Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Column

Phil Driver Unsigned Soul Column

Phil Driver's Unsigned Soul on Blues & Soul
Phil Driver's Unsigned Soul on Blues & Soul Robbie Vincent @bluesandsoul.com Peter Young @bluesandsoul.com Mike Chadwick @bluesandsioul.com Colourful Radio @bluesandsoul.com Stomp Radio @bluesandsoul.com Solar Radio @bluesandsoul.com Starpoint Radio @bluesandsoul.com Paul Miller @bluesandsoul.com Cool Million: Back For More Angela Johnson; It's Personal Live Tropical Fish: The Day Is Too Short To Be Selfish Thomas G: Influences United We Cure: Various Virtual Jazz Band: The Jazz Club Carmichael: Fantasy Rain Leela James: My Soul Christophe De Villa: Jazz and Soulful Leon Beal: Keep On Pushing

Letâs rewind to 1979. Iâm 15 years old and Iâve just landed a Saturday job filling up freezers in my local Bejam. Until a few weeks earlier, my pocket money and paper-round money had amounted to just over 4 quid, which was about enough for four 7â singles or a couple of 12 inchersâ¦or maybe even an album, as long as it wasnât one of those expensive shrink-wrapped imports. But when the Bejam dosh started rolling in, I suddenly found myself with £15 a week to spend on records. Cool..!

Thatâs the good news. The bad news was that, living in Cambridge at the time, and still too young to go clubbing, my only real exposure to soul music was the Robbie Vincent show on Radio London. Unfortunately, the show went out during the day on a Saturday, from late morning into early afternoon, exactly the time I was working at Bejam!

The solution was a rather convoluted one. Iâd take a transistor radio to work with me and spend my lunch hour listening to the middle part of Robbieâs show up on the top floor of a nearby multi-story car-park (it was the only place to get a decent reception). Then, back at home, my dear mum was tasked with taping the beginning and end of the show on a couple of BASF C-90 tapes! Bless her. She had to keep popping upstairs to my bedroom every 45 minutes to flip the cassette over and hit PLAY+REC again!

How things have changed. 30 years on, and now anyone who wants to listen to soul music on the radio is spoilt for choice. It doesnât matter where you live or how unsociable your work life might be, you can get your weekly dose of soul on the radio without breaking a sweat.

Through internet streams, you can listen to pretty much any FM station from anywhere in the world, as well as the ever-expanding list of âinternet onlyâ stations that provide a wide selection of shows from a variety of DJs. And if you miss your favourite show, youâre pretty much guaranteed to be able to catch it via a podcast.

Itâs a bit like the explosion of choice when satellite TV first took off in the 90s. Instead of having to settle for just a handful of radio shows, youâre now inundated with choice. Sadly, as always with choice, there comes a fair dollop of crap. Not every DJ who plays soul music on the radio is worth listening to. If we continue with the satellite TV analogy, itâs fair to say that we have one or two âshopping channelâ DJs out there.

Personally, I steer clear of the boring and predictable âoldies onlyâ shows. Iâve got nothing against oldies per se, but I think Iâve heard Michael Wycoffâs 'Looking Up To you' just one time too many. And I can never understand how a DJ who likes the classic oldies canât also give some support and much-needed air time to todayâs soul releases too. Are they frightened to play something new and unknown because it will upset their audience? Or maybe theyâre just too damn lazy to find out whatâs currently out there. Complacency, Iâm sure, also plays its part. No names mentioned.

I prefer to spend my time listening to DJâs who still show some passion for discovering and sharing new music. Peter Young and Mike Chadwick on Jazz FM, and Andy Peebles on Smooth still take some beating. All three are highly experienced and respected DJs who could easily just live off their reputations, but instead they continue to promote and support new music, regardless of what record label itâs been released on.

And Paul Miller, whose soul show goes out on various BBC Local Radio stations (Berks, Solent, Sussex, Surrey) gives a weekly master class in how to effectively merge classic oldies and new releases into a show that keeps everyone happy.

The smaller internet stations are also a great source of new soul music. The schedules of UK-based stations like...

Starpoint www.starpointradio.co.uk

Solar www.solarradio.com

Stomp Radio www.stompradio.com

Colourful colourfulradio.com

...are chock-full of shows by DJs who are still enthusiastic about finding and promoting new music.

So, soul fans of 2010 rejoice. Count yourself very lucky that itâs not still 1979. You can listen to as much soul music on the radio as you want to, and thereâs no need to rely on your mum and a stack of C-90 tapes to do it!

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TOP 5 INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

Cool Million â Back For More
myspace:coolmillionproductions
Angela Johnson â Itâs Personal
www.domerecords.co.uk
Live Tropical Fish â Life is too short
www.livetropicalfish.it
United We Cure â Various Artists
www.privacywear.com
Thomas G â Influences
myspace:funkythomas

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JUST UNDER THE RADAR

Virtual Jazz Band â The jazz club
www.virtualjazzband.com
Carmichael â Fantasy rain
www.onemicmusic.com
Leela James â My soul
www.leelajames.com
Christophe De Villa â Jazz and soulful
www.christophedevilla.com
Leon Beal â Keep on pushing
www.leonbeal.com

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THE ESSENTIAL PLAYLIST

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

Adolphos James â Shoop (promo)
Amar Khalil â Born Again (EP Born Again)
Antoinette â Indulgence (promo)
Ashanti Munir â So Smooth (promo)
Brooke Taylor â When This Feeling (promo)
Cherri Prince â Just Say hi (promo)
Christophe De Villa â You Are My Girl (CD Jazz and soulful)
Cool Million â Various (CD Back for more)
Daniel Moore â Halfway Love (CD Iamdanialmoore)
Full Blast â Stars in your eyes (CD Put you on blast)
GroovProject â Natural High (promo)
Ife â Love Is Where You Are (EP Crescendo)
Jason Little â Like Whoa (promo)
Jay Q â Treat Me Right (CD From my soul)
Katzuma â With Time (Record Kicks 7â)
Leela James â Tell Me You Love Me (CD In my soul)
Leon Beal â Good Love (CD Keep on pushing)
Live Tropical Fish â Various (CD Life is too short)
Lovesound â Sunshine (promo)
Mamaâyo â Waiting (promo)
Moonshoes â Boogieland (CD Boogieland)
Princess Freesia â Various (CD Freesian fields)
Re:Jazz â Luv Connection (Mop mop remix)
Reneda â Rest Of My Life (CD Never give up)
Saba â Life (promo)
Soul Cycle â Above The Clouds (CD Mosaic)
Steven Stone Ft Tasha â Get Up (Soul deluxe remix)
Sule â Feels Good (promo)
The New Congress â With Me (CD Anguish, love and romance)
Tyrone Lee â What Took You So Long (promo)
Zanovia â In The Morning (EP This is for you)

Phil Driver

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Please feel free to contact Phil Driver with any Unsigned news that you feel would benefit others... Also feel free to drop Phil a line if you are a talented Unsigned artist phil@bluesandsoul.com Thank you.

Read the B&S reviews for Soul Unsigned releases Soul Unsigned Vol.4 & Soul Unsigned [Summer] Session

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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