Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Phil Driver Unsigned Soul Column

Phil Driver Unsigned Soul Column @bluesandsoul.com
Phil Driver Unsigned Soul Column @bluesandsoul.com Tour De 4Force: Quiet Moon Jose James: BlackMagic Adriana Evans: Walking The Night Jeff Ramsey: My Best Dira: Something About The Girl Eddie Sea: Starz Dreemtime: New York Lounge Funk The Neo Jazz Project: TNJP Live Tropical Fish Ebony Evans: You Did It All Cool Million Ft. Eugene Wilde: Back For More Freddie Lee: Beyond Comparision Trizonna McClendon: Shatter Proof

Welcome to the first of what is hopefully going to be a regular column here in Blues & Soul (thanks for the invite Lee!).

Iâm going to be covering all things independent and soulful. Iâll also be looking at some of the more obscure âunsignedâ stuff that regularly lands in my in-box.

I know what youâre thinking; youâre comfortable with the independent soul scene, but isnât the unsigned scene full of wannabe artists making crap music in their bedrooms? Well, in many respects, youâre absolutely right; there is an awful lot of rubbish out there. But buried among all the dross are some real gems that are worthy of wider attention.

As Iâve learned over the past couple of years, the tag âunsignedâ shouldnât be taken as an indication of low quality. In truth, the lines between âsignedâ and âunsignedâ are getting ever more blurred. The days of an artist signing a lucrative multi-album contract with a label are long gone.

Instead, what we have now is a combination of long-established independent record labels like Expansion, Dome and Shanachie releasing (or licensing) artist albums on an album-by-album basis, together with independent artists releasing their own albums on their own smaller record labels. These days, the terms âunsignedâ and âindependentâ really just mean that the artist isnât on Sony.

Like most soul fans, Iâm only interested in the music. I donât care if it comes to me in a highly-styled CD from an established label, or on a Tesco CD-R! If I like the music, I play it on my radio show. If I donât, it goes in the reject pile.

Does it matter if the girl on the CD cover is pretty? Nope. Does it make a difference if the PR blurb tells me the artistâs uncle once played the tambourine on an Earth Wind and Fire album? Nope.

All that really matters is the music.

So, the purpose of this column each month will be to provide you with information about soul music and soul artists that might not be getting any (or enough) attention in the mainstream music press.

Iâm not a record reviewer, and Iâve no intention of becoming one. I wonât be reviewing CDs here. What I will be doing is telling you about the music thatâs currently circulating the independent soul scene. Youâre grown up enough to make up your own mind whether you like it or not.

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TOP 5 INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

TOURDE4FORCE â Quiet Moon ******* Sharon Davis Review
www.oceanwavemusicgroup.com

JOSE JAMES â BlackMagic ************ Emrys Baird Review
www.brownswoodrecordings.com

ADRIANA EVANS âWalking The Night
www.expansionrecords.com

JEFF RAMSEY â My Best *************** Sharon Davis Review
www.jefframseymusic.com

DIRA â Something About The Girl ***** Emrys Baid Review
www.expansionrecords.com

JUST UNDER THE RADAR

EDDIE SEA â Starz
www.myspace.com/eddieseamusic

DREEMTIME â New York Lounge Funk
www.myspace.com/dreemtimenyc

THE NEO JAZZ PROJECT â TNJP
www.myspace.com/theneojazzproject

LIVE TROPICAL FISH â Life Is Too Short
www.livetropicalfish.it

EBONY EVANS â You Did It All
www.myspace.com/ebonyevans

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THE ESSENTIAL PLAYLIST

A selection of tracks that have featured on the Soul Unsigned radio show throughout February.

Adriana Evans - Never Thought (CD Walking In The Night)
Ashanti Munir â I So Smooth (promo)
Brenda Boykin â Love Is In town (CD Jump Start Music)
Cool Million Ft. Eugene Wilde - Back For More (Sedsoul 7â)
Darnell Kendricks â Joy (CD Smooth Soul Café)
Dreemtime â New York Lounge Funk (CD New York Lounge Funk)
Ebony Evans â Dance My Love With You (CD You Did It All)
Eddie Sea â Enjoy The Times (CD Starz)
Freddie Lee â Higher (CD Beyond Comprehension)
Harlempsychadelic â Cookinâ (promo)
Hulon â Dr Goodfoot (CD First Impressions)
LâRenee â You Donât Have To Cry (Promo)
Leon Beal - Good Love (CD Contemporary Soul Songbook Vol 2)
Lisa Zure â Sweet Fruit (promo)
Live Tropical Fish â Run And Hide (CD The Day Is Too Short)
Maiko Watson â Some Kinda Love (CD Sweet Vibration)
Marc Staggers â Cant Get Enough Of This Groove (CD Then & Now)
Marshall Badger â He Did It All For You (CD P.U.S.H)
Michael Ross â The River Walk (CD A Special Thing)
Monday Michiru â Sands Of Time (CD Jump Start Music)
Papik â Rhythm Of Life (CD Rhythm Of Life)
SaâMya â Daydreaming (promo)
The Neo Jazz Project âLove Surreal (CD TNJP)
Tourde4force â Little Things (CD Quiet Moon)
Trizonna McClendon â Shatter Proof (CD New Familiar)
Vinyl Soul â Sabor a mi (CD Dream)

Til next time...
Phil

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Please feel free to contact Phil Driver at phil@bluesandsoul.com with any unsigned soul news that you feel would benefit others - Thank you.

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