Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1098

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Review

Kelly Finnigan: a joyful sound (Colemine Records)

Kelly Finnegan “A Joyful Sound” (Colemine Records)

9

6.1

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UK release date 11.12.2020

Much lauded Monophonics main man Kelly Finnigan releases a Xmas album, gulp! You remember those sing-a-long festive tunes, don't you? Who can forget James Brown's "Funky Xmas"? Well, your main man is determined not to fill it with chunky jumper sentimentality but to drop some gems down those mythical chimneys, with a bumper crop of supreme soul nuggets.

Finnigan gets more engaging with every stride he takes and this time he boasts an assembled stellar guest lineup too! Featuring members of Durand Jones & The Indications, The Dap-Kings, Ghost Funk Orchestra, Monophonics, Orgone, Ikebe Shakedown, Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio, The Harlem Gospel Travelers and more!

The current single is a chip off the old school of soul too, "No Time To Be Sad" cuts a unique path and is an upbeat, string-laden ballad, with heartfelt lyrics that evoke positivity and coming back into the fold. He abandons logic for a chance of witnessing Christmas love (which has turned sour) but returns by New Year - hallelujah!

There are some gorgeous grooves here too, one such example being "Just One Kiss", where the drummer takes centre stage as his in the pocket breakbeat blessedness, manifests itself sweetly and even some choice jazz flute bolsters slowie "Waiting On The Big Man" adding that extra (mulled wine) spice.

Stax is never far away from this guy's heart either, just take a listen to the adorned with heavy horns on "The Miracle Is Here", with sweet sweet organ and gospel bv's. Deep and soul-drenched proves the net result is magically melodic and multi-faceted soul-pop, which is well crafted, uplifting and a bit of a masterclass. Anyone who hasn't investigated Finnigan's music should find this an ideal entry point. All great music creates its own world, let Kelly invite you in and sanctify you.
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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