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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Kingstonians -- Singer Man

It is springtime! I love the world, and I think I found a song that expresses how I feel today. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

David Ruffin -- I Could Never Be President

Well ... I'd voted for him. No matter what! He probably would have been the first U.S. president to get the crowds to listen to him singing his speeches, performing a few splits to loosen things up, throwing the microphone up in the air. Yeah! Yeah!
David Ruffin for president! But David seemed to have known his limits ...

I Could Never Be President, 

Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings

Here's a NPR report about Sharon and her Dap Kings where you can listen in to their new album I Learned The Hard Way.

If you're interested in their tour schedule just go here

Music doesn't get any better!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Newcomers -- Mannish Boy

Taken from yet another KENT compilation of 60's and 70's Soul, is today's song, Mannish Boy. The Newcomers released a handful of singles between 1969 and 1974 for Stax. (Pin The Tail On The Monkey, Keep An Eye On Your Close Friends, Too Much Going To Say Goodbye.) In the beginning their music unmistakably was coined by the Motown sound, while towards the end, The Sound Of Philadelphia provided the pattern for their tunes.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Otis Redding -- She Put The Hurt On Me

I am in the mood for some 60's Soul. And the first name that came to my mind was Otis Redding. She Put The Hurt On Me is from his "... Dictionary of Soul" album. Poor Otis is complaining an awful lot on this record ...

Album Review: Seahorse and the Storyteller

Michael Leonhart and The Avramina 7, Seahorse and the Storyteller (Truth & Soul Records, Cat. No. TS009)
Alright, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but the second listening sparked off admiration immeasurable for the musicians playing on this CD. They are -- no exaggeration -- first rate. I was not surprised, therefore, to read that several of the Avramina 7 played and/or recorded with some of music's greatest artists like Sharon Jones’s Dap Kings, The Budos Band, Steely Dan, James Brown, and Bill Withers -- just to name a few. So expect to be impressed with what this CD has to offer. 
Michael Leonhart, a native New Yorker, has been around since his teen years. He won a Grammy for “being the most outstanding musician in a U.S. high school” at age 17. His instrument of choice is the trumpet, and on Seahorse and The Storyteller you will hear some stunning trumpet tunes. In addition he plays bass, drums, keyboards and provides the vocals as well as the special effects. Michael has already released six solo albums. Seahorse and the Storyteller is his debut release with Avramina 7. 
What genre Leonhart’s music belongs to, I cannot determine. I'd call it a rather unconventional blend of Funk, Afro Beat, and Jazz with an occasional hint at 70’s soundtracks and psychedelic sound.
Gold Fever, the fourth of 12 tracks, is pure psychedelic sound reminiscent of the great Norman Whitfield’s compositions. The trumpet parts in this piece at time remind me of The Temptations' Papa Was A Rolling Stone. 
Dr. Killjoy, on the other hand, displays a heavy slant towards Funk with a catchy bass intro by Thomas “TNT” Brenneck that turns into the main theme of the track. Lead guitar, vocals, saxophone and some killer drums echo the theme throughout, while the horns add some zesty spice. Dr. Killjoy has become my instant favorite from Seahorse and the Storyteller. 
If it’s the richness of Oriental sensuality you look for in a tune, Jaipur would be the track for you to check out. 
If you like your music uncomplicated though, rhythm driven, and with a touch of unusual arrangement, you’ll love Dreams of Aquarian.  
I could go on describing each track on the album, pointing out the uniqueness of each one. But alas, music must be heard to be understood. Talking about it is like reading a recipe without ever tasting the dish. 
All 12 tracks on Seahorse and The Storyteller are uniquely hand crafted works of art. 
So, If you belong to that neglected species of discerning music lovers who appreciate creativity and cherish virtuosity in musicians, you should get a hold of the Seahorse and the Storyteller
This debut album of a remarkable band is scheduled for release on April 20th, 2010. You can order it from Truth&Soul Records


  1. Seahorse and the Storyteller
  2. Have You Met Martina?
  3. Scopolamine
  4. Gold Fever
  5. The Story of Echo Lake
  6. Dr. Killjoy
  7. Jaipur
  8. Madhouse Mumbai
  9. Dreams of an Aquarian
  10. Avramina Comes Up From The Deep
  11. Shh ... They're Sleeping
  12. Here Comes the Dragonfish

The Story of Echo Lake, Michael Leonhart and Avramina 7, live

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New James Brown DVD To Be Released

T.A.M.I.: Legendary 1964 concert comes to DVD

James Brown and the Flames

Performing Out of Sight, Prisoner of Love, Please, Please, Please and Night Train, Brown earned his title as the Hardest Working Man in Show Business with a blistering set capped off by his melodramatic caped exits and furious dance moves. He refused to rehearse, leaving T.A.M.I. director Steve Binder restlessly improvising with cameras.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One) -- Tad Robinson

Do I like this voice? Nope -- I love it. I never even knew about Tad Robinson's music until I found his version of Ain'tThat Loving You this morning. Tad actually has been around for a while, starting out with a group named The Hesitation Blues Band (I wonder where this name came from.) That was in the 80's when he attended Indiana University from whose school of music he graduated in 1980.
Of course, his music had to be pigeonholed by the oh-so-creative music writers as -- you guessed it -- blue eyed soul. I absolutely abhor the term! There is no such thing; all there is is SOUL. And Tad definitely got lots of it.

A New Point of View
Check out his albums here
Ain't That Loving You (A New Point of View, Severn 2007)

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I have been following the health insurance debate from the start, and I sure hope the bill will pass today.

Everyone deserves adequate health 
The Three Degrees, This Is The Year

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Candle For Luther Ingram

Luther Ingram died on March 19th 2007. 

Johnnie Taylor -- Sending You A Kiss ...

"... put it where you want it, baby." There's not much left to say about J. T. He was of the rare breed of singers who could sing anything and sound fantastic. Johnnie sang the Blues and came across convincingly. He sang Soul and R&B and had no problems being considered a true soul man. There haven't been too many of his kind around -- and they're getting awfully rare lately.
Anyway, I was driving down I-10 yesterday to do some Spring shopping, and J. T. was in the CD player. The song that really, really had me want to drive non-stop to Paris (or maybe Rome) to go shopping in style, was Sending You A Kiss. And that's why I'm posting it today. 

Sending You A Kiss -- Btw., isn't that a bass to die for? Turn the volume up and enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jimmy Helms -- Gonna Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse

Jimmy Helms is another American artist whose work was greatly appreciated in England while being neglected at home. In 1974 Gonna Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse bestowed on him the breakthrough he had been waiting for so long. He cut his first single Ragtime Girl in 1963 and released another one in 1969 (If You Let Me), but they didn't quite make it into the spotlight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bill Withers -- Tender Things

Tender Things from Bill's 1977  album Menagerie will without any doubt calm you down, if life has become stressful.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

David Ruffin --Until We Said Goodbye

Alright. Yesterday, our realtor put the For Sale sign up. And I know I have to get serious about detaching myself from this house. So, don't be surprised when you see a few more tear-jerkers than usual on SOTS. It is definitely a hard thing for me to view our home as an object from now on. I'll try, though.
David Ruffin, Until We Said Goodbye 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Odia Coates -- Don't Leave Me In The Morning

Odia Coates is best known for her recordings with Paul Anka (Having My Baby, One Man Woman/One Woman Man). As a soloist, however, she was not blessed with a successful career. Her best known solo work may be You Come And You Go, written by Paul Anka. She also sang with John Denver on his famous Country Road.
My personal favorite by her is Don't Leave Me In The Morning, a song that shows the different shades  of her beautiful, expressive voice.   
She was born in Vicksburg Miss., but as a child moved to California. Sadly enough, she died of breast cancer at age 49 in 1991. May her soul rest in peace.
Don't Leave Me In The Morning

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Johnny Nash -- The Very First Time

Johnny Nash's natural tenor is the kind of voice that thrills me with its clear, clean high pitch that is just soft enough to avoid any sharp edges. I think the song I am posting today was exactly the kind of material he should have been singing more often. Okay, his voice may be reminiscent of Desmond Dekker's who became a Reggae legend despite his way too sweet voice for that genre. But Johnny's voice lacks something -- I can't quite figure out what it is -- that snuggly fits the Reggae mold, so to speak. Maybe it's only the missing accent?
The Very First Time is a beautiful Pop/Soul/Reggae piece that seems to be tailor-made for Johnny's singing style and voice.
I love the romantic aura of the song, created by the subtle acoustic guitar and electric piano sounds.
Is this a girl thing? What do the guys say?

The Very First Time (Celebrate Life, 1974)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Prince Buster -- A Change Is Gonna Come

Give me some Reggae! Please!

... and Prince Buster it will be

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bobby Blue Bland -- I Got The Same Old Blues


From the Blues man's 1977 album Reflections in Blue  (MCA) is this track. I think it is a smash --  Bobby at his best.

Turn the volume up, and you'll be blues-happy for 5 minutes. Promised!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Veniece -- Trying To Live My Life Without You

A while ago I've posted Otis Clay's version of the song. Yesterday, while I was looking for Jean Plum material, I discovered another version of this mood-enhancing song! Veniece is on the right in the cover picture above.
Trying To Live My Life

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bobby Sheen -- Love Stealing

I just found this track on a compilation the other day, and I earmarked it right away for SOTS. For more info on Bobby go here.  I have to say that Bobby even looked as good as he sang.

Love Stealing (Chelsea Records 1975)
You'll find this and some other beauties on this album.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Artie White -- When You Took Your Love From Me, Ain't Nothing You Can Do

Blues on Thursday! 

Artie White is yet another Mississippi blues man, whom I did not know. I found out about him while visiting with relatives here in Dayton, Ohio. I don't even attempt to describe the extent of the music collection from which -- miraculously -- this artist's CD appeared.
For a short bio of Artie's please go here.
The songs posted are from his 1994 album Different Shades Of Blue

When You Took Your Love From Me
Ain't Nothing You Can Do

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hersey Taylor -- Ain't Gonna Share Your Love

One fine piece of Deep Soul. This song has been recorded for Clarence Carter's Future Stars label, and I found it on Sir Shambling's (of course.)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Don Bryant -- Is That Asking Too Much

While I am taking a break from window cleaning, I am listening to some Deepies, and I thought I should do a quick post. 
Don Bryant was singing and songwriting for Hi Records in the seventies, and in 1974 married Ann Peebles.