Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1099

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The Andy Davies soul column (November)

The Andy Davies Soul column (November)
The Andy Davies Soul column (November) Westcoast Soulstars: Because Of You (Streetsoul Records) Westcoast Soulstars: Soul Redemption Adika Pongo: Groovin Up Streetsoul!!  @Henry's - Feb 25 Jill Scott: From The Vault Vol. 1 Miguel Migs: Outside The Skyline (Om Records) Various: Expansion Soul Sauce 25 (Expansion) Various: Soul Togetherness 2011 (Expansion)

Once again I have just released another vinyl 45 on my label Streetsoul Records!! This time it is from the in demand British Soul band Westcoast Soulstars. The two tracks on the 45 are "Because Of You" the A side & "Soul Redemption" which I have used as the B side.


The tracks have been well received by the Soul scene & have both been played many times at gigs over the last month or so. The record is still available from my website and also from all the major Soul dealers in the UK and Europe. I must thank Jennifer Dunbar of Artist & Music Promotion for all her help with this project. Here is what was written recently about the band: Westcoast Soulstars are one of the bands to listen out for in 2011/12 â their blend of modern soul, funk & disco using real musicians gives us a fresh take on the classic Brit-Soul sound. The combined vocal talents of Eli Thompson & Janine Johnson (Urban Black Voices) are joined by the well honed musicianship of Jay McLuskey (Drums), Paul Absalom (Bass), James Dean (Guitar) and Lawrie Bolton (Keys) bringing us their latest single Because of You, which is already proving a hit on dance floors and on air.

The follow-up to the floor filling anthem Show Me Love re-inforces the unique style and sound of the band, which has been developed since 2007, when the band was first brought together by Eli and Adam Fennel. Finding a gap in the music scene they went about filling it, by bringing together a band, starting out with rearranged classic covers and which has supported Sister Sledge, Jeffrey Daniels and Chic at Indigo2 in London. Now they are bringing their own sound to dance floors and radio stations up and down the UK, and on the airwaves as far apart as the US and Japan. I wish the band all the success they deserve.


The Adika Pongo album Groovin Up on Expansion Records is doing well right now. The 12 tracks are taken from between 1997 & 2011 and the first track to really strike me is the two step sounding duet called Forever which features the vocals of the late Baruch "Darling" Chadwick. Don't Let Me Go is also a very nice down tempo tune. Good Day speeds thing up a bit & has some nice changes & good vocals from Norma Jean Wright & Lucci Martin, a disco inspired track that grooves along nicely! Other stand out tracks are Chill Out, The Look In Your Eye which is a very cool soul tune and We Got Each Other. This is well worth purchasing as it is very eclectic & has some nice different styles included here.


I'm just back from DJ'ing at the Bournemouth Soul Weekender that was held at the Carrington House Hotel in Boscombe. The weekender was absolutely brilliant and as it has one room for music, all styles were played and enjoyed by all the people attending. At this event you might hear a Jazz tune followed by a 70's classic or a brand new soulful house track! From the buzzing Friday night right through to the packed Saturday afternoon & evening sessions this really is not a gig you will want to miss in the future. Great sets on the Friday from all the DJ's but I must give a special mention to Gary Dennis as his set was so enthusiastic! I think there were around 600 people for the Saturday and the atmosphere was fantastic all day & night. Well done to Bob Masters for putting it all together & bringing in a great team of DJ's who all worked so well together. Dates for next year are 26,27,28 October 2012 so look out for more details soon!. Incognito's version of Lowdown is very good and features Mario Biondi & Chaka Khan on vocals. A new track from Australian band Confection was sent to me courtesy of Soulchoonz. It is Slightly retro and has a strong hook line & good groove to it! I think this will be quite a big track if it gets played enough.


Some good Soulful House tunes available to download at the moment are The Cookie Monsterz feat Michelle Weeks Spread Love (Reelsoul Vocal), Sean McCabe & Stephanie Cooke Just A Little Bit, Gooden & Park feat Byron Stingily Shady (Bah Samba Reprisal Mix) and a very good tune from Bobby & Steve feat Barbara Tucker & Bryan Chambers called Deeper In Love which is probably the strongest in my opinion. I really like the song and the incredible soulful vocals from both vocalists, it certainly is a dance floor winner!
Some good Vinyl 12" worth a listen are Matthew Bandy feat Josh Milan Wish, Soul's Back Again which features a track by Weeland & The Urban Soul Collective called 2 Of A Kind that is very soulful & retro. Also, Pirahnahead and Diviniti Just Like A Dream which is a kind of mellow house tune that seems to get better each time I listen to it and one that includes a good mix from Jose Carretas.


Jill Scott is back with From The Vault Vol 1 on Hidden Beach Recordings. There are some nice mid tempo tracks on this CD I Don't Know (Gotta Have You) I'm Prettier & Wake Up Baby with it's hint of Bill Withers Lovely Day.

Miguel Migs also has a new album out called Outside The Skyline which has standout tracks Breakdown, Don't Stop, Tonight, Everybody & Lose Control Featured vocalists on the album include Lisa Shaw, Meshell Ndegeocello, Evelyn "Champagne" King, Aya & George Levin.

There are two really good releases from Expansion Records around at the moment & Soul Sauce 25 celebrates the label's 25th Birthday. 16 tracks on this CD including Shirley Jones & Jean Carne Whatever It Takes, James King Memory, Maysa Leak The Bottle and also Chris Bangs' remix of Tom Glide & The Luv Allstars Luv Is Comin Up.

The other new release from Expansion is Soul Togetherness 2011 which is available on CD & Vinyl and includes big tunes from Shuya Okino Give Your Love A Chance, Sarah Fonteyne Messing, The massive Kelly Price And You Don't Stop and also tracks by Nothende Celebrate, Deborah Bond 5.35, Rahsaan Patterson 6am & Heston Greatest Lover (CB Remix).


A gig for your diaries is Streetsoul at Henry's Bar Aveley Essex on Saturday February 25th 2012.The promotion is by my own label and includes DJ's Andy Davies, Terry Jones, Ginger Tony, Grumpy Brown & Steve Kite. Running from 9pm-2am and at a cost of just £5.00 on the door. The night will also feature a special last hour "Connoisseurs Soul Session" from myself & Terry Jones!! Don't miss it!!


If you want your gigs mentioned in this column then please email any info to me at or Thank you!

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