Lawrence Preston Fronts Real Soul Resurgence

Soul as a label has come to mean less and less since the 1990s. It became a byword for directionless warbling, the Mariah Carey school of flitting around the scales being incredibly dexterous vocally but lacking, ironically…soul.

Mercifully, this year has seen a much-welcomed rejuvination of the genre, seeing artists playing soul music which is recognisable as being in the same vein as classic Stax and Motown artists – the reason for this? They actually play musical instruments. Who’da thunk it?!

Lawrence Preston is a bassist, the much perennially unsung guitarist who is the glue which subtly binds so many classic songs. Having being tutored by Freddie Stone, of the legendary Sly and the Family Stone, he has mastered both the instrument and the art of song-writing. Though deftly written, Something for You is not drenched in overdubs and effects – it’s very much a case of less is more, allowing space for the music and the lyrics to breathe. Lawrence’s vocals are velvety smooth without being cloying or too saccharine – against, it’s so often about being economical with the music and having confidence in the song itself. We digress. Enjoy.

https://www.vevo.com/watch/lawrence-preston/something-for-you/TIVEV1725150

 

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Mama Moonshine ready for haunting new single ‘Sisters’

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New track available from January 30th 2015

A London based four piece with a love of all things soul, Mama Moonshine are a band tailor made for swaying between funk jams and blues rhythms. This is a group who take in all kinds of influences – from the dusky likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha, to the funk rock stylings of the Black Keys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers – each member has their own unique sound, when moulded together creates a distinct and elevated tone.

Their brand new single ‘Sisters’ is out on January 30th, a heartfelt song about the loss and gain of true friendship. Hauntingly soulful and with smartly lyrics that unspool with a gentle power, the track is a solid example of this band’s class:

Mama Moonshine are clearly a band assured in their own sound, both in the studio and on the stage. Having sold out both The Camden Enterprise and Proud Galleries (Camden Town) they also played to a rapt crowd at the Audiofarm festival 2014, Brunswick in Brighton and Portobello Road, Notting Hill to name a few. Add to that recent radio appearances and a guest slot for vocalist Ruth with Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Band for charity last year, and this band is on the rise in the London Music Scene.

Don’t just take our word for it. There has been interest from cult hit-makers Tune-Yards and Little Dragon, who had some words of encouragement after hearing their new material:

“Had a listen to your music. You have a great voice! Keep writing songs 🙂 and have a blast in the studio!! Lots of luv Yukimi”

‘Sisters’ will be available from online stockists and more from January 30th.

Links:

www.mamamoonshine.co.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mamamoonshinemusic

Twitter: @mama_moonshine

Instagram: @mama_moonshine_ruth

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/mama-moonshine

Highly anticipated Fjokra EP ‘Thoughtsteps’ arrives June 9th

Versatile Irish songwriter looks to build on a growing reputation with brand new release

Influenced by a list of genres and artists taking in classical, metal, funk, jazz and more, Fjokra is an artist who is nigh on impossible to pigeonhole.

Born in Dublin and now living in London, he is a multi-instrumentalist whose music takes in so many different ideas and angles that to tie him down to one genre or style is a fool’s errand – just as it seems you have his sound sussed, a new idea will come and slap you in the face. And that’s just the way Fjokra likes it.

You can see the video for EP track ‘Infinite Loops’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5FrW1UyVyY

‘Thoughtsteps’ is an EP that tantalises and astounds. With the album name, artwork and musical content designed to demonstrate alternative, free and independent forms of thinking, the varied style is all tied together by the consistent high quality of the recordings. Even more impressively, the EP is primarily self-produced but for one track from producer Donald Clark (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Muse).

It’s little wonder that Fjokra counts Mick Jones (The Clash), Duran Duran, and Beardyman amongst his fans – and this range of musicians gives you a glimpse into the wide audience demographics the music is connecting with. Peanut Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs put it his own way, labelling Fjokra ‘sex music for metallers’.

With a fan base that is widening thanks to a unique live show (performed with his eponymous band), Fjokra has already graced the stage at Beach Break Festival and Liverpool Sound City. They also performed at a very special concert which saw Tyondai Braxton (of Battles) premiere his new orchestral piece ‘Central Market’ – a truly inspiring experience for the band. And now, with ‘Thoughtsteps’ only a few weeks away and a slot at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer, he is using that inspiration to fuel his forward momentum.

And if you’re still not convinced that this is an artist with a unique approach, then perhaps his unusual approach to promoting the EP will help. In addition to releasing the songs and music videos, Fjokra has also recorded for each track a cookery show, punning on the song titles from the EP. Due to be posted on YouTube and fjokra.com shortly after the songs themselves are released, the tasty teasers will make this EP a truly multi-sensory experience.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for acoustic versions of the EP tracks, recorded in a guitar shop and due on the Fjokra YouTube channel soon.

‘Thoughtsteps’ will be available from June 9th.

 

Links:

www.facebook.com/fjokraofficial

www.twitter.com/fjokra

Instagram: fjokra

www.youtube.com/fjokra

www.soundcloud.com/fjokra

Dirty blues funk from Black Joe Lewis – album ‘Electric’ Slave out November 18th

Joe Lewis hails from Austin, TX – the collision centre where Southern soul meets mid-western blues and vagabond punk. Unable to keep away from the infectious music scene Austin is infamous for, Joe Lewis soaked it all in and soon found himself purchasing his first guitar while working in a pawnshop. The rest is history.

Once compared to “The Godfather of Soul”, we hear Black Joe Lewis letting his punk- flag fly on the group’s third studio album, Electric Slave, released in the UK via Vagrant Records on November 18th. Black Joe Lewis perfected his gritty shouting and raw guitar riffs, honing his signature sound on the band’s upcoming album.

Electric Slave kicks off with in-your-face opener ‘Skulldiggin,’ which showcases Joe howling in true Joe-Lewis-fashion all the while highlighting just how ballsy Lewis can really get. Of the album title, Lewis says, “Electric Slave is what people are today with their faces buried in their iPhones and the only way to hold a conversation is through text. The next step is to plug it in to your damned head.”

Much like not wanting to be a slave to our cell phones, Black Joe Lewis refuses to be confined to genre-defining boundaries or cater to only one of his many musical influences on his third LP. Lewis still has plenty of women chasing, hard-knocks and all-around good time tales to tell as we hear on tracks like ‘Young Girls,’ ‘Make Dat Money,’ and ‘Come To My Party.’ And as always, Lewis somehow finds a way to make tracks full of horns and blues riffs to rival the likes of rocker Iggy Pop.

Electric Slave was produced in large part by Grammy award winner Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Cat Power, Modest Mouse) and recorded at Church House Studios in Austin. Three of the new tracks (‘Skulldiggin,’ ‘Dar Es Salaam,’ ‘My Blood Ain’t Runnin’ Right’) were recorded and produced by John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St. Vincent, Okkervil River) at Elmwood Studios in Dallas.

Electric Slave will be released in the UK on November 18th on Vagrant Records.

Get ready to get gritty.