Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Phil Driver's Unsigned Soul Column (August)

Phil Driver's Unsigned Soul on Blues & Soul
Phil Driver's Unsigned Soul on Blues & Soul Starpoint Radio Hot 20 on Jonathan Butler - So Stong Philip Bailey: Love Is Real Shamika Phoenix: Words (EP) Avery Sunshine Victor: Transparent Temptations: Still Here Augie's Side Effect - About time Patrice Campbell: Garden Of Love Wadz: Various Dorian Wright: Mind Full Of Music Terrell -  That Girl Joonie: Acoustic Love

Although I’ve only just recently started writing for Blues & Soul, I’ve been an avid reader of the magazine ever since I picked up my first copy in Jays Records & Tapes in Cambridge back in ‘75. I can still remember that first mag; it had Marlena Shaw on the cover.

I continued to collect B&S Although I’ve only just recently started writing for Blues & Soul, I’ve been an avid reader of the magazine ever since I picked up my first copy in Jays Records & Tapes in Cambridge back in ‘75. I can still remember that first mag; it had Marlena Shaw on the cover.

I continued to collect B&S until a couple of years ago when a downsizing house move forced me to sell my entire back catalogue. It was, without doubt, the stupidest thing I’ve ever done (flogging the collection of mags, not the downsizing!)

Aside from the latest news and reviews from the UK and Stateside, B&S also had those fantastic centrefold posters. All of the walls (and even the ceiling) in my bedroom at my parents’ house were covered with full-colour glossy pics of the big soul stars of the day. I wanted to marry Diana Ross, dance like Michael Jackson and look/sing like Teddy Pendergrass. Needless to say, I didn’t achieve any of those dreams, but I guess they were a bit ambitious for a 5’5” white boy from Cambridge!

Most of the kids in my class at school were into pop or punk music and showed no interest in soul at all. But as I got older and started working for a living, some of my colleagues were on the fringes of the soul/disco scene. If any of them showed even the vaguest interest in “my” music, I’d do them a C-90 tape compilation of the hot tunes of the moment.

It was a time-consuming business, which involved playing each vinyl record individually, in real time, hitting pause and then rec/play between each record. If a record jumped (they always did when you were recording!), you had to stop the tape, rewind it back to the end of the previous track, re-start the record, and then hit rec/play again. If you’re from that era, you’ll be nodding your head right now with fond memories. If you’re younger, you’ll be thinking “what the f**k!!”

Making up a 90-minute tape used to take about 3 hours, especially after you’d neatly hand-written the contents on the card insert! Those tapes were created with love and devotion, and they were often used as a way of impressing the ladies! What better way to show your true feelings (and desire to get them into bed) than producing a totally unique and personal collection of music for them? Doing a mix tape for a new or prospective girlfriend was the 70s/80s equivalent of cooking a really nice meal.

Sadly, once we got into the mid-90s, people started getting CD burners and the “mix CD” took over from the cassette. It really wasn’t the same. You could knock out an 80 minute CD-R selection of music in less time than it took to boil a kettle. Where’s the fun and devotion in that?!

Of course, in 2010, people now just create and share playlists on i-Tunes or whatever. And rather than rely on a friend to spend 3 hours of their life making up a tape for them, an increasing number of people just nick whatever they want off the internet. Ok, I guess that’s a bit harsh, because I know from the experience with my own record label that there are still a lot of people out there who are willing to pay for their music. For the sake of the artists and the scene in general, I sincerely hope that continues.

A journalist asked me the other day if I regretted not starting Soul Unsigned Records back in the 80s. My answer was a resounding “no”. It may seem like the worst time to be running an independent record label right now, but the truth is that, in many respects, it’s actually the best time.

With today’s technology we’ve been able to discover and make contact with artists from all around the world. At the last count, we’ve licensed about 150 tracks from nearly 100 artists, spread far and wide, from Canada to New Zealand, and from the USA to Japan. Hell, we’ve even got one in Great Yarmouth!

All of the licensing and contract work with these artists is done via email, and we do all the artwork in-house using a simple desktop design package that cost less than 100 quid from WH Smith. None of this would have been possible back in the day.

So, while I never got to marry Diana Ross, dance like Michael Jackson or look/sing like Teddy Pendergrass, today’s modern technology has, at least, given me the chance to be involved in the soul music scene. In some respects, I’m still creating “mix tapes” for people…..but they just happen to be on bar-coded shrink-wrapped CDs. And, of course, I’m not expecting a shag. Honest!

[H2]THE HOT 20

The Unsigned Soul column has teamed up with Starpoint Radio to bring you a monthly chart reflecting some of the movers and shakers on the current soul scene.

The chart is based on Starpoint’s own weekly Top 30 chart.

1 Jonathan Butler - So Strong
2 Philip Bailey - Love Is Real
3 Angela Bofill - All This Time
4 Augie's Side Effect - About Time
5 Patrice Campbell - Garden Of Love
6 Dwele - W.ants W.orld W.omen
7 Temptations - Still Here
8 Victor - Transparent
9 Avery Sunshine - Sunshine
10 Shamika Phoenix - Words (EP)
11 Wadz - Various
12 Dorian Wright - Mind Full Of Music
13 Rahma - EP
14 Terrell - That Girl (Single)
15 Joonie - Acoustic Love
16 Yahzarah - The Ballad Of Purple St James
17 Deirdre Gaddis - Back With You (Single)
18 Gloria Ry’ann - Back For More
19 CVessel(s) & The Band - I Choose To Live
20 Cool Million - Back For More


Here are the latest playlists from the weekly Soul Unsigned Radio show which can be heard on various FM and Internet stations in the UK, Europe, Japan, Canada and The USA.

Show: 2010-028

Uptown Funk Empire – Boogie (SOS Mix)
Soul Continuum – Move into my groove
Fundacion Tony Manero – Corazon
Hog Pin – It don’t matter
Chris Youngblood – Spend your life
Rik Mol – Gin tonic night
Harambe – Lazy
Slow Motion Replay – Tell me bedtime story
Childs & Moore – Waiting for the sun
J4F – Eu te amo
Edei – In my bed
Joselyn Parker – My magazine
Tom Glide & Luv Allstars – In the name of luv
The Jive Turkeys – B.A.

Show: 2010-027

Soul Continuum – Feet don’t lie
Rivera Rotation – M.K.
Tom Glide & Luv Allstars – Kool party
Rik Mol – Spinnin round
Weeland & Urban Soul – Life is so simple
Chandlar – Never though
Joonie – So fly
Dojo Cuts – You make lovin real easy
Agapesoul – Don’t say u love me
Joselyn Parker – Match your style
Confecion – Fantisizin
Lyczacza – This love
Asanda Bam – Brand new day
Four80east – Noodle soup

Show: 2010-026

Thia Jasmine – My world (SOS Remix)
Kyra Simone – Lets just be friends
Lovesound – On my mind
Wadz Ft Lenora Jaye – Real love
Tyrone Lee – Taste
Tim Terry – Oooowee
J-Hollins – Toast
Blossom – Batik
DJ Center – Center’s groove
Niva – Rollercoaster love
Jay Michaelz – Sexsational
Sway Penala – Lovely lady
Velben – Send u
GroovProject – Natural high

Show: 2010-025

Baby Face Jay Ft Elrae - Lunar eyes
Verna Francis - Why
Politik - Saturn (GP Remix)
Christophe De Villa - You are my girl
Muthafunk - By your side
Cagle & Nash - Big ol' empty room
Milano Jazz Dance Combo - Feelin good
Ray Lugo's Les Express - Love me good
Darryl Anders - Dont say you love me
Patrice Campbell - Finders keepers
Groove Stu - Forbidden love
Jay Hayden - No where
Da Wonda Twinz - Hey you
Kan Sano - Inner sun

Phil Driver


Please feel free to contact Phil with any unsigned news that you feel would benefit others... Also drop Phil a line if you are a talented and unsigned Thank you.

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