Funk & Soul

New album: Barrence Whitfield And The Savages || Glory

Forty years after their self-titled debut album and five years after their previous one, American rock & soul collective Barrence Whitfield And The Savages return with a new LP titled Glory, recorded last May in Valencia (Spain) to round off a long European tour. To be honest, I didn’t know they had been around for so long (I’ve been on board since 2013’s amazing Dig Thy Savage Soul), and their sound is so energetic and passionate that you wouldn’t assume so. “I’m Young”, the charismatic frontman sings defiantly in one of the standout tracks, and that’s how it feels. In the other eleven tunes, the mix of rhythm & blues, garage punk and pub rock is just as exciting, with the growling vocalist and veteran musicians creating a steamy party vibe – the greater the madness, the greater the fun.

Glory, produced by Mike Mariconda, is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Folc Records. Featuring original line-up core members Barrence Whitfield, Peter Greenberg and Phil Lenker, along with Andy Jody, Tom Quartulli and Spencer Evoy.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Folc

New album: Dragondeer || Across The Waves

Across The Waves is the ambitious sophomore LP from Denver’s Dragondeer, and it is an atypical one. Real music, but different. Influences from 70s funk, psychedelic blues, indie soul and rock ‘n’ roll blend seamlessly into eleven grooving tracks. Imaginative and cinematic, with compelling melodies and surprising hooks, atmospheric and melancholic. The sultry vocals play the leading role, but just as easily you’ll hear cheerful whistling or a mean harmonica.

Across The Waves, produced by Eddie Roberts, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through Color Red. For fans of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Neal Francis, Adrian Quesada.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Color Red

New album: Family Worship Center || Kicked Out of the Garden

Family Worship Center is a Portland, Oregon-based Southern rock ‘n’ soul collective*, founded in 2017 by singer/songwriter/keyboardist Andy Krissberg. Following their 2020 Sunday A.M. EP, they just released their debut full-length Kicked Out of the Garden, and it’s everything you hope it would be. You get eight 70s-styled, more-ish sweat-drenched floor fillers, which never sound outdated but always authentic. A delicious treat: a big sound, sumptuous piano melodies, raving horns, celestial harmonies, sometimes with guitars being let loose but at other moments with a gospel feel, everything. Epic.

Kicked Out of the Garden, produced & mixed by Cameron Spies, is out now digitally and on vinyl LP through CorpoRAT Records. *Featuring Andy Krissberg (vocals / synth / wurlitzer / piano), Cameron Spies (percussion / keys), Chris Lamb (drums / vocals / percussion / vibraphone), Andrew Pettersson (guitar / vocals), Abel Bradshaw (bass / vocals), Ben “Snacks” Turner (electric pianos / piano / organ), Jeff Chilton (horn arrangements / string arrangements / trombone), Andy Rayborn (alto sax / tenor sax / clarinet), Matt Sulikowski (baritone sax), Thomas Barber (trumpet), Nate Henry (tenor sax), Brian Crace (guitar), Matt DeRosa (wah-wah guitar / percussion), Marley Headrick (vocals / vocal arrangements / vibraphone), Katie Waterland (vocals / piano / vocal arrangements), Alycen Moussette (vocals), Oleh Mytrofanov (violin / viola / cello / string arrangements), and Kasaka Records (violin / viola / cello / string arrangements). RIYL: Leon Russell, Delaney & Bonnie, DeWolff, Natural Child.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || CorpoRAT || Discogs

New single: Wild Billy Childish & CTMF || Traces Of You

Wild Billy Childish & CTMF (aka The Chatham Forts) released the pretty awesome LP Failure Not Success early this year, but of course there’s more where that came from. Here’s a new 45 featuring two recordings of the beautiful new song Traces Of You, a long and more polished version on the addictive A side, a short and rawer demo version on the flip side. Billy (guitar, bass), Juju (vocals, bass, guitar) and Wolf (drums, percussion) show their sensitive side, influenced by the 60s girl group sound, but the usual frayed edge is not lacking. Another classic in the making.

Traces Of You, written & sung by Julie Hamper, produced by William ‘Spook’ Loveday, and engineered by Jim Riley, is out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Spinout Nuggets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spinout Productions

New EP: The Capellas || Take Your Chance With​.​.​.

The umpteenth project from Elsa Whittaker (lead vocals), Mike Whittaker (guitar, backing vocals), Matthew “Mole” Lambert (bass, backing vocals) and Yan Quellien (drums), and they also hit the mark as soulful rhythm & blues band The Capellas. Their debut EP has four original songs – in a better world they would all be hits – with a vintage girl group feel, which are as sympathetic and seductive as they are groovy and danceable. Hip-shaking guitars, funky drumming, perfumed vocals and catchy choruses, what’s not to like?

Take Your Chance With The Capellas, written by Elsa & Mike Whittaker, is out now digitally and on vinyl 7″ through Sweet Grooves Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Sweet Grooves

New single: Big Boss Man || Do The Backstroke / Mother’s Earth

British live sensation Big Boss Man has been in business for twenty-five years now, with four studio albums, six 7” singles and spots on countless compilations to their name. Even if the name doesn’t mean anything to you, you’ve probably heard their instrumentals in a movie, television/radio show or commercial before. Nasser Bouzida (Hammond organ), Trevor Harding (guitar), Badger Burgess (bass) and Desmond Rogers (drums) play a hybrid of 60s rhythm & blues, Latin, soul, bongo-fuzz, funk, mod-jazz and garage rock. Their new single Do The Backstroke swings and rocks at the same time, a battle between Hammond and bongo for the dance floor, with heavy groove action and hooks waiting to be sampled by hip-hop artists. B-side Mother’s Earth has a different tension and is more suitable for a chase movie, but is just as powerful proof of what these guys have to offer.

Do The Backstroke b/w Mother’s Earth is out digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Spinout Nuggets.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Spinout Shop

New album: King Khan || The Invaders – Original Film Score

Music enhances moving images and vice versa, but it’s not self-evident that they also convince without each other’s context. Soundtrack wizards like David Holmes (Ocean’s Eleven / Twelve / Thirteen, Analyze That, …) and recently Lionel Limiñana & David Menke (The Ballad Of Linda L., The Devil Inside Me, Thatcher’s Not Dead.) have proven that this is certainly possible, and King Khan now joins them with an impressive production. ‎We know (and appreciate) the prolific Canadian musician/producer as an indomitable maverick in the garage rock scene, so frankly I was a little surprised to see him in a more obliging role: he’s responsible for the original score to the Mass Appeal x Thirteen Ten Florida Street documentary The Invaders (watch the trailer here), which recounts the rise and fall of a militant black power group in the late 1960s. It works out very well. King Khan composed and performed* eighteen soulful garage psych tunes, largely more subdued than we are used to from him, but each with memorable hooks or a mesmerizing melody – from haunting string pieces and propulsive instrumental grooves to full throttle rock songs. Standout tracks include protest song America Goddamn, the hip-swinging A Tree Not A Leaf Am I, and the intense Children Of The World which is most classic Khan, but there are many more good ideas here. Cool, funky and urgent.

“The Invaders film is not just a documentary it’s a hard core lesson to all activists to put in the work and find out what every community needs, addressing these individual needs and simply caring for the wounds that rot when ignored.” – King Khan

The Invaders – Original Film Score is out now digitally and on limited multicolored interstellar splatter vinyl 2-LP (45 rpm) through Ernest Jenning Record Co. / Khannibalism. Note: a handful of these tracks have previously appeared on limited and now out of print 7”s during the filmmaking process, often in alternate versions, but this mark’s the first time all of are available in one place. *With King Khan on vocals, guitar, piano, bass, organ, bongos, synth. Also featuring Saba Lou, Amabelle Anjum Khan, Reka Cziser, Big Fred Roller, Jeans Redemann, Nene Baratto, Max Weissenfeldt, Mirko Wenzel, Omri Gondor, Till Timm, Adan Jodorowsky, Kim Tibbs, Larry Mullins, Ernest C. Withers, Miron Zownir, Cody Simpson, Johnny Grew, Trishes Jackson, Ben Ra, Pamelia Stickney, El Congo Allen, Simon Wojan, Gillian Rivers, Simon Nussbruch and Ian Svenonius.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Ernest Jenning

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of July 2023

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

July brought us tributes to Pierre Kezdy of Naked Raygun (Godspeed), Bob Dylan (Bob for Bob), Nick Drake (The Endless Colored Ways), The La Bamba soundtrack (by Classic Pat) and Beach Boys (by Pedico), to name a few, but probably most notable in the cover area were the A.I. generated Barbie Girl version by (not) Johnny Cash and FIDLAR’s take on Limp Bizkit’s Nookie. However, we prefer some other releases.

Big Mouth || Cover: Geoff Palmer || Original: The Muffs
How cool is this? An International Tribute to The Muffs, that sounds like a great idea, right? Let’s thank Argentinian community label Grudda Records for making this a reality. You get no less than 26 punk rock acts that play a song by the amazing band of the late Kim Shattuck, including Caroline & The Treats, The Queers, The Hawaiians, Janelles, Fievre, F.A.N.T.A., Beatnik Termites and Geoff Palmer. You’ll understand how difficult it is to choose just one track.

New album: Sleepy Jean || Shoot Me In A Dream

It’s not that often you hear vocals that blend Amy Winehouse’s soul, Tami Neilson’s tears and Dusty Springfield’s passion, but listen to Sleepy Jean‘s Once Held My Heart and be enchanted (goosebumps alert at 1:55). It’s one of the standout tracks from her debut full-length Shoot Me In A Dream, following up on her first EP Idle Hands (2021).

Sleepy Jean is the moniker of Canadian singer-songwriter Katelynn Gatta (her friends say Katey). Not only does she have an amazing and versatile voice, she also knows how to create strong songs with relatable personal lyrics. There are eleven of them here, atmospheric, melancholic and cinematic – a combination of alt-country and space age pop with surf and spaghetti western influences – with a 60s feel. Wonderful.

Shoot Me in a Dream, largely produced by Dajaun Martineau, is out now digitally via Flying Colors Music. Featuring Sleepy Jean (vocals, acoustic guitar), Dan Serre (electric guitars, bass), Marshall Bureau (drums, percussion, vibraphone), Bryden Baird (horns), Benjamin Goerzen (cello, contrabass), Waylon Glintz (bass), Brian Barber (organ, synth) and Kelsey Gatta (background vocals).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

Dusted || The 10 Best Cover Songs Of June 2023

Not all new music is really new, as many artists cover songs. Sometimes these are songs by their favorite artists, eg as a tribute to such a musical hero for a special reason, or they simply feel that a song deserves to be dusted and polished to reacquaint fans with great songs from the past. Other times, bands cover songs as a parody. Regardless of intent, some of those cover versions are so good or so much fun, we’d like to put a spotlight on them. Chosen from a wide range, here are – in random order – ten of our favorite covers from last month – links to the pages where you can add them to your wantlist included.

In June we stumbled upon new cover releases from Son Volt (Day Of The Doug: The Songs Of Doug Sahm), Sparkle*Jets U.K. (Best Of Friends), Vista Blue (Runaway), Billy Cobb (I Stole Every Song), Austin Lucas (Reinventing Against Me!), Pantzig (Can I Borrow Some Talent), John Dowler’s Vanity Project (Jukebox Amnesia), Classic Pat (Why Not? Vol. One), The BellRays (Ball Of Confusion), Skeewiff (Exclusive Blend / Spanish Flea), Amanda Shires & Bobbie Nelson (Loving You), contemporary country & folk artists (Prairie Biscuits) and various Milwaukee musicians (Cherryland’s movie soundtrack compilation Covered In Celluloid), and quite a few individual songs, but we would like to push the following tunes to the forefront.

You’re the One That I Want || Cover: Bonzos || Original: John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
Spanish punk band Bonzos returned with a 7″ single on Family Spree Recordings, converting the 1978 hit from the Grease soundtrack into a punk rock version for the A side. It doesn’t take much imagination to understand that this works out very well. Party time! The flipside and artwork are pretty cool too.

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