Although Orrin Keepnews' Riverside Records was primarily a jazz label, the company dabbled in blues in the 1960s – and one of the bluesmen who recorded for Riverside was John Lee Hooker. Recorded in 1960, this Keepnews-produced session came at a time when Hooker was signed to Vee-Jay. The last thing Keepnews wanted to do was emulate Hooker's electric-oriented, very amplified Vee-Jay output, which fared well among rock and R&B audiences. Keepnews had an acoustic country blues vision for the bluesman, and That's My Story favors a raw, stripped-down, bare-bones approach – no electric guitar, no distortion, no singles aimed at rock & rollers.
Robert Randolph is one of the rare artists who's been able to convince a sizable audience that the pedal steel guitar has a place outside country music. This is partly due to his over-the-top skills on the instrument, but just as importantly, Randolph and his Family Band have consistently shown their ability to launch a soul shakedown party of major proportions whenever they take the stage or set up in the studio. 2017's Got Soul, Randolph's fifth studio album, seems designed to capture the energy and power of Randolph and his band in full flight, and producer Matt Pierson has gone out of his way to give this material a big, rollicking sound that makes the most of the muscle and sweat of this music. While the tough, funky report of the rhythm section and the call of the organ provide the backbone of these songs, it's Randolph's pedal steel that gives Got Soul its unique sound, as the wailing peals of his instrument tear through the mix and lend this as much of a vocal presence as any instrumentalist can provide. While vintage soul and funk figures play a big role in these arrangements, Randolph's background in gospel is never entirely out of the picture, and there's a churchy passion at the heart of this music that adds plenty to the emotional resonance, especially on tracks like "Be the Change" and "Heaven's Calling".
In the same vein that Amel Laurrieux launched her solo career after Groove Theory, so has Nicole Willis. Willis' voice is sultry and smooth with an obvious touch of old wave funk. It's no wonder acts like Leftfield have found her perfect for doing vocal work with their electronic backdrop. With her debut solo album, Soul Makeover, Willis sets herself apart from her younger days known as "Buba Diva," and shows that she has the potential to simply be the latter of the two words. Her husband, recognized producer Jimi Tenor, helped produce the album and makes his presence known by his stamp of clean and well put together jazz instrumentals matched with electronic elements.
SoulMusic Records is very proud to present “I Kinda Miss You – The Anthology: Columbia Records,1973-87,” a spectacular first-of-its-kind 2-CD set by the legendary Manhattans that includes all of the soulful group’s charted singles recorded for the label over almost fifteen years along with choice cuts from the dozen albums the team cut and one non-LP ‘B’ side (‘Gypsy Man’).
Funky female soul galore – a killer set of rare tunes that's one of the best sets of this type we've ever stocked! The SuperFunk crew at BGP have gone through the rich array of labels handled by the company – pulling out some massive tunes that really push our understanding of female soul – taking things way past the obvious hits and girl group numbers, into hard and heavy-stepping territory that we really love!
It was much to soul singer Spanky Wilson's surprise – she didn't realize she had had such an impact – when British multi-instrumentalist/producer Will Holland contacted her in her Los Angeles home in 2004, professing his love of her music and wondering if she'd collaborate with him. Still, she agreed to go the studio, and together they did two songs, "Don't Joke with a Hungry Man" and "When You're Through," for Holland's solo project, Quantic, on the album Mishaps Happening. That collaboration worked out so well that they decided to make an entire record together, this time with Holland's full band, the Quantic Soul Orchestra. Wilson's lovely voice is the centerpiece of I'm Thankful, and it does show a bit of its age, but only in the best of ways, deepening it and giving it an added measure of credibility and authenticity while still preserving its expressiveness and strength. Attesting to Wilson's tremendous ability is the fact that the record is very intimately and sparsely produced, making it seem as if the singer is almost in the room right with the you, the sometimes raspy and breathy line endings audible in that professional, practiced way.