Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Soul of a Woman LP out Nov 17

After Sharon Jones passed away last year, I was watching some of her fantastic live shows on Youtube, including one from early in 2016, at a benefit for radio station KEXP. During that set, Jones introduced a new song that they were recording. I remember watching that and wondering if that recording would ever see the light of day. Saw this email today from Daptone....

"We are proud to announce Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' final studio album, Soul of a Woman - a lush, orchestral masterpiece. A true testament to the life and career of Daptone's fearless leader and one of the world's greatest performers.

In the year prior to her death from pancreatic cancer in 2016, Sharon Jones toured and performed tirelessly, and was also the subject of Miss Sharon Jones!, an acclaimed documentary by Oscar-Winning director Barbara Kopple.

Yet somehow, the beloved and heroic soul singer found time to complete a studio album. Soul of a Woman features eleven songs which reveal that the emotion, dynamics, and drama of Jones' voice remained at full power until her final days."

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - Soul of a Woman LP out Nov 17, preorder at Daptone store

Pre-order options include:
  • Limited Turquoise color vinyl LP
  • Turquoise Color Vinyl LP with choice of slipmat (single)
  • Men's Grey and Navy Blue T-shirts w/Standard Black Color Vinyl LP
  • Soul of a Woman Slipmat (Single / Pair)
  • Sharon Jones High School Portrait Slipmat (Single / Pair)
  • Soul of a Woman + It's A Holiday Soul Party Album Bundles

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, October 7

Tall Black Guy - Tale of two
The Headhunters - God made me funky
Gil Scott Heron - Inner city blues
Amerigo Gazaway/Fela Brown - Funky black president
Willie Mitchell - Percolatin'
Cliff Nobles - Judge baby, I'm back
The Supremes - Love is like an itching in my heart
Fontella Bass and Bobby McClure - Don't mess up a good thing
Detroit Emeralds - Showtime
The Esquires  -You've got the power
The Impressions - Rhythm
Menahan st band - The contender
Antibalas - Che che cole makossa
Woima Collective - Woima
Segun Bucknor - La la la
Sahara All Stars of Jos - Take your soul
Puzzle People - French fried boogie
Recloose - Why I otta
Nextmen vs Joe Dukie - Blow wind blow
Benny Tones feat Mara TK - Firefly
Shogun Orchestra - Mifune
Quincy Jones - Hummin'
Eartha Kitt - I want to be evil
Brute force and his drum  - Weird and wonderful
Blackfeather  -The rat suite (main title)
The ID - Feel awright
Chi-lites - Stoned out of my mind

Friday, October 06, 2017

Martha High x Osaka Monaurail - album drops November 17

"Martha High has been an integral part of James Brown’s life and career for more than 30 years. After a lifetime spent shoulder to shoulder with the Godfather of Soul, she flew to Tokyo and teamed up with Japanese funk ambassadors Osaka Monaurail to record her new album “Tribute to My Soul Sisters” that hits the streets worldwide next November 17 on Record Kicks.

You can now listen to the first single from the album “A Little Taste Of Soul”, originally recorded in 1962 by her soul sister Sugar Pie, available on digital download and limited edition 45 vinyl on October 20.

“Tribute to My Soul Sisters” was hatched back in 2014, when Martha High was visiting the producer Dj Pari, head honcho of the Soulpower organization and tight collaborator of soul legends like The Impressions, Lyn Collins and Marva Whitney.

"I looked up to these ladies of soul" says Martha, "Given the opportunity and the pleasure to perform their songs, is my way of saying: thank you, you're not forgotten. To record the music of the Funky Divas would mean a lot to Mr Brown. He always wanted the world to know he had powerful women on stage that could hold his crowd while he was off the stage; they were just as powerful and funky as he was."

Without further ado, following DJ Pari’s advice, she partnered up with one of the hottest name of the new funk renaissance: Japan’s Osaka Monaurail. Deeply influenced by the work of James Brown, Bobby Byrd, Curtis Mayfield and with nine albums under the belt, Osaka Monaurail have been leading the international funk scene for more than two decades, appearing at festivals such as Montreal Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival and Womads, as well as recording and touring with funk legends like Marva Whitney and Fred Wesley.

Born in Victoria, Virginia and discovered by Rock & Roll pioneer Bo Diddley, Martha took off her career with the soulful, legendary doo-wop group "The Four Jewels”, with whom she scored the national hit "Opportunity" in 1964. Soon, The Jewels caught the attention of James Brown and joined the “James Brown Revue” in 1966.

The Godfather of Soul recorded and released several songs featuring The Jewels until the group disbanded. Nevertheless, Martha stayed with James Brown and continued to work with him as his personal vocalist for 32 years.

She was with him at the Boston Garden during the iconic 1968 gig after Martin Luther King’s assassination, she was by his side when he performed at renowned ‘Rumble in The Jungle’ event in Zaire."

Remembering Charles Bradley

Shot and cut by Living On Soul filmmakers Jeff Broadway and Cory Bailey.

"Cory and I arrived in London in late June 2014 to meet up with the Daptone Super Soul Revue. We'd just recently met Neal Sugarman in New York, and knew almost no one on the tour. Upon touchdown, we were told we'd be riding with Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires for the next 10 days on their tour bus. Some of the guys in the band were a bit skeptical, and understandably so. We were a couple of unknowns with cameras, eager to use them. Charles was not one of the skeptical ones, though. He immediately embraced us and made us feel welcomed on his bus.

We shared some long rides together over that week and a half. The longest of which was Paris to Vienna - a 12-hour cruise that took us through France, Germany and eventually into Austria. It was on that bus ride that Cory and I played the most epic card game of our lives against Charles and his Spades partner, Extraordinaires saxophonist Freddy DeBoe.

Charles and Freddy won the first game handily and Charles quickly challenged us to a rematch. This time, though, he wanted to raise the stakes (and play to 1,000). He'd been trying to get Cory to stop smoking cigarettes, so he said: 'Cory - if we beat you this game, no more cigarettes on tour. And Jeff - well you don't smoke cigarettes, but no more Buddha (marijuana) for you if Freddy and I win.' We took that bet, but told Charles that if he and Freddy lost, that he'd have to sing a song in Vienna at a location of our choosing, a cappella. He agreed. The stakes were high.

Fortunately, Charles and Freddy lost that marathon game of Spades; and on July 1, 2014, Cory and I took Charles to St. Stephen's Cathedral in the heart of Vienna. We walked the church together; Charles marveled at its beauty and antiquity. You could just tell that no matter where he was in the world, Charles felt at home inside a house of worship.

We walked back outside and could tell he was a bit nervous. We gave him an out, telling him if he needed to save his voice for the gig that night, that we understood. But he wasn't interested. A bet was a bet and he'd lost. He was singing in that cathedral plaza. So we set up our cameras in front of St. Stephen's and gave him a cue to begin.

'I'm a victim, of loving you,' he belted out. People began stopping dead in their tracks. 'I'm a victim, of wanting you,' he continued. A crowd gathered. His voice must have carried a square mile. He concluded his a cappella performance with a signature scream. Applause filled the cathedral plaza. We hugged Charles, thanked him for such a special performance, and took him for a glass of white wine before returning to the hotel."

- Jeff Broadway

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 30

Bobby Hughes Combination - Kerma elastica
Maxwell Implosion - Tic tac (Nicola Conte remix)
Dizzy Gillespie - Manteca (Funky Lowlives remix)
Oscar Brown Jr - Brother where are you (Matthew Herbert remix)
Cinematic Orchestra feat Fontella Bass - All that you give
Neneh Cherry and The THing - Dream baby dream (Four Tet remix)
El Michels Affair feat The Shacks, Lee Fields - Tearz
El Michels Affair - Walk on by
Charles Bradley - The world is going up in flames
Charles Bradley - Aint it a sin
Charles Bradley - Why is it so hard?
Charles Bradley - Strictly reserved for you
Chubby Checker  -You better believe it baby
Barbara Acklin - Just aint no love
The Dynamics - The love that I need
Gene Chandler - Such a pretty thing
Otis Redding - Papa's got a brand new bag
Eddie Warner -Brutus drums
James Brown - Bring it up
Lunar Funk - Mr Penguin Pt 1
War - Me and baby brother
Prince Charles and the City Beat Band - Don't fake the funk
Digital Underground - Way we swing (remix)
A Tribe Called Quest - Find a way (inst)
Jurassic 5  - Monkey bars (inst)
DLT - Thoth 1.1
Sound Foundation - Ram dancehall
Dawn Penn - No no no
Laurel Atkin - Rise and fall of Laurel Atkin

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sunny and the Sunliners collection coming on Big Crown

Sunny and the Sunliners LP cover

"When it comes to living legends in the Texas and Latin Music pantheon, few have been at it longer and are more revered by their fans and peers than soul vocalist and Mexican-American songwriter and bandleader Sunny Ozuna. Born and raised in San Antonio, where he still resides, Sunny became a star right out of high school in the late ‘50s and hasn’t looked back in the six decades since.

Among countless other honors and notable achievements, Sunny was the first Latino artist to appear on Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” (in 1963). Songs like “Put Me In Jail,” “Talk To Me,” “Should I Take You Home,” “My Dream” and “Smile Now, Cry Later” still bring crowds to their feet throughout the Southwest and California and around the world at “oldies” and “lowrider soul” events. And after releasing dozens of albums since the mid-1960s (in Spanish and English), Sunny still keeps a busy schedule and loves performing as much as he did as a teenager. His classic 45s regularly change hands for hundreds of dollars among collectors around the world, affirming his timeless appeal.

This new compilation on Brooklyn’s acclaimed Big Crown label – home to Lee Fields, Lady Wray, The El Michels Affair and many more – is a lovingly curated selection of songs from the years 1966 to 1972. All compositions were originally released on Sunny’s Key-Loc label, formed after his national star had been established, so he could have control of his own musical destiny.

“For me the reason why Sunny is important is very simple,” says Big Crown’s Danny Akalepse. “He contributed all this great music to the world, but that is just scratching the surface. He’s a huge part of the Tejano music scene and one of its creators. And he started his own label in the ‘60s, they did everything inhouse. As an indie label ourselves, this hits home for us for obvious reasons.”

As Akalepse explains about the Ozuna-approved tracklist, “We chose our own Sunny favorites and laid everything out so the LP would be a great listen, first and foremost. There are several cuts on here that I have played out and loved – as a DJ and record fanatic – for many, many years. ‘Mr. Brown Eyed Soul’ is not necessarily a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation, although it obviously has a bunch of them on here. In the end, this is our take on the crème-de-la-creme of Sunny’s English language soul tunes.”

With Sunny hits – a mix of originals and some great covers thrown in – ranging from ballads like “My Dream,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and “Outside Looking In”; to mid-tempo soul groovers “Should I Take You Home,” “Put Me In Jail” and “The One Who’s Hurting Is You”; and the ultra funky “Get Down”; Mr. Brown Eyed Soul is an excellent celebration of Ozuna’s amazing body of work, and a perfect introduction to Sunny for newcomers.

Lovingly chosen by the owners of Big Crown and in full collaboration and cooperation with Ozuna himself, the CD and LP packaging includes liner notes by Texas Music scholar and archivist Ramon Hernandez, and features dozens of rare photos provided by Sunny himself."

Out Friday  22 Sept, get it from Big Crown Records

READ: Great backgrounder that talks with Sunny and Danny about how the collection came together, from The Village Voice

Sunday, September 24, 2017

RIP Charles Bradley

Sad news from Daptone Records:

Charles Edward Bradley
November 5th, 1948 - September 23rd, 2017

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley.

Charles was truly grateful for all the love he’s received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:
- All-Stars Project:
- Music Unites: 

Bradley made two visits to NZ, I was lucky enough to catch him on the 2nd one, at The Powerstation. He was a wonderful performer, soulful, earthy, and so happy to be on stage, singing for the people.

From Rolling Stone: "Bradley notably began his career as a James Brown impersonator in 1967 and would perform periodically over the next several decades while he drifted across the United States, battling illiteracy, poverty and chronic unemployment.

His luck turned, however, after Daptone Records co-founder Gabriel Roth saw his James Brown act and linked him with Tom Brenneck, who would go on to produce Bradley's three albums. After recording numerous singles during the 2000s, Bradley released his debut album, No Time For Dreaming, in 2011 at the age of 62."

Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer in October 2016 and he took a break from performing. He successfully completed treatment and returned to live shows, promoting his third album Changes that came out that year. At the start of this month news broke that Bradley's cancer had spread to his liver and he stopped touring to get further treatment.

Daptone says Bradley passed away on Saturday in Brooklyn, "surrounded by family and friends including members of the bands he worked closely with: Menahan Street Band, His Extraordinaires, Budos Band and the Jimmy Hill Allstarz."

from NYT: '... Concerts often ended with Mr. Bradley in the crowd, embracing people one by one, with the singer near tears.

“I think he wanted to hug each person on this planet individually,” Gabe Roth of Daptone said. “I mean that literally, and anyone that ever saw him knows that he honestly tried.”

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 23

3 Generations Walking  - Midnight bustling (Midnight rockers mix by Francois K)
St Germain - Sure thing
Nightmares on Wax - Damn
Orange Juice - Rip it dub (Dicky Trisco edit)
Bonobo feat Erykah Badu - Heaven for the sinner
Andreya Triana - Far closer (Mr Scruff remix)
Lord Echo feat Lisa Tomlins - Creator has a master plan
Junkyard Band - The Word
KRS One - Jack of spades
Katalyst feat Stephanie Mackay - Say what you feel
Bunny Sigler - Let the good times roll
Otis and Carla - Knock on wood
Etta James - Seven day fool
Darondo - Luscious lady
Sonny Knight and the Lakers - Sugarman
The Triads - Now I can hold my head up high
Jimmy Castor - E Man Boogie 82
A Different Bag - Let's put it together
Ardijah - That's the way
Uncle Louie - Full tilt boogie
Kenny Dope & Mad Racket - Supa
Black Samurai feat Daddy Freddy, Ragga Twins - Information critic
Collen and Webb - Golden (Jamaican jerk off)
Kion and Murda feat Junior Murvin  -No 1 sound
Skatalites - Coconut rock
Sound Dimension - Heavy rock
Cedric Im Brooks - Mun dun go

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Zealand Hip Hop Summit is back

The New Zealand Hip Hop Summit is back and will be held at the Toia Recreation Centre & Ōtāhuhu Pātaka Kōrero Library in South Auckland on the 25th November 2017.

"This will be our 3rd event since 2012! Another fantastic opportunity to come along with your whanau and experience a dazzling day with live music, colourful aerosol art, live breaking and Deejay scratch jams, song writing and beat making workshops and showcase of Aoteraoa's best of the best in Beatboxing, Emceeing, Deejaying, Breaking and Popping, ending the day with our very own Hip Hop awards.

"Our aim is to bring communities together to celebrate NZ Hip Hop success with the focus on engaging with our young people in a positive fashion and developing their skills and talents thru the 9 elements of Hip Hop culture. Our Kaupapa is peace, love and unity and safely having fun. It will be a day the whole family enjoy and remember" - Queen Shirl'e.

Nicole Willis and UMO Jazz Orchestra album coming

My name is Nicole Willis album cover

"Nicole Willis, known for her collaborations with The Soul Investigators & Jimi Tenor, presents "My Name Is Nicole Willis", an album that includes some of the tracks she composed with the former as well as originals composed specifically for a fresh collaboration with UMO Jazz Orchestra.

Multi-faceted artist and musician Jimi Tenor has penned all arrangements for the big band and their talented rhythm section. Pete Toikkanen who is a mega-talented guitarist from The Soul Investigators, along with both Jimi and Ms Willis, composed those original tracks that highlight their alternative influences.

Indie god & personal hero of Ms Willis, Ian Svenonius introduces her on the first track and wraps up the LP on the closer. Ms Willis delves into her Northern Soul anthems with "One In A Million", "Together We Climb" and "Break Free (Shake A Tailfeather)" and with the never released "(Everybody) Do The Watusi".

For their part UMO Jazz Orchestra add extra horn dynamic and Tenor's arrangements shine throughout, as they have on The Soul Investigators' records. Pete Toikkanen, whose unique style has been a defining asset of the group, gives the UMO Jazz Orchestra a rawness in treatment that they have never quite exhibited before. The mixes flatter all involved and are full-bodied and rich."

Out Sept 29 on Persephone Records , LP/CD/Digital. Audio preview over at Kudos  Recs

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 16

Booker T and the MGs - Day tripper
Sugarman 3 - Turtle walk
Charles Bradley - The world is going up in flames
Ann Sexton  -You're gonna miss me
Laura Lee - Crumbs off the table
Barbara Trent - Heartbreak hotel
Big Mama Thornton - Hound dog
Zilla Mayes - Calypso woman
Four Blazes - All night long
Allen Toussaint - Tequila
Benny Spellman - Fortune teller
Nadine Brown  -Leave me alone
Rufus and Chaka Khan - Tell me something good
Bernie Worrall - Insurance man for the funk
Zapp - More bounce to the ounce
Dexter Story  -Eastern prayer
Ramsey Lewis Trio - Slippin' into darkness
Jimmy McGriff - Bug out
Lee Field - Ladies
King Floyd - My girl
Judy Clay and William Bill - Loveitis
The Emotions - Boss love maker
Freddie Scott - Run Joe
Manzel - Evil wicked mean and nasty (Dopebrother mix)
Radio city feat Bajka - The hop
Marc Mac presents Visioneers - The world is yours
Grace Jones - She's lost control (long version)
Ruts DC - Whatever we do  (RSD remix)
Specials - Ghost town (DJG bootleg)
Poets of rhythm  -Serengeti stroke
Fela Kuti  -Water no enemy

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Frightnrs - versions galore, out Oct 20

The Frightnrs dropped a glorious reggae/rocksteady album back in 2016, now here comes the version excursions...... looking forward to this one...

"It's rare for a debut album, especially one in such a polarizing genre like Reggae, to garner the kind of universal fanfare The Frightnrs' 2016 long player Nothing More To Say received.

Mainly because it's a record that transcends genre specific qualifiers and rhetoric that pigeonhole many albums. It is in the truest sense of the phrase, a great record.

Shortly after its release a single for Dispute (a featured track) was pressed, and like many classic reggae singles, it included a Dub (version) on the B-Side courtesy of famed reggae producer Victor "Ticklah" Axelrod. The single was a smash success which in return inspired Axelrod to produce Dub versions for all the songs on Nothing More To Say."

The result is More To Say Versions. Out October 30 on Daptone Records

Victor Axelrod has worked with the band for a while, you can cop their earliest recordings from 2012 on their Bandcamp page as Name your price downloads, like their single Never Answer, with a tasty dub from Mr Axelrod on the flip. Quality vibes. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Clean out of their minds

The Clean, 1981
The Clean, 1981

Dunedin band The Clean will be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame as part of the APRA Silver Scroll Awards at the Dunedin Town Hall on September 28.

The Clean have rejected the Hall of Fame accolade twice in the past five years.

Last month the band were in the news regarding the supposed snub of Salmonella Dub for induction into the NZ Music Hall of Fame, with The Clean's Robert Scott saying "I think when we were asked it just didn't feel right for us. We feel we are outside the industry, and in the past we were shunned and dismissed and it seems like by saying yes we would be forgiving the industry for that. Of course, with time they are proved wrong as our music has stood the test of time. It's a strange thing dealing with other people's perception of your music and what you stand for as a band."

However, The Clean's David Kilgour explained the change of mind to the ODT this week: "I think the last time we were offered to be inducted, we joked ‘only if you did it in Dunedin’. So this time around ... it is in Dunedin."

ADDED: More background from Hussein Moses at The Spinoff:
The Clean have finally agreed to be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame. Here’s why they changed their mind.

Robert Scott tells Moses "I guess the planets aligned and they got us on the right day. Also, with Peter Gutteridge’s passing, it seemed like a good opportunity because he’ll be inducted with us as well. So it’s recognition for him as well."

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 9

Bassomatic - Fascinating rhythm (Henry's lost dub)
Massive Attack - Spying glass
Manu Chao - Merry blues
Cookin on three burners - Cars
Sam & Dave - Can't you find another way
King Floyd - Do your feeling
Len Barry  - Like a baby
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas - I tried
James Dockery - My faith in you is all gone
Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose - Treat her like a lady
Prince - Controversy
Extra T's - ET boogie
George Kranz - Din daa daa
The Bose  - James Brown (Geisha Boys edit)
Jackson 5 - Get it together (4Hero remix)
Shirley Horn - Return to paradise (Mark de Clive Lowe remix)
Beanfield feat Bajka - Tides (Carl Craig remix)
Salmonella dub - Problems (Sonsine remix)
Rhythm and Sound feat Willi Williams - See me yah/version
Randy's Allstars - Mission impossible
Augustus Pablo - Aquarius rock
Music Doctors - Bush doctor
Henry and Louis - Love and understanding
Wayne McGhie - Fire (she need water)
Jo-Jo and the Fugitives - Chips chicken banana split
Booker T and the MGs - Can't be still
Lonnie Mack - Memphis
Jimmy Castor - Ham hocks espanol
Henry Mancini - Baretta's theme

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Ring The Alarm playlist, September 2

DJ Shinya - Nigerian reggae edit
Chief Ebenezer Obey & his International Brothers - Ajoyio
Ikebe Shakedown - Tujunga
Mulatu and the Heliocentrics - Cha Cha
Issa Bagayogo - Fimani
Sahara Allstars of Jos - Take your soul
The Fantastic Johnny C - Boogaloo down Broadway
Otis Brown and the Delights - Southside Chicago
Eddie Billups - I need someone
Ron Moody and the Centaurs - The new breed
Undisputed truth - You got the love I need
Syl Johnson - Back for a taste of your love
Temptations - Papa was a rolling stone
Ray White Revival - Superstition
Johnny Rocco band - Funky Max
Bootsy Collins - Body slam!
Carl Grubbs - Scorchers (inst)
Womack and Womack  -Teardrops
Gwen Guthrie - Seventh heaven
Cutty Ranks - The Stopper (Richard Dorfmeister meets Markus Kienzl vocal remix)
Ballistic bros - Peckings
The Ethiopians - I'm gonna take over now
Bill Deal and the Rhondels - May I
Bacao rhythm and steel band - Pimp version
Human League - Being boiled
Mantronix - Scream
New Order - Confusion
Gary Clail - Human nature