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Saturday, August 25, 2012

25th of August 2012

Lee Fields & The Expressions - Faithful Man (2012)

When Sly Stone and George Clinton didn't make it to fictional surprise party for James Brown's 40th birthday back in '73, "boys (and girls) from the hood" Lee Fields, Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings and Charles Bradley put themselves in charge. The Godfather of soul asked himself "who, the hell, are those?" but when they start playing big smile showed up on his face "they'll bear torch of soul and funk in the future". Of course, this never happened in reality, I just want to display connections and influences between 60's/70's and contemporary soul/funk artists. The link that connects those periods is our hero Lee Fields whose first single was released in 1969 and the last album, Faithful Man, 2012. Most of these 40+ years, he was undercurrent (but well known in funk circuit), but every time he appears on surface it's holiday for soul/funk music. Try to find the last funk classic from the XXth century Let's Get a Groove On (1999) or recent soul classic My World (2009). His new, Faithful Man, reminds me of the best works of Eddie Floyd and Wilson Pickett. Singing is superb, voice is distinctive but still real soul voice, songwriting is good but not good enough to make any of these songs real classic. The only thing never missing from the scene when Lee Fields is around is SOUL. Keep it that way, Lee!

If you want to know more about contemporary Deep Funk go to:

Single from the album:

Video from Sharon Jones & Dap Kings:

Video from Charles Bradley: 

Enjoy and share!

Monday, August 13, 2012

13th of August

Chavela Vargas - 30 Exitos - Voz y Sentimiento (1994)

Chavela Vargas (b. 17th of April 1919 in San Joaquin de Flores, Costa Rica d. 5th of August 2012 in Cuernavaca, Mexico) was, in my opinion, among the best female singers ever lived, alongside with Billie Holiday and ......hmmm......that's it! To be really great artist, you have to have that pain inside you that tears you apart and that bursts out of your mouth when you sing. Listen to Esta Tristeza Mia, En El Ultimo Trago, Mi Segundo Amor, La Noche De Mi Mal, Con Mis Propias Manos or any other song from this extraordinary collection, and you'll see her whispering, crying, roaring, screaming.......emitting emotions of such quantity and intensity, almost unbearable for average today's listener. The title of this album Voz y Sentimiento precisely describes Chavela in two words - Voice and Feeling.

P.S. It would be a crime not to mention the ingenious guitar playing of Antonio Bribiesca

Finally, link to the one of my favorite Chavela's songs not on this album:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

9th of August

Dexys - One Day I'm Going To Soar

Kevin Rowland explained the 27-year gap between albums "I wanted to have material that I felt confident enough about ... I’ve got high standards, and that’s a blessing and a curse. The perfectionism hasn’t gone, although these days I won’t storm out of a room swearing and shouting at people*.

It was worth waiting!

09/03/2012. "The return of Dexys" . Retrieved 2012-06-21.

Monday, August 6, 2012

6th of August 2012

The Stone Coyotes - A Wild Bird Flying

I won't valorize this record, I'll just paraphrase Jolie Holland from Old Fashioned Morphine "what was good enough for Lowell George, it's good enough for me" (Lowell covered one of early songs of Miss Barbara Keith, heart and mind of this band). The Stone Coyotes are actually family project: mom Barbara Keith sings and plays guitar, dad Doug Tibbles plays drums and son John Tibbles plays bass. Somebody described their music as "AC/DC meet Patsy Cline" but I don't completely agree with this statement. I'd rather say it's MC5 meet Bonnie Raitt, 'cause there's more rock'n'roll than hard rock in band's playing and more blues than country influences in her singing. But, those are just irrelevant nuances. You better listen for yourself HERE.

P.S. The final result of similarity reconsidering (after few more listenings) is Maria McKee and her band Lone Justice