Funk & Soul

New single: Jo Ann Hamilton and The Kevin Fingier Collective || September b/w I Love Without A Love

Good soul records that honor the 60s sound just keep on coming. After the success of the instrumental double sider Latin Dynamite / El Basement by The Kevin Fingier Collective, which sold out 15 days before the release date, this is Jo Ann Hamilton’s debut single with this band. The A-side presents the Northern Soul track September (if you listen to the lyrics, you’ll realize this title is not misplaced in May), the B-side contains the funky R&B song I love Without A Love. Out now digitally and on 7″ vinyl through Acid Jazz Records subsidiary label Fingier Records.

Jo Ann Hamilton was part of the disco scene in the mid 70s and now, almost 50 years later, the Argentinian producer Kevin Fingier has discovered her great voice. And we are happy with that, right?

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: W.R.D. Trio || The Hit

Anyone who likes instrumental, organ-driven funky jazz (or jazzy funk), like that of Medeski, Martin and Wood for example, should pay attention now. The Hit is the debut album by WRD Trio: acclaimed musicians Robert Walter (The Greyboy Allstars) on Hammond B3 Organ, Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds) on electric guitar, and Adam Deitch (Lettuce) on drums – W.R.D. does not stand for ‘weird’ but are the first letters of the surnames of those involved (their music is also not weird, but quite good). These eleven raw, natural songs are the result of refined musical synchronicity and reveling in vintage straight-to-tape recording techniques. The ‘supergroup’ embraced the immediacy of metamorphosing short demo songs into consummate arrangements with no headphones, minimal overdubs, and live recording. From the classic sound to the cinematic cover art, it all fits – authentic and groovy. The album is out now digitally, on CD and vinyl LP through Color Red Music.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs

New album: Wellsprings Ltd. || Hell Of A Ride

In the 1990s and early 2000s John Kent, Mike Therieau, and Patricio Johnson played countless shows as members of dozens of different bands in the San Francisco Bay Area scene. It’s this scene that spawned Wellsprings Ltd., but as time passed they each went their separate ways. Now in 2021, they have finally regrouped in the studio and created Hell Of A Ride, a great collection of roots infused rock and roll, heavy on the retro soul and classic sounds that made them audience favorites back in the day. Ten strong danceable R&B songs – soulful vocals, great sounding instruments – that can compete with Van Morrison’s work. Listen to I Wanna Know and Doing The Best I Can, two of the album’s standout tracks.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New EP: Family Company || Intersection

Family Company is an LA based music collective featuring musicians who celebrate the traditions of soul, funk, blues and R&B music, and they do it very well. Their new (digital) EP Intersection has four funky instrumental tracks that cry out to hip hop producers to be sampled. Watch and listen to standout track Neon Balloon.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New single: Fulton Street || Disappointment

Not only a lot of good rock music is made in Melbourne, Australia, but also great soul. Fulton Street‘s explosive new single Disappointment proves that. Lead singer Shannen Wick has an amazingly powerful voice and delivers the lyrics convincing and passionate, and her bandmates provide an expressive sound with cinematic strings, funky rhythm and energetic organ. Too bad, that fade-out after 3:10, this song could have lasted a bit longer. Out now via Stoic Records.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Trey Batts || About Time

A lost and found funk treasure from the nineteen-seventies? That’s what I thought when I came across About Time by Trey Batts. It turns out to be a brand new release. Batts, who calls himself a child of the 70’s and 80’s, acknowledges that his sounds are heavily influenced by the artists of the era: ‘Groovy, hooky, warm, familiar and a bit quirky. Think Sly Stone, Frank Zappa, and Kenny Loggins high on Moon Pies back in 74 with a DJ kinda thang.’ This album is a culmination of ideas and musical experimentation meticulously woven together over the better part of the last decade. All songs are written, performed, produced, and engineered by Batts himself. Many hours to capture his soul into sounds, with influences ranging from psychedelic rock, funk, soul, R&B, hip-hop, fusion, and more. Listening to the result is a mind altering trip. This could just become an overlooked funk treasure, good to have discovered it already.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Elizabeth King || Living In The Last Days

Easter weekend feels like an appropriate time to share some fine “Sacred Soul” music. Here’s gospel veteran Elizabeth King’s full length solo debut Living In The Last Days, released today on Good Friday. She joined Memphis’ Gospel Souls in 1969 after seeing them in concert, and stayed 33 years with them. Songs from that period have recently been collected on The D-Vine Spirituals Recordings (2019). At the age of 77, King is back, with a line up of seasoned, Memphis session musicians, to bring recordings of early D-Vine material back to life. It sounds exactly like you hope it sounds: a mighty voice that calls on Mighty Good God and covers the traditional You’ve Got To Move beautifully. The title track stands out. Out now through the Bible & Tire Recording Co. (Big Legal Mess Records, distributed by Fat Possum Records).

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Bible & Tire

New album: Miko Marks & The Resurrectors || Our Country

About 15 years ago, Miko Marks was considered “Nashville’s Hottest New Country Star”, loved by the audiences but not so much by the music industry, which reportedly struggled with a black woman in country music. Disillusioned, a long overdue hiatus from music followed, but fortunately the singer-songwriter is back. With co-producers Steve Wyreman and Justin Phipps (Founder of Redtone Records) she wrote songs reflecting hard truths and the expansive emotions they were all feeling, which she subsequently recorded with Redtone’s house band The Resurrectors. This new LP, Our Country, is out now through Redtone Records and streaming across all platforms. A strong collection, rooted in sounds from country, blues, soul, and roots music, which fits Miko Mark’s distinctive vocals well. Below the official performance video for the track Hard Times. Maybe album closing track Not Be Moved is even better.

‘This album is overall a heartfelt prayer for honesty and reflection. I hope it evokes a sense of urgency around systemic racism, injustice and economic disparity that plagues the underprivileged in our country. I hope the message of compassion and unity rings true and encourages listeners to identify, digest the fullness of the music in a transformative way.’ – Miko Marks

Add to wantlist: Miko Marks Shop

New single: Ruffin Harris || I Dig You / Bright As The Sun

Reno Bo is not only a songwriter, musician, and producer (listen to Lessons From A Shooting Star for example), this year he also founded the new record label Diddy Wah Records, devoted to the continuation and preservation of rhythm & blues, girl groups, doo wop, soul and garage rock music. An initiative that we really appreciate! Diddy Wah will produce new artists and release new material on a monthly basis. Their third single is out now: I Dig You / Bright As The Sun by Ruffin Harris, two great soul / rhythm & blues songs for fans of Wilson Pickett and Sam & Dave. The mighty voice you hear belongs to Jason Eskridge, he’s assisted by Ashley Wilcoxson (background vocals), Doc Marshall (drums), and of course Reno Bo himself (bass, guitar & organs). Let’s hope more like this follows.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp

New album: Har Mar Superstar || Roseville

Sean Tillman aka Har Mar Superstar is one of those beloved illustrious artists who make the music business so entertaining. Anyone who has attended one of his many sweaty over-the-top live shows will never forget him. Although he has been performing for over 20 years and has recorded several albums, I have only been a fan since Bye Bye 17 (2013), with the awesome soul single Lady, You Shot Me. Seventh studio album Roseville has just been released, a career-defining culmination of life and musical experiences, influenced by ’70s stars like Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Carole King, Hall & Oates, and ELO, to name a few (it’s a combination of soul, r&b, and pop – some new songs also remind me of Stevie Wonder, Prince and even The Beach Boys). It’s the first true collaborative effort of the whole touring band: Sean Tillmann (vocals, piano, bass), Aaron Baum (synths, organs, cello, guitar), Ryan Mach (drums, guitar, keys), Nelson Devereaux (clarinet, flute , whistle, bass, sax), Jake Baldwin (trumpet, mellophone, flugelhorn), Adam Hurlburt (bass, synths), Ethan Elseth (guitars, piano), accompanied by various guest musicians. ‘Destination was a place to hide // But somehow you got yourself inside my head instead,’ Har Mar Superstar sings in Where We Began, and that’s what happens with these songs when you listen to this mature and coherent trip.

Add to wantlist: Bandcamp || Discogs || Har Mar Superstar Webstore

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