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 Cool Million: Back For More Angela Johnson: It's Personal Dira: Something About The Girl The Whispers Orchestra: T.W.O. Tour De 4Force: Quiet Moon Joyo Velarde: Love and understanding The New Congress: Anguish, Love & Romance Soul Over The Race Vol. 1: Various Artists

Iâm sure by now youâve seen the latest Marks & Spencer television advert featuring the soundtrack of Cheryl Lynnâs âGot To Be Realâ. Nestlé are using The Jackson 5âs âABCâ in their latest adverts for the Aero bar, and Marvin Gayeâs âA Funky Space Reincarnationâ stole the show from a semi-naked Charlize Theron in the Dior advert for JâAdore.

The ad men, it seems, still think that soul music has a place in our society. Which is why Iâm more mystified than ever as to why todayâs soul music is almost entirely ignored by the popular media.

Part of the problem, of course, is that soul music is no longer supported by the major record labels. Some persist with a few long-established ânameâ soul acts (who are clearly well beyond their sell-by date), but thereâs no mainstream support for new soul artists. And I mean proper soul artists; the ones who make music that appeals to people over the age of 12.

I remember back in the late '70s and early '80s when the charts were littered with commercial soul music. Every week on Top Of The Pops we were treated to performances from the likes of Chic, Kool & The Gang, Imagination, Earth Wind & Fire, and Chaka Khan. Most of them became (and still are) household names. This kind of popular media coverage and general acceptance and awareness of commercial soul music is now, sadly, just a distant memory.

This is a real shame because there are numerous acts on the current independent soul scene who are producing very high-quality commercial soul music that is tailor-made for general radio airplay and media exposure. Perhaps the best example of this is the production duo of Frank Ryle and Rob Hardt, better known as Cool Million.

If you havenât done so already, take a listen to Cool Millionâs newly released album Back For More . Itâs chock full of feel-good soul music, perfect for commercial radio. Thereâs only thing stopping it from achieving the commercial success that it so clearly deserves; through a combination of fear and narrow-mindedness, no major record label will dare to take a punt on a genre of music that isnât already widely represented in the charts and media.

So, while high-quality soul music (of the type so clearly adored by the advertising execs) is still being made, thereâs no one out there with the commercial clout to bring that new music to the awareness of the masses. As a soul music fan and DJ, that makes me very sad and somewhat frustrated. Iâm sure Cool Millionâs Frank and Robbie feel the same way. And then some.

Top 5 Independent Albums

Cool Million â Back For More
http://www.myspace.com/coolmillionproductions

Angela Johnson â Itâs Personal
www.domerecords.co.uk
Emrys Baird Review

The Whispers Orchestra â T.W.O.
www.thewhispersorchestra.com

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

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

JUST UNDER THE RADAR

The New Congress â Anguish, Love & Romance www.thenewcongress.com

Soul Over The Race Vol. 1 â Various Artists www.sweetsoulrecords.com

Joyo Velarde â Love And Understanding www.joyovelarde.com

Daniel Moore â I Am Daniel Moore www.iamdanielmoore.com

United We Cure â Various Artists www.privacywear.com

The Essential Playlist

A selection of tracks that have featured on the www.soulunsigned.co.uk radio show throughout March.

Adriana Evans â Set in stone (CD Walking In The Night)
Bashiri Asad â I am (promo)
Charlie Brown â Hell on my hands (CD The Strongest Man)
Cool Million â Making love (CD Back For More)
Daniel Moore â Halfway love (CD I Am Daniel Moore)
Deannah Dukes â I tried (promo)
Dira â Get through to you (CD Something About The Girl)
Ebony Evans â Can you handle love (CD You Did It All)
Eddie Sea â Enjoy the times (CD Starz)
Elton Franklin â I got it (CD A Better Man)
Gentlemens Agreement â Breakaway (promo)
Hard Logic â Shrivelspork (promo)
Hulon â Dr Goodfoot (CD First Impressions)
Ife â Aim to please (EP Crescendo)
Jamie Leo â Mr Smooth (promo)
Live Tropical Fish â Double dream (CD The Day Is Too Short)
MamaYo â Waiting (promo)
Moonshoes â Everybody (CD Boogieland)
Noel â Moments of love (promo)
Pamela K â Make it work (promo)
Pamela Williams â Pillow talk (CD Chameleon)
Pvibez Ft Dee Freer â No fantasy (promo)
Sak â Donât let me be lonely tonight (CD Soul Over The Race)
Soul Personna Ft Marvin Gaye â Ainât that peculiar (promo)
Soulganic â Temporary thrill (CD From The Storm To The Sun)
Sun Singleton â Moment (CD Bing Cherry)
Ta-Ma-La-Neh â So far away (promo)
Tashan â Soul survivor (promo)
The Neo Jazz Project â My man (CD TNJP)
The New Congress â Anguish, love and romance (CD Anguish, love and romance)
Tyte Rhythms â Soul of my Soul (promo)
Wet Cookies â Somethingâs changing (CD Jump Start Music)

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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