Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hardway Connection Southern Soul Rumpin'

Hardway Connection Southern Soul Rumpin' Snippets
I had overlooked this release which is available from CD Baby. I've enjoyed the group's previous releases Love Feeling, It Must Be Love and Hot Ticket.
I am sure they once had a website - but at present there doesn't appear to be a lot of information out there on the group. I picked this up from the AARP Org. :-
Hardway Connection produces exciting, new variations of "oldies but goodies" melodies sweeping the land. Their smooth, passionate, sound produces an undeniable compulsion to dance. Always developing and expressing new and dynamic ideas, this group has extensive experience which includes opening for Johnny Taylor, Harvey Scales, Toni Terry, Chuck Brown, Sonny Warner, and other major acts. They have performed in such venues as the BB King Club in Memphis, TN, and the Bayou Club in Washington, DC. Hardway Connection is known for its fun, crowd-pleasing presentation of traditional blues music.

The seven-member group hails from the Washington, DC metropolitan area and has been together for more than 20 years.
You can also read features on the band:
You can also read an article in Soul Express magazine on the group written by my mate Heikki Suosalo back in 1999.

Kings Go Forth 45 Update

There has been quite a buzz on the Kings Go Forth 45 over on Soul Soul Source during this last week.

This is what the 45 will look like once it issued:

Andy from Kings Go Forth has posted this message on their MySpace:

Hey everybody, just a quick word to let you know there has been a slight delay in the manufacturing of the KGF 45's. I received the test presses earlier this week and they were too quiet so I'm having the record remastered and made again. Hopefully we can get this done quickly and get everybody their reserved copies. Also, as of about 3 weeks ago all copies had been pre-reserved, so thanks to everyone. If you didn't get one Jazzman Records, Jason Stirland, and James Trouble will all be selling small amounts in the UK.

There are a couple more tracks on their MySpace since I first posted about this back in March - drop over listen to One Day which is my fave but the buzz on the UK Northern scene is for You're The One which you can also hear on their MySpace.

G Day @ The Pigalle London 6/6/08

Hands It's About Time

Hands It's About Time CD Snippets

Have a listen! Here's the blurb from CD Baby:

My name is Michael Wilson, i call myself Hands.

I have been a part of the music industry for over forty years, however this is my first solo c.d.

I wrote the music for people who love good dance music and beautiful ballads. I hope that my music will bring you much joy and peace in your hearts and ears. These songs were made with love and passion in hopes of bringing back songs with honest messages.

Mark Murphy Podcast

A great podcast by Gilles Peterson featuring one of my jazz heroes - Mark Murphy:

1 milestones ( rah)(milestone)
2 come to me ( mark murphy's hip parade)(capital)
3 two ladies in de shade of de babana tree ( meet mark murphy)(decca)
4 just give me time (midnight mood)(mps)
5 my favorite things (rah)(riverside)
6 senor blues (thats how I love the blues)(riverside)
7 stolen moments (stolen moments)(muse)
8 be bop lives/boplicity (bop for kerouak)(muse)
9 come and get me (bridging a gap)(muse)
10 this must be earth (this must be earth)(phoenix)
11 empty faces (mark murphy sings)(muse)
12 two kites (brazil song)(muse)
13 waters of march (stolen moments)(muse)
14 before we lose tomorrow (night mood)(milestone)
15 effendi (beauty and the beast)(muse)
16 sconsolato (midnight mood)(mps)
17 why don't you do right (7")(milestone)
18 why and how (midnight mood) (mps)
19 san francisco - kerouak, then and now (muse)

Download Mark Murphy Podcast

Funkshone @ Jazz Cafe London

Funkshone have been in touch:

That's right, we've been asked back again to do our thang once more alongside yet again, 1st class names amongst those in the know! Expect many of the precious bangers you heard plus new material both original and covers from the new album out later n the year.

A night of the best funk soul latin and all in between courtesy of:
Snowboy (DJ Set), Adrian Gibson (DJ Set)
and FUNKSHONE live set.

A killer line up eh???!!!!

COST: £15 advance booking Call number below (see tickets) £20 on the door.

Time and Place Start Time: Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 9:00pm

Location: The Jazz Cafe NW1 7PG
Street: 5 Parkway

Funkshone are an original funk act from the UK created by musician, DJ and producer Mike Bandoni, Producer Nino Auricchio plus special guests. Formed in 2006 Funkshone have recorded and released two 45’s on UK funk label ‘Skyline Recordings’. The first title ‘Purification parts 1 & 2’ has now become a deep funk classic amongst the global funk contingent. Due to the popularity of the Funkshone sound, Mike formed the band in early 2007. This 8-piece band now offers a storming live show comprising of original deep funk gems alongside better-known and some not so well known obscure funk covers. Expect wild funk drum breaks and a razor sharp rhythm section, driven bass lines, killer horn lines and a whole lot of soul on the vocals!

The band has recently appeared live in session on the Craig Charles Funk & Soul show for BBC 6 music to rave reviews. Add to that a recently sold out show at the Jazz Café to launch their 3rd single ‘Droppin’ and you have an act whose reputation precedes it! 7 inch Vinyl PURIFICATION PARTS 1 & 2 Here's what some folk are saying about it: -Straight from the gate purification is stompin' and bucking and then the horns bring ya round the bend to a bonafide funky finale . Miles Tackett – Breakestra The playing is great, and a nice riff – Keb Darge Love it.... got a white through my letterbox this morning! Will definitely be charting it – Richard E - Solar Apple Quarktette / Further Out Recordings I got a TP yesterday, I will be playing it, do not worry about that! - Jazzman Gerald - 'Jazzman', 'FUNK45' and 'Stark Reality' Really like the fact that it's quite ragged but so tight at the same time.. properly raw mate! - JUST JACK - Mercury records NOW GO AND BUY IT AND THE OTHER 45's, PLAY IT AND LOVE THEM!!! ALBUM DUE OUT ON SKYLINE RECORDINGS OCTOBER 2008

Down To The Bone @ Southport Arts Centre 1/6/08

Down To The Bone feature Simon.T.Bramley -Bass and banter/Jamie.M.Harris - Tenor and alto sax/ Tim Smart -Trombone/Graeme Flowers - Trumpet/Phil Nelson - Drums/ Tommy Emmerton -Guitar/Neil Burditt - Keyboards/ Stuart Wade and occasional DJ’ing.

The group's MySpace blurb says:

Down To The Bone is Stuart Wade as producer , writer and mastermind behind the whole groove project .Set up at the tail end of 1995 when Wade decided to take a track from the soul band he was in at the time , Think Twice , and remix it to give it a more rawer and stripped down feel . The result was the Down To The Bone remix of the track ‘Joy Is Free’ which was in the top 10 playlist of Kiss FM for weeks on end and resulted in widescale DJ support in the U.K and Europe.

The name also came about from a London club that Stuart went to at the time called ‘To The Bone’ at the Villa Stefano in Holborn, London, run by DJ’s Simon Dunmore , Bob Jones , Mark Webster , Bob Masters and a whole host of others playing funky grooves .Wade frequented many venues and clubs of that time including Martin Lewin’s popular ‘Floorshaker events, co –hosted by other DJ’s including Chris Bangs ,Gilles Peterson and Chris Brown . At the time Wade wanted to take his experiences of these nights and his love for groove music and turn them into a project. He wanted to try to inject some new fresh and funky grooves into a scene that shortly afterwards would start to mellow out with the whole smooth side of things .He wanted to show that the funky side of Jazz groove was still popular and at the same time pay homage to those artists from the past and present who had inspired him to start DTTB .

So, following on from the success of his remix he teamed up with Think Twice keyboard player, Simon Greenaway, to put together a string of songs .This resulted in the first release on a 12” of “Staten Island Groove” .It was released on Internal Bass Records , a label Wade set up with another member of Think Twice , and now ex-business partner, Chris Morgans .This resulted in a huge success and drew the imagination of many DJ’s and magazines resulting in rave reviews for the single and loads of club and radio play in the U.K .Shortly after this Wade and Greenaway recorded the second single featuring “Muesli Brown”, which followed in the light of the first .It was at this time that Stuart could see the opportunity in front of him and decided to try to complete an album .Sadly ,Simon Greenaway was unable to commit to the project so Wade had to branch out looking for future musicians to work with , whilst still working with Internal Bass Partner Chris Morgans , from the label side .This resulted in the introduction of musicians like Richard Sadler , Richard Wargent , Neil Cowley ,Tim Best and later Paul ‘Shilts’ Weimar’ on the second album “The Urban Grooves”.

After the completion of the first album “From Manhattan To Staten” , a title Wade came up with to show his influences came mostly from across the pond , it was decided to try to take the whole sound over to America to see what would happen .Not expecting anything , Wade was astounded by the huge response after two important guys at U.S. radio decided to take it upon themselves to play DTTB on their stations .They were Blake Lawrence and Steve Williamson , who gave DTTB their first radio break in the U.S and with support from people like DJ Chillfreeze , Marc E Copeland, Rick Laboy, Cozmic Cat and Andrea ‘DJ Sun .It was clear that the radio scene was stagnant in the U.S and the audience were desperate for something different to latch on to and DTTB happened to be in the right place at the right time. The momentum grew in America resulting in “From Manhattan To Staten” reaching No.2 in the National US Billboard Jazz Chart , No.3 in the Gavin Jazz chart and No 4 in the Radio and Records Jazz Chart .Not bad for an act that is not strictly Jazz. DTTB was also the No.1 top selling independent Jazz artist of 1999 , No 5 top selling Jazz artist and album of 1998 and No 5 top selling Jazz artist and album in 1999 and with a string of radio hits in the U.S

It shows how DTTB have been able to accumulate well over half a million sales worldwide across their albums. Astonishingly a lot of this success has been down to word-of mouth , with people taking it upon themselves to ‘spread the word’. So then on to a string of successful releases with “The Urban Grooves” in 98 and “Spread The Word” in 2000 , but not being content with that Wade also recorded a new project ,he set up, called ‘The New Jazz Hustlers’ with their album in 2000. These were to be his last recordings on Internal Bass Records. Wade decided to make a split from his business partner , Morgans , and happily signed to Verve Records to enable him to record his forth album “Crazy Vibes and Things” in 2002. With more and more demands for live appearances DTTB was becoming a well established act , especially in the U.S . So much so that Wade had to concentrate on the U.S for the live side of things , much to his frustration at not being able to gig in his home country of the U.K as much as he would like .But after a short spell on Verve Wade decided to move on and sign with his current label Narada/Blue Note where he has recorded his last two albums “Cellar Funk” and “Spread Love Like Wildfire” and is now completing his seventh , “Supercharged” due for release in May 2007 .It has always been Wade’s aim to pay respect to his mentors and he is thrilled to actually be working with some of them as guests on his albums .Such greats as , Rueben Wilson , Brian Auger , Jeremy Steig , Flora Purim and future guest Roy Ayers and also current artists such as the multi talented vocalists like N’Dambi , Hil St Soul and Guida De Palma . With DTTB’s new album “Supercharged” nearing completion it is hard to believe that the project has been making records for just over ten years .

With the release of “Supercharged” in May 07 DTTB will mark a milestone in it’s life as Wade is about to acquire the rights back to the first three albums from Internal Bass , resulting in the release of “The Best Of” in Jan 07 and the re-release of the first three albums in the summer of 07, all on Narada/Blue Note , making that year a prominent one for the act. Wade continues to be amazed at the thought of being able to ‘live his hobby’ and never takes anything for granted .As he says “ you are only as successful as your last album so you never know how long it will last. So you must make the most of it while it is there and as long as you can stand up and say you did your best then no one can take that away from you”.

The Filthy Six

I am continuing this AM to feature new bands to IDR. I first heard Filthy Six on the Craig Charles Funk & Soul.

The Filthy Six consist of Nick Etwell - Trumpet / Mark Brown - Saxophone / Rob Taggart - Hammond Organ / Nigel Price - Guitar / Dave Chamberlain - Bass / Graham Fox - Drums. Here's their MySpace blurb:

The Filthy Six are fast establishing themselves as one of the finest live acts around. A London based group, they take their cue from the groove and boogaloo styles of late 60's Blue Note artists such as Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Jimmy McGriff and Donald Byrd. Playing a mixture of original material plus classics from the golden period of Soul Jazz, the band honed their skills at their monthly residency (The Thursday Boogaloo) at the infamous Tatty Bogle club in London’s Soho, and have since been invited to burn up venues and dancefloors all across the UK and Europe, including shows in Stockholm, Paris, Geneva and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Like their heroes before them, their music appeals to hard-core groovers and jazz heads alike. The sextet is comprised of some of London’s hottest musicians who have worked with a variety of artists from home and abroad including Jill Scott, Basement Jaxx, 4Hero, David Axelrod, Bobby Wellins, Hard-Fi, Randy Brecker, JTQ, Richard Ashcroft, Amy Winehouse, Ed Harcourt, Natalie Williams, Stacey Kent, The Heritage Orchestra, and Nostalgia77

The Filthy Six have just completed recording their debut album ‘Knockout’ – an energetic collection of horn led, organ fuelled original material including the gospel inflected title track, soul jazz grooves and highly danceable deep funk.... It's available on a limited run from London based FAT BOY RECORDS.

The Derby Records Story

An essential purchase featuring one of the importantt labels in the development of black music in the USA:

A deep look at New York's Derby label -- a short-lived imprint from the early 50s, but one that recorded some really great R&B at the time! The company was owned by Larry Newton, who later went onto make bigger waves over at ABC Records -- and like other indies of the time, Derby did a great job of digging out up-and-coming talents in the postwar years -- singers and musicians who worked in an array of styles that included jump blues, swinging jazz, and even a bit of doo wop! This 2CD package features 58 tracks from the under-reissued label -- complete with track-by-track notes that also trace the evolution of the company and its sound. Titles include "Come On Up To My Room" and "Laughing On The Outside" by The Majors, "Baby Don't Do It" by Jaye P Morgan, "Hard Workin Woman" by The Imperials, "Baby Say You Love Me" by Bob Harris, "Hot Ice" by Freddie Mitchell, "Traveling Doc" by Doc Pomus, "Divorce Me COD" by Cootie Williams, "Roll Roll Roll" by Jimmy Preston, "Waking Home" by Cedric Wallace, "Rock Little Daddy" by Eunice Davis, and "Cuttin Out" by Walter Sandman Howard.
Pick up a copy from Dusty Groove


Yet another long overdue mention for Cooloolosh on IDR.

Cooloolosh are Yuval Gerstein - Guitars and Vocals; Rebel Sun - Rap; Ori Winokur - Bass; Yogev Shitrit - Drums; Arik Levy - Saxophones; Sefi Zisling - Trumpet. Here's their MySpace blurb:

In 2003, five extremely talented musicians from Jerusalem, Israel, and around the world, found each other and came together to form one of the most unique and dynamic forces in the music world as we know it today. Suitability named “Coolooloosh”, a Jerusalemite word for celebration and joy, this is precisely what the band exhumes with each and every exciting performance.

Wooing fans around the world with their intelligent blend of genres, Coolooloosh. combining Hip Hop, Rap, Jazz, and Funk, Coolooloosh., one of Israel’s most popular groups, is one of the very few well known emerging acts that can pull it off. Consistently, pushing the envelope, the band is destined to break internationally. A diverse group of individuals, from varied musical backgrounds the band consists of Yuval Gerstein (Guitar and Vocal), Rebel Sun (MC), Ori Winokur (Bass and vocal), Arik Levy (Saxophone), and Yogev Shitrit on Drums. Combining both English and Hebrew text into their songs and unique blend of genres only further enhances their distinctive style.

Following an extremely zealous show at the renown Sodra Theatre in Stockholm Sweden in May of this year, Coolooloosh forged on in August and September to continue an extremely successful and productive tour of Europe performing in the UK, Germany, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, and Hungary, including the well known festival “Spancirfest” in Croatia, gaining major attention and vast amounts of new fans at every show.

Check out the demos on the their MySpace for their upcoming debut album.

Carolina Soul

I was sent a link sometime ago to 3 downloads featuring Carolina Soul expert Jason Perlmutter which I thought I'd share:

Annual survey of obscure soul 45s from the Carolinas, now online here:


Ikhlas "Sing La La La" (Bilal)


Reggie Saddler Revue "Love Is Just Like A Baseball Game" (Eclipse)
Formula 12 "Where Is She?" (Catamount)
The Castalians "She Was My Everything" (Prince)
Bob Collins And The Fabulous Five "My One And Only Girl" (Main Line)
Melvin And Jessie "I Know It's Hard To Believe" (AMFS)
J Young B Hill "One Girl" (NaJma) [by request]
Pic & Bill "I Love You, Baby" (Charay)
The Bossatettes "Troubles Like Mine" (JCP)


Bobby London and The Ambassadors "Apple Of My Eye" (Spyder)
Little Al and The Maxidynes "Somewhere In This World There Is A Girl" (Shell)
The Uptighters "Smoke" (Pitt)
Ebonystic "Ain't It Good To You" (Scream)
Roy Johnson And The Outlaws "Why Am I Treated So Bad" (Mohawk)
Willie Hobbs "Yes, My Goodness, Yes" (Bandit)
Elijah & The Ebonies feat. Mary Sexton "I Confess" (Gitana)
The Charms "Soul Woman" (Estill)
Otis Goodwin "Mini Skirt" (Walker-Reeder)
Soul Stars "Soul Strut Pt. 1" (Baja)



Johnny C. And The Rocking Champs "Groove Time" (King Conway)
Dynamite Singletary "Super Good" (Free Soul, Inc.)
Soul Hustlers "Super Party Pt. 1" (Linco)
Donnie Brown "Funky Mind" (Top Cat)
Vernon Young "Make Love Tonight Pt. 1" (Music-GO-Round)
Shades Of You "Get Up On Yourself" (J & J)
Spector Band "Spector Funk" (J & J)
Sonny Thompson "You Got The Joy Pt. 1" (Orion)


Carole Humphries "I Don't Want Nobody" (Entertainment Enterprises)
Choice Of Colour "Your Love" (APT)
The Sounds Of Soul "So Much Love" (S.O.S.)
The Saints "I'll Let You Slide" (Wigwam)
Black Smoke Band "I'll Keep Searching" (Black Smoke)
The Soul Toys "Thick And Thin" (Toy)
Mike Davis And The Twi-Liters "My Love" (Cheeco)
Frankie and The Damons "My Best Friend" (The Damons)



Unknown "Thank The Lord"
Janice "Being No #2 Ain't No Fun" (Born Again)
T.M.S. "Get The Feelin'" (Showcase)
One Real Band "For A Change" (Budweiser Showdown)
Onyx "I'm In Love Again" (Budweiser Showdown)
Dwayne Sutton "In Her Eyes" (Budweiser Showdown)
Kirby Hamilton "A Different Place" (Accent)


The Tams "This Precious Moment" (Sounds South)
Eric Tig "Mr. D. J." (Sounds South)
Eric Tig "Heaven" (Sounds South)
The Cosmic Band "I Gave You My Love" (Tech)
Larry Connor "Cold Day" (Sugarbush)
Curtis Robinson "Free Man" (Metro-Art)

The final portion of the show that was inadvertently left off of the recording

Roland Haynes Jr. and Phenix "Mind Games" (EII)
Initials "Message In The Music" (JMDN)
Ice "Hey, Hey" (Ice) [by request]


Gamith "Don't Change Me" (JSJ)
Ron Gaither "One Last Chance" (Masterfunk)

Bruce Billups Re-loaded

I first heard this on Mick O'Donnell's Soul Discovery Show.

Shoot over to Steve Dolan's Soul Sounds and take a listen. As Steve says:

Contains two of the best dancers I've heard in yonk's, namely "Groove" by Lacee and "Beautiful" by Labrado as well as "Swing Around The Roses" by Cupid. When you've recovered from these check out the rest of the CD as there are some other gems on there, track 10 for instance.

Big Boss Man

Here's another band I have wanted to mention for sometime.

Big Boss Man formed in November 1998, Their sound is a hip Heavy Hammond hybrid of pop, 6T's R'n'B / Latin soul and funk. The Band consists of: Nasser Bouzida a.k.a “the Bongolian” on Organ and Percussion, Scott Milsom on bass, guitar is provided by Trevor Harding and Nick Nicholls plays drums.

Early 1999 they got themselves a gig at the renowned "Blow Up", then situated at the Wag club London, as usual the club was packed and the crowd absolutely loved the Big Boss Sound. They were then immediately signed up to the clubs very own "Blow Up" record label. The first release can be found on V2 Blow Up compilation "Blow Up A Go-Go" with the demo version of the track Humanize, (recorded in the bands very own Ramshackle studios).

2008 Big Boss Man are working with producer Nick Terry on their 3rd LP “as yet untitled” set for release in autumn on Blow Up records.Big Boss Man’s club favourite “the Hawk” is included on “Come On Soul” an international compilation of vintage and contemporary Dance Floor tracks released by the Legre record label in Hamburg.

2006-7 BIG BOSS MAN's 'Party 7' was featured in NIKE WORLD FOOTBALL '06 CAMPAIGN! Nike used the Big Boss Man track 'Party 7' taken from their first album 'Humanize' in the ad entitled 'Henry' featuring Thierry Henry and Eric Cantana. This advert was broadcasted World-wide and sparked a 10 date tour of Germany in March, European festival dates and a mini-tour of Russia. The Mighty Boosh hit the big time and their film “Sweet” featuring BBM is released by the BBC on DVD. UK BBC coverage of the World Cup Final features Party 7.

Beatfanatic Progressive Music For Eclectic Minds

Beat Fanatic is a collective of producers, dj's, mc's and people with the same vision... peace and music. Fuck your sub-category. We're not a group or a band or a crew... we are family. Official Members: Slopfunkdust, Illmind, moO, Nak-1, Nicolay, Cozmos, Dela, Nemo, 9th Wonder, Kay of The Foundation, Kev Brown, DJ Kay, DJ Roddy Rod, Obsidian Blue, Supastition, fwmj, Tzar, Brainstorm, M-Phazes, Mr. Naso, Rhettmatic, Celph Titled, Akrobatik, Surreal, Mr.Lif, Fatks-1, Decap, Rik Marvel, Krewcial, Spon, DJ Blenda, Mekka Don and last but not least... RekOne (R.I.P.)

I've meant to mention for sometime that the Japan only cd Beatfanatic; "Progressive Music For Eclectic Minds" is now available as a download. Including 12 new tracks. Check it out on Beatport or any other good digital supplier

Travelling Around Louisiana

I was sent an interesting link to a NY Times article about exploring the history of Louisiana. I have certianly been fascinated myself on a few road trips around the State. Try it out:

Driving Back Into Louisiana's History

Brussels Soul Weekender 2 & 3 August 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Finding Darondo

Take a listen to Justin Torres talking about discovering the whereabouts of Darondo courtesy of Studio 360:

Justin Torres is a record nut, the kind who combs through stacks of dusty LPs looking for obscure gems. Torres told Chris Roose that he became obsessed with finding an R&B crooner named Daron "Darondo" Pulliam. Darondo wasn't just a forgotten singer -- the man had apparently disappeared.
(Originally aired: March 10, 2006)

We have been digging Darondo for a few years on IDR so please search the rest of the blog for other posts.

Donny Mann

Donny Mann Little Golden Band Mister Chand

Many years ago, I was challenged to write a number of articles on Chicago singers which very little was known about except their 45s for a magazine called Love Music Review. The first article I wrote was about Donny Mann.

A friend from Singapore was trawling Ebay when he came across the above photo advertising a shop in Chicago. It was great to see that he is still about and perhaps he can be tracked down for an interview.

All we found out from the advert was this snippet:

Donald Armistead who recorded under the Name Donny Mann in the 70's and Tiny Tim & the Tornados in the 50's

Deacon Blues

Regular readers of IDR will know that I am partial to femme singers from the 60's - check out Deacon Blues Blog dedicated to the ladies.

Chuck Corby Live in Wolverhampton UK 26/7/08

Chuck Corby Snippets

Picked up the news this week from Soul Source that Chuck Corby will be appearing for the first time in UK.

For more info - check out Soul Source

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jimmy McGriff RIP

I had the sad news confirmed to me that Jimmy McGriff died earlier this year. Jimmy tells the secret of winning over an audience in the above video recorded in LA in 1997.

Jimmy McGriff RIP

Brothers Unlimited Who's For The Young

Good to see this album readily available once more on CD - a Muscle Shoals groove.

A excellent album of southern funk -- and darn rare, too! We know almost nothing about the Brothers, but they're a 14 piece combo with a tight ensemble funk sound that clearly shows roots of both the Memphis and Muscle Shoals scenes where the album was recorded! There's a lot of fuzzy guitar, almost in a Detroit Westbound mode -- but the band's also got a sweetly southern funk style, with lots of organ bubbling underneath the tracks, punctuated by some pretty tight drum work that really makes the best cuts groove nicely in a more righteous take on the Stax/Volt sound of the time. A really wild one -- and the kind of record that makes your jaw drop when you realize that some lucky A&R guy was actually able to get an underground soul album released by a major label! Titles include "Got To Get Over", "Life, Dreams, Death", "Get Away", "Take Me Back", and a great psychedelic cover of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful". (Plus, the back cover's got a photo of the band eating at a big table -- with the words "Excuse their appearance, but the cameraman caught them at suppertime. You understand.") Dusty Groove

Brighter Side Of Darkness Interview

Brighter Side Of Darkness He Made You Mine Magic Touch
Former members of the Brighter Sides Of Darkness gave the latest interview on Chicago based Bob Abrahamian's Sitting In The Park radio show.

Here's the message from Bob:

Hi. Today on my radio show I interviewed Randolph Murph of the Brighter Side of Darkness. The Brighter Side of Darkness was formed on the South Side of Chicago when three Calumet High School students, Randolph Murph, Larry Washington, and Ralph Eskridge met up with 8th grader Darryl Lamont. They recorded and released their huge hit "Love Jones" on 20th Century records less than a year after forming. Randolph Murph was one of the writers of "Love Jones", did the famous monologue on the record, and sang lead on the flip side "I'm the guy". The group broke up for a period in the 70s due to management disputes, reforming to cut one final single for the Magic Touch label in 1978 before finally disbanding. You can check out the interview at the bottom of my webpage:

Their 2oth Century album is now available - try Dusty Groove:

A tremendous bit of harmony soul from Chicago -- one of the few cases where the Windy City really gave the east coast a run for its money -- and the landmark album from teen soul quartet Brighter Side Of Darkness! Although young, Brighter Side managed to bring a depth to their work that was way more than kiddie soul -- a heartfelt, heartbreaking quality that was all adult, no matter how youthful the themes -- and their vocals are a perfect contrast to the fuller arrangements from producers Clarence Johnson and Johnny Cameron. The set contains the group's classic "Love Jones", still one of the best fragile harmony tracks of the early 70s -- plus loads of other great numbers like "I Owe You Love", "I'm A Loser", "Just A Little Bit", and a superb remake of "Summer Ride".

I have seen a few mentions on the Net about the group - this is the discography from Soul Harmony Singles:

20th Century 2002 Love Jones/I'm The Guy
20th Century 2021 Just A Little Bit/Something To Remember You By
20th Century 2034 I Give You Love/Summer Ride
Star Vue 1028 Because Of Love/Oh Baby
Magic Touch 9011 He Made You Mine/Disco Ball

I have featured He Made You Above mainly because it is not included on the CD which is a shame. If you like group soul then don't forget to drop over to my Keeping Soul Alive blog to listen to over 50 minutes of group male soul including The Brighter Side Of Darkness.

Audioform Rare B-Sides Grooves

Earlier this year, I posted a feature on Audioform. The guys have been in touch to tell me about their latest recording: PRESS RELEASE:

Jazz/Funksters Audioform releases the first single from the upcoming EP - RARE B-SIDE GROOVES. The single: GROOVE BREW is the band's first new release in one year.

RARE B-SIDE GROOVES will officially release on Saturday, May 31 for full download on the band's myspace as well as ITUNES. The cost for each single will be .99 with the full album being $9.99.

You can also pick up the physical recording at the band's next concert if you are in Charlotte on May 31.

Audioform will perform at the Neighborhood Theatre at 9pm with the X-Periment. RARE B-SIDE GROOVES will be available for only $7, saving you $2.99 if you pick it up at the show.

45 Club @ The Knockout Mission Valencia San Francisco

Soulmount Fever! 14/6/08

Sweet Jelly Roll Melbourne 30/5/08

James Hunter Don't Do Me No Favours Video

We recently featured the new James Hunter The Hard Way CD on IDR - here is a promotional video for the CD.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Big Hugh Boynton Royal Flush

Big Hugh Boynton Royal Flush CD Snippets

It's great to see Big Hugh Boynton aka Huriah Boynton back and still in fine voice.

You can pick up his new CD from CD Baby. Here's his blurb:

Like many of the great singers today, Huriah Boynton started singing at the early age of 5 with his church choir, in his hometown of Jeffersonville, Georgia. Huriah soon developed a passion for singing and performing for an audience. That passion led him to Lanor Records where at the tender age of 14, his recording career began. At Lanor Records, he worked with producer, Jackie Avery and recorded "Running Out Of Fools" and "Girl I Feel It". Huriah went on to perform for sold out audiences in local clubs around Macon, Georgia with the R&B group, "The Flintstones".

In 1979, Huriah moved to Detroit, Michigan where he began his very popular Gospel Ministry, Hour of Grace, Blessings and Healing. "Bishop Huriah" as he affectionately became known, touched millions with his message and music through his radio and television broadcasts. In 1991, on Bellmark Records, Huriah recorded his first Gospel CD entitled "Uniquely Huriah" which contained the #1 smash single, "If You Can't Help Me". A few years later, Huriah started his own record company, Royal H Records. Under Royal H Records, he recorded and released a smooth, soulful mixture of Gospel and R&B CD entitled "Huriah Has Arrived From The Planet Hugh Boynton".

During his career, Huriah has worked with many of the greats of our times including: George Clinton, P-Funk All-Stars, Four Tops, Al Hudson and One Way, Hamilton Bohannon, David Ruffin of the Temptations, Greg Allmon and The Allmon Brothers and Enchantment.

Today, Huriah Boynton, an accomplished artist, writer and producer continues to "WOW" crowds around the world with his soulful sound, which is reminiscent of his idol, the late great "Mr. Otis Redding". Working with producer, Dave Roberson, Huriah pays tribute to Mr. Redding on his sensational new CD entitled, "Royal Flush, A Tribute To The King Otis Redding".

Here is some further information from his website:

The gospel music scene is known for showcasing amazingly gifted vocalists…and also for adhering to a traditional musical formula with a contemporary flavor that rarely changes. Huriah Boynton's astounding gospel music vocals have energy, a drive that pushes the message of his music, energizing it with big city rhythms. The foundation of his sound is a groundbreaking musical fusion that makes him one of the strongest and most unique entries into the gospel field in the last decade.

Huriah Boynton is no stranger to the music scene. He was introduced to the gospel marketplace with his first album release on Bellmark Records, titled "Uniquely Huriah" and has continued enjoying success from his single smash hit, "If You Can't Help Me (At The Finishing Line)".

Ultimately, he began to enjoy success in opening services for Rev. Roosevelt Franklin and Rev. J. King. He left Georgia for Detroit where he met the late Al Perkins, a successful Detroit radio powerhouse, who had a vast number of contacts and a deep spiritual commitment. Perkins took Huriah under his wing. "Al Perkins became my spiritual father," Huriah recalls. "He helped me to put my career and my life in the hands of God. I miss him so much". Perkins helped Huriah's career, redirecting him to radio and television, resulting in a religious program on WGPR/FM in Detroit.

Between his radio and television ministry "Hour of Grace Blessing & Healing', that has continued to spread throughout the Detroit, Chicago and surrounding areas, Huriah has found a niche is spreading God's word through ministry and song.

Drawing on over ten years experience, Huriah Boynton have been an evangelists of God's work and a provider of the spiritual fruits of his word. The exponential growth of gospel and spiritual music sales is indicative of a nation in need of spiritual feeding as well as the urgent need of a message of healing.

I hope to be speaking with Huriah in the near future - watch this space!

You can also check out some of his Lanor cuts over on Red kelly's Soul Detective

Charles Mintz A Message Of Songs

Charles Mintz A Message Of Songs CD Snippets

Great to see Charles back with a thoughtful CD of well sung songs currently available from CD Baby.

Charles has recently been in touch so I hope to bring you an interview with him about his new album.

Also check out his MySpace for his latest news.

The Chantels Indian Giver Verve

The Chantels Indian Giver Verve

The Chantels are still out there - check out their website.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clay Hammond Video

Clay Hammond performing at Azalea Estates 50's celebration.

C L Blast Lay Another Log On The Fire

I thought I'd give this a shout as well. Another worthy release from Soulscape featuring the complete Juana recordings from C.L. Blast.

Tommy Tate Hold On: The Jackson Sessions

This Tommy Tate collection is a historically important release from Soul Scape bringing together rare 45s from Tommy's early career and unissued sides only previously available on Japanese back in 1979. Go out and support this release!

The Complete Cobra Singles

An amazing collection of postwar blues -- the complete singles on Chicago's legendary Cobra Records label -- plus other titles from the Abco and Artistic imprints as well! The package is really beautiful, and comes with a heavy booklet that offers up original label scans of all the singles, plus some lyrics and other session details too -- all to accompany a 4CD box that includes 96 songs in all! Artists include The Rip Chords, Arbee Stidham, Betty Everett, Willie Dixon, Otis Rush, Shakey Horton, The Calves, Harold Burrage, Duke Jenkins, and Magic Sam.

You can get copies of this limited Japanese collection by contacting:

UK - Vivid Sound -

US - Dusty Groove

Steve Cropper & Felix Cavaliere Together On Stax

I still have a backlog of news - here's one I recently picked up:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - What would happen if you combined Steve Cropper, the Memphis-weaned Stax guitar powerhouse who also wrote and co-wrote many soul classics, with Felix Cavaliere, the singer, songwriter and keyboardist whose soulful voice and songs helped form the Rascals? The world is about to find out when Stax Records releases Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere's Nudge It Up a Notch on July 29, 2008.

This soul summit came about as a result of conversations between Cropper and producer/songwriter Jon Tiven. When Tiven moved to Nashville several years ago, he asked Cropper what he was up to. Cropper replied that he was focusing on live dates with Booker T & the MGs and the Blues Brothers, but harbored the desire to record some new music. But who would sing? The answer, it turned out, was Cavaliere, who, like Cropper and Tiven, now lived in Nashville. In fact Cropper and Cavaliere were no strangers: they had, with a few other well-known musicians, put together a band to play special events. The two hadn't written together before, but agreed it would be fun to try.

The writing process began at Tiven's Hormone Studios, followed by the recording of two songs, "One of Those Days" (the album's lead track) and "Love Appetite." Drummer Chester Thompson, a veteran of John Fogerty, Frank Zappa, Genesis and Frank Black, signed on as drummer, and suggested a bass player, his friend Shake Anderson, who was Curtis Mayfield's protégé. The assemblage grew to include two backup singers, Mark Williams and N'nandi Bryant. And that was it. No special guest stars. As Tiven wrote in the notes, "This isn't one of
those albums where you have to guess who's doing what - every guitar lick is Steve, every keyboard is Felix, and all the songs are originals."

Tiven elaborates on the legacies of Cropper and Cavaliere: "Steve Cropper is a guitar player's guitarist but also a songwriter's songwriter," he writes. "If the only thing he did in life was to play producer/co-writer/guitarist for Otis Redding, that would be enough. But he also helmed enough albums that made their mark on American pop culture by artists like Booker T & the MGs, The Blues Brothers, Jeff Beck and John Mellencamp to qualify him as a bona fide national treasure."

"And Cavaliere . . .," he adds, "If you were alive in the alive in the mid-to-late `60s, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing his voice and songs are part of his group The Young Rascals (later The Rascals). Their blue-eyed soul dominated the airwaves . . . and gave this country the kind of soul music most folks wouldn't think to associate with a bunch of Long Island Peppermint Lounge expatriates."

Nudge It Up a Notch, which was reverently mixed by the legendary David Z, features 12 tracks, including several instrumentals (Cropper having a bit of history in the R&B instrumental department) alongside vocal tracks. On a few tunes the team turned to friends Henry Gross and Tom Hambridge to provide their lyrical spin. One track, "Make The Time Go Faster," embellishes its chunky soul riff with rap passages.

"If all this combination of iconic songwriter/performers had to offer was simply the sum of their parts it would be extraordinary," Tiven concludes. "But you put this much flammable material in the room and you don't just get a little heat. You get a bonfire."

Terry Callier Welcome Home

Terry Callier is one of my ultimate heroes and I have been fortunate to see him live several times as well as meet him. He's back with a new live album:

Terry Callier’s live performances are regarded by many as spiritual experiences rather than a gig. Time and time again audiences return to see Terry and his immensely talented, long-standing band (all of whom are top players on the world jazz circuit) to witness something different, be it a new story or a new take on a track.

This recording is another snapshot of a career that has spanned nearly four decades and fourteen albums. Terry Callier is, without question, one of the few remaining true musical legends.

This album was recorded by Mr Bongo on 14th March 2008 at Terry’s UK home - The Jazz Café in Camden, London.

“Callier’s writing is getting better, his performances are even more intense. His best may be yet to come” The Guardian, March 24 2008

Look out for Terry’s forthcoming album ‘Hidden Conversations’ on Mr Bongo later in 2008 - featuring amazing tracks with Massive Attack.

1. When The Music Is Gone 9’08
2. And I Love Her 3’47
3. John Coltrane Story 1 2’57
4. When My Lady Danced 8’27
5. Fix The Blame 10’29
6. Band Introduction 1’39
7. C’est La Vie 6’59
8. What About Me (What You Gonna Do About Me) 10’46
9. John Coltrane Story 2 3’23
10. Timepiece 8’20
11. Nobody But Yourself To Blame 8’35

Don't forget you can still get a DVD of him live in Berlin from a few years back.
Here is Terry singing Lazarus Man in Berlin 2005:

Sunday Soul Selection 25/5/08

The Emotions

The Orwell Crew in the studio this week with an eclectic mix of music!!!

JD Hall - I Wanna Get In To You
Goldie Alexander - Go Back
Dramatics - I Cried All The Way Home
Dells - Bring Back The Love Of Yesterday
Chuck Brooks - Last Minute Plans
Stylistics - We Should Be Lovers
Flannys Cover Up - Bet U Wish You Knew
Message Untold - I Can Feel The Change In Love
Visitors - My Love Is Ready And Waiting
Cecil Shaw - This Ive Gotta See
Internationals - Too Sweet To Be Lonely
Emotions - Blind Alley
Tammi Terrell - Come On And See Me
Arthur Alexander - Show Me The Road
Shelley Fisher - Girl I Love You
Mz Fishe - You Lift Me Up
Tony Middleton - Spanish Maiden
Leon Haywood - You Don’t Have To See Me Cry
Lay Jay Alexander - Say So
Freda Payne - We Got Find A Way
Howwefeel - Just Cant Do Without Love
Eldridge Holmes - Lets Go Steady
Jim Spencer And Sonrise - The Blues Are Out To Get Me
Truth - I’m Coming Home
First Class - Tell Me What You Want
Lee Fields - Mighty Mighty Love
Universal Minds - Love Wont Wear Off
Gil Scott Heron - Lady Day And John Coltrane
Jesse James - I Got The Feelin
Billy Scott - So Glad You Happened To Me
Act One - Goodbye Love

Sunday Soul Selection 25/5/08