. He was a warm and friendly person who directed me to a few places to find his music which I didn't know exist such as his recordings for Combo as Robbin Ray, his gospel recording s in the 50's, a 45 as Patricia & Jimmy on ALA and recordings with Big Joe Turner for Pablo in the 70's.

I have featured the above 45 especially for him to see because it is one of the few sides he doesn't have and he was keen to see and hear it again - Hi Jimmy!!!!!

The Convoy side is an early 70's deep side with Jimmy's unmistakeable hard as grit vocals over an organ backdrop with heavy gospel tones. A great self-penned story line of how he has been abused by his lover!!! This is one of the best deep sides you are ever likely to hear!!!

Watch out for more on Jimmy soon!!!!

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There's That Beat: New Soul Magazine

Dave Moore was one person who I met for the first time in New Jersey at the 2nd US Soul Trip. I knew of his reputation as a knowledgeable record collector for years so it was a real pleasure to meet him.

Dave runs an excellent website called Hitsville Soul Club which has grown over the years to include a forum which he invited me to join on my return from New Jersey.

While I was in New Jersey, Dave showed me the draft of his new magazine called There's That Beat which I have been eagerly waiting for since then to see it on the streets. Dave has just informed me that it will be available from 20th August so drop by There's That Beat to get more details and a sneak preview of the contents. Why not join the forum while you are there - a friendly bunch of people!!! Posted by Picasa

The Orwell Wigan UK

Without doubt The Orwell is my type of night - cracking people, fab across the board music so what more do you want. Just wish I could get there more often.

Steve Plumb who runs the night has now got a new website called Soul Music where you can find information about the Orwell nights and his latest record sales lists. Steve and all the DJs are top people so please support one of the best nights around which has now carved a place in UK soul history.Posted by Picasa

Shooting High At The Rocket In London

For more details of the next event on 22nd July then visit the 6o's site Posted by Picasa

Uptight In Williamsburg

Posted by Picasa Checkout Uptight in Williamsburg a the Tainted Lady on Grand street every 2nd Friday of the month

Dynamites featuring Charles Walker Come On In Outta Site

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One record I have been meaning to review is the above which was released earlier this year and I discovered through the ever excellent Fryer-Mantis's Funk Forum!!!

Charles has been around for what seems like forever and has re-invented himself several times over the years. He cut some cracking soul 45s in the 60's for Decca etc; for Botanic in the 70's; a 12" See Me in the 80's; before re-emerging in his hometown of Nashville as a soul blues man with the "I'm Available" album produced by my old friend Fred James which re-launched his career in a new direction on the world blues circuit. This led to his critically acclaimed 2nd album with Fred called "Number By Heart" for the Zane label. The success of which led to many tours of Europe with the Mo'Indigo band which he continues to perform with to this day. He has also contributed a vocal on their latest CD called 'The Blues Inside' which is a remake of the 60's Roy Hamilton hit 'You Can Have Her'. Charles will also be appearing in Europe this summer with Mo'Indigo.

However back in the US, Charles has re-invented himself yet again and joined the ever burgeoning funk scene which seems to be growing daily around the world attracting many younger fans to the scene.He has hooked up with a group called The Dynamites who I had never heard of before.

"Come On In" and "Slinky" are heavy funk with plenty of hard-burning energy. Charles really gives the group a nice edge -- and pushes them into Lee Fields/Daptone territory with his cracking vocals which we have come to expect from Charles. The band's mostly vamping behind Charles on both tunes -- but they're nice and tight, and production has a good gritty edge.

I checked out the Dynamite's My Space and this is what they had to say about themselves and hooking up with Charles:-

The Dynamites are 10 pieces of straight-up, badass deep funk and super soul! The band has quickly become a sensation in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. Right from their very first gig, a sold-out performance at local showcase club The Basement, The Dynamites began generating Super Soul Excitement with the funkiest band of players imaginable and a front man with the voice and experience to blow the roof off. Charles “Wigg” Walker is a veteran soul man, having recorded many sides in the ‘60s and ‘70s for classic labels like Decca, Champion, and Chess. His recordings as “Little Charles & The Sidewinders” produced a cult following on England’s Northern Soul scene and earned Charles a spot in the footnotes of soul music history, but the man is not ready to rest on his past achievements. Having seen a resurgence of interest in his career thanks to inclusion on the second volume of the “Night Train To Nashville” collections of Nashville-based soul and R&B from back in the day (released in 2005 on Universal/Lost Highway), Charles began performing live in the Nashville area again which brought him to the attention of a hungry young band leader looking for an authentic voice to front a new funk band project. Bill Elder (aka Leo Black) had the concept for a funk and soul revue brewing in the back of his mind for a long time. Over a two year period, the band slowly coalesced around Bill, with only the front man spot as the final missing piece. Enter Charles Walker and The Dynamites were born! Taking the stage at their debut gig, the 9-piece band plus super soul singer “blew the roof off... fully earning the implications of their name” claimed alt.weekly The Nashville Scene in their review of the show. Having stated in an earlier interview that he was a better singer now than when he was younger, Charles proceeded to back up his claim with a performance that ”work(ed) us up with his impassioned belting before bringing the band way down to explore the quieter subtleties of his rich voice” according to the Scene’s review. And here’s what the paper had to say about the players: ”Though it was their first show, the band laid down some impressively nasty grooves and sounded as well-greased as if they’d just come off 10 weeks on the Chitlin’ Circuit.” Having earned their status as Nashville’s premier funk & soul revue with their first show, The Dynamites proceeded to get their super soul sound down on wax. The Dynamites have only been a working entity for a few months and they’ve already cut their debut single, “Come On In” b/w “Slinky”, a smokin’ hot 45 released on 7 inches of flaming red vinyl from the Outta Sight label (both songs are also available from iTunes). The two tunes are bold and blazing and serve as a righteous calling card for this band who have every intention of taking their special brand of Deep Funk and Super Soul to fans of authentic, heavy-hitting music everywhere.

Drop by the Dynamite's blog because you can find out their gig details for the next couple of months.

Also check out Ibiblio Org's site for a wonderful slide show of the band in action.

Also to get an idea of their show drop by Memphis Flyer's recent review of the band's show.

Oh yeah! You can get the 45 from a variety of sources - try Dusty Groove or Jazzman Records

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Shirley Slaughter Part 1

Weldon and Shirley Courtesy Weldon McDougal 111

Publicity Photo Courtesy Of Weldon McDougal 111
One of the highlights of my recent trip to Philadelphia was the afternoon of soul organised by my friend Weldon McDougal 111 at the Clef Club which I have featured on the blog in a previous post.

One of the moments which will stick in my mind was the UK soul fans response to Shirley Slaughter's solo performance of "I'm Telling You" a song from the Dream Girls musical. She literally tore the roof off the Clef Club and the crowd went wild. This came after Weldon conjured up a real treat by putting together a killer version of the old Four Larks track "I Still Love You (From The Bottom Of My Heart)". Weldon and Shirley were joined by former Four Larks member Earl Oxidine on the new version of the old song which completely updates the tune giving it a beat for today.
Shirley has a vocal power which is scary!!! Once she winds herself up it is difficult to believe where the power is coming from but it is a power which inspires and leaves you in awe. She took her moment and the clamour after the show for her picture and autograph demonstrated the devastating effect she has on audiences.

I stole a chance in the packed corridors of the Clef Club to have a brief word with Shirley and Weldon. They told me that they had been working on a number of songs for a CD which they hoped to release in the near future.

When I got back to the UK, Weldon kindly put me in touch with Shirley and she told me more about her love of music and her aspirations which I will feature in Part 2 to follow soon The next post will also include a run down of all those songs which Shirley and Weldon have been working on!!!!!!

A Soulful Tale Of Two Cities

The Masters of Detroit and Philly
I have been waiting with baited breath for one of the most exciting soul projects to be completed in years - the CD "A Soulful Tale Of Two Cities" - namely Detroit and Philadelphia.
The CD features a host of former Motown and Philly artists with the Funk Brothers and MFSB backing them as they sing Motown and Philly hits. It is practically completed and will be in the shops in September.
Check out the project's website with details of who is involved.

New Daptone Records Storefront

My friends over at Daptone Records have just launched a new storefront.

Drop by and see their new range of products plus you can become one their friends while you are there!!!

On The Scene July Issue

My good friend John Carrier dropped by yesterday with a copy of the above.

This issue contains the usual reviews plus features on the recent Northampton Weekender, A Day In The Life Of Melvin Davis, John's writeup on the 2nd US Soul Trip, The Soul Of Scotland, a 70's Soul Overdose, On The Modern Side.

If you want a copy at only £1 each then contact Fresh Promotions on #44 1253 318267.

Mighty Hannibal Website

I was informed by Mr Fine Wine that The Mighty Hannibal has now got his own website.

Please drop by his site and support one of the truly innovative soul artists who is still living. The man is a true pioneer of soul music from the early days of R&B in the 50's and who has produced some memorable songs such as "Hymn No5" his anti-Vietnam War 45 or his bitter drugs song "Party Life" on his critically acclaimed 1973 Aware album "Truth".

Hannibal was also responsible for producing many fine Atlanta soul sides in the 60s and 70's by Delia Gartrell, Calvin Arnold, Hermon Hitson etc and was a bastion of the Atlanta soul music for most tof the 60's and 70's. His role in the development of the Atlanta music scene has now been recognised and he is to be honoured by his home town on August 9th.

You can also buy 2 CDs direct from Hannibal; a Norton Records compilation "Hannibalism" which features many sides from his long career and a second CD called "Who Told You That?" which features Stop America From Crak'in Up! with Hip Hop Pop) which was originally issued on Shurefine Gospel Record Co. in 1998

Earlier this year, I had several long conversations with Hannibal and this will form the basis of a comprehensive overview of his career to be published later in the year in a leading UK soul magazine.

Hannibal continues to perform in the New York area to rave reviews and I wish some enterprising European promoter would get him over here to perform. You can hear Hannibal singing live on Norton Records CD Get In The Groove.

Joe Weaver RIP

Courtesy Sis Wendal
Joe Weaver at Utrecht Blues Estafette 2002
I had hoped that Joe would pull through after his recent stroke but sadly he died on 5th July 2006.

There have been some wonderful tributes to the man over on Sixties Detroit Forum especially from RJ Spangler who worked with Joe in recents times on the Motor City Rhythm & Blues Pioneers Shows. Many of the forum members have shared stories about Joe or uploaded archive material to reflect his important contribution to the Detroit music scene from the 1940's.

I saw Joe perform several times over in Holland. I still recall standing at the bar at the Utrecht Blues Estafette back in the late 90's taking a rest between performances. All of a sudden, I heard the most wonderful version of "I Found A Love" being sung. I dashed out to the stage to see Joe delivering with the Johnny Bassett band what has become for me one of the more memorable performances from the festival.

In 2002, I was able to meet Joe and I have fond memories of chatting with him and doing a few radio checks. I still smile when I think of how he organised his fellow Motor City Rhythm & Blues Pioneers - Kenni Martin and Stanley Mitchell on stools with himself to have their photos taken.

Sue Whitall has written a very touching obituary in the Detroit News which reflects my feelings that we are losing our heroes far too quickly. We should do everything we can to cherish them before they all go.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Shades Of Soul Issue 32

The latest issue of Derek Pearson's long running Shades Of Soul magazine is now out. As ever, Derek has kept this issue simmering on the back burner for an age but then the wait is always worth while! He has rustled up in his own inimitable style a host of contibutors to make this another 54 pages of information, reviews and insights into the world of rare soul.

This issue has features on the Chicago Crash label, Oslo Soul Experience, non-UK or US issued 70's soul, The Topics, Music Society Of Detroit, Fabulous Dino's, Hy-Tones, YODI and Venture labels plus a bunch of reviews.

If you want a copy then contact Derek.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Dorothy Moore Gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Dorothy Moore gets first ever Lifetime Achievement award from Monterey Bay Blues Festival (MBBF) Julie Paisant and Ray Taliaferro observe the celebration given to a tearful receipient. Photo Courtesy Marcia Weaver
Dorothy Moore performing at Monterey Bay Blues Festival. Photo Courtesy Marcia Weaver
I recently heard from Marcia Weaver, Dorothy Moore's manager. She told me the exciting news that Dorothy had received a Lifetime Achievement award from Monterey Bay Blues Festival (MBBF).
Dorothy was presented with the award by Festival Director Lee Durley at the end of her performance at the 21st MBBF event on June 24, 2006.
This is a richly deserved award for Dorothy who is not only a lovely person but a fine singer.

Checkout an article on my Dark End Of The Street Blog about Dorothy.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Johnny Jenkins RIP

Johnny Jenkins During Capricorn Sessions in Early 70's
I've dragged my feet on mentioning Johnny's death on my blog - you know this year has been a bad one with so many people passing that sometimes to be honest I hate writing obituaries!!!! In saying that, I think it is important to recognise the loss and celebrate artist's past lives. I have also received messages from Freddie Gorman's and Joe Weaver's families after celebrating their lives on this blog. I think that soul fan's recognition can give some artist's families some comfort that their loved ones will not be forgotten.
Johnny hailed from Macon, Georgia and my friend Brian Poust has an excellent short post on his Georgia Soul blog on Johnny so please drop over there and check it out.
The Macon Telegraph also had a fine obituary on Johnny which is worth reading.
Johnny is best remembered for his very early work with Otis Redding but probably his finest moment was the cutting of the "Ton Ton Macoute" album for Capricorn in 1970.
However, don't forget that Johnny did make a come back with his old mentor Alan Walden in 1997 called "Blessed Blues." and continued to perform sporadically, including a 2000 show at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
His last two albums, "Handle with Care" (2001) and "All in Good Time" (2003), were produced by Mean Old World Records and are still available from Amazon or CD Baby plus his Capricorn album is also available on CD.
Johnny had a unique style which doesn't quite fit into the mainstream of soul but he certainly influenced many people including Hendrix with his guitar style and has an important role in the development of soul music.

Bettye Lavette R&B Foundation Awards

Posted by Picasa Bettye Lavette with Weldon McDougal 111
Last Thursday, Bettye Lavette, one of the finest female soul divas, finally started to get the recognition she vastly deserves from the music industry at the R&B Foundation Awards.
My friend Weldon McDougal 111 was on hand to congratulate Bettye and has sent me the above photo following the award ceremony.

Here is the official blurb on Bettye's award:-

NEW YORK - Before Aretha Franklin was crowned the Queen of Soul, before the Supremes had their first hit and before anyone even knew who Stevie Wonder was, Bettye LaVette was the emerging star of Detroit.

ADVERTISEMENT The husky-voiced soul singer had a top R&B hit with the song "My Man — He's a Lovin' Man" in 1962 with Atlantic Records, and her initial success seemed to forecast a future as bright as the rest of her contemporaries.

But while many superstar legends came out of Detroit, LaVette wasn't one of them. Instead, she spent the next 40 years struggling to pay her bills, playing tiny clubs and falling deeper into depression as she tried to recapture the fleeting fame of her youth.

"The whole time was bad, period," LaVette told The Associated Press by phone on Tuesday. "It was humiliating — it took a lot of propping up by a core group of people."

On Thursday night, however, LaVette will show how far she's come from those bad times as she is honored as an R&B legend at the Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Awards in Philadelphia, along with producer Thom Bell, Chubby Checker, singer Barbara Mason and the Delfonics.

Also, one of the most important figures in pop-music history, Motown founder Berry Gordy, will be on hand, honored with a lifetime achievement award. "There's got to be some feeling of evenness," says LaVette, who's enjoying a resurgence thanks to her critically acclaimed album, "I've Got my Own Hell to Raise," released last fall.

"Most of these people I've seen either broke or naked or drunk or all three," she jokes. "And for them to have gone on and to excel so much higher than I did, there's certainly going to be a great, great sense of satisfaction of being recognized on any level with the same people I left high school with."

LaVette insists she's not bitter: "Bitter is a thing that I would have had to sustain," she explains. But it's a fine point. During an interview, despite frequent laughter, it's clear LaVette is still simmering over four decades of frustration.

She still feels slighted that none of her former acquaintances helped her out during her bad times, called her to perform with them or even returned her phone calls when they got big. LaVette's life has not been only one of lowlights — she did Broadway at one point, had a successful record here and there — but for the most part, LaVette recalls having to rely on the support of others as she continued to pursue her dream.

Just four years ago, she was playing clubs for $100 a night. "I was being considered, by the older people who were making $20 and $30 a night, the star of the club," she says. Things began to turn around once she found an agency that took her on and raised her profile.

Soon, she was being hired for more money and at better venues. And last year, the record label Anti- paired her with noted producer Joe Henry, who had her interpret hits from female singers ranging from Aimee Mann and Dolly Parton to Roseanne Cash and Sinead O'Connor. "My thought was not about bringing her back to prominence," Henry said. "What I wanted to do was make a record that was as tough as she is. ... I knew that she was a survivor, and that she had survived as an artist without a lot of help, without the right kind of help."

The tide has certainly turned in LaVette's favor. She's gotten international media attention and gigs, and earlier this year was a featured performer at the Jammy Awards in New York, where groups like Blues Traveler were fawning over her.

Still, she still smarts that some of her peers are able to perform in stadiums — when they want — while she still sweats night after night in a club. "I'm making more money, but I'm 60 years old," she said. "The tragedy of it for me is that I still have to work for it ... I have to go on and do the same show that I did when I was 20. And that's what I'm trying to do."

The Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Awards, where LaVette will be honored, are returning after a three-year hiatus because of money woes. LaVette, as a pioneer, will receive a cash award of $10,000 (groups receive $15,000, and honorees like Gordy don't receive a cash reward). "It should be a very interesting evening; I'm sure it will be a very emotional one for me," LaVette says. "I wanna look very stern and really mean, but will probably cry several times!"

Magic Slim & The Teardrops

Delmark have just released another exciting CD in their Ralph Bass Produces Series by Magic Slim.

Here is the Delmark press release:-

Magic Slim and his Teardrops have been slaying blues crowds for over 30 years with his distinctive monstrous raunchy guitar tone and shimmering vibrato. Slim excites his diehard fans all over the world with his vast song repetoire of slammin' and scufflin' Chicago blues. Hear a young Slim and his brothers tear it up in this studio session from 1977, never released before on CD!

Slim's version of Muddy's "Just To Be With You" is powerful, ad still a highlight of his current shows. Slim deftly pulls out the obscure blues nugget of despair "Cummins Prison Farm" from the presently incarcerated Calvin Leavy( talk about truth in song the foreshadowing blues!). Check out vintage Slim on his slinky instrumental "Soul Blues".

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Billy McGregor Part 2

Gene Barge, Billy McGregor & John Marriot Chicago 1996
Last month I featured Billy McGregor and my old friend John Marriot commented that he had met Billy. John has beeen back in touch with the above photo and here is what he had to say about meeting Billy:-
"I met Billy in Chicago when he was with The Rhythm @ Blues All Stars (the old Mellow Fellows) group with Gene Barge on sax in the mid 90's.
It was about 2 in the morning. It was my last day in Chicago after 2 weeks working and had been taken out at lunchtime to a Japanese restaurant up in Schaumburg. I'd had enough to drink when I left mid afternoon but went off downtown for more records and around various places in the evening - spend 3 hours in Ko Ko Taylors waiting for her to show . She didn't! so after going elsewhere turned up in Blue Chicago and they came on. Very very nice surprise as he was surprised that somebody knew his old stuff!"

Cheers John!