Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday 7 - Seven British Soul Singers You might have slept on!

Amy Winehouse has been dead for about a week...And while I can never ever forget that soulful voice... There are at least seven soul acts from across the pond that people may have been sleeping on...Or maybe just me...

1. Adele-
   She had the same buzz as Amy Winehouse had about five years ago...and With two chart-topping albums to her credit -- 2008's 19 and the recently released 21, which was number one on Billboard for two weeks -- Adele is riding high while "Rolling in the Deep." Born and raised in a working-class, single-parent household in North London, Adele grew up on a healthy diet of Mary J. Blige, Destiny's Child, Aretha Franklin and Etta James. This vocal powerhouse won best new artist at the 2009 Grammy Awards. I used to say that whenever somebody won best new artist (as Lauryn Hill and Amy Winehouse before her) that that was the kiss of death to their career...Let's Hope Adele Breaks the spell.

2. Corrine Bailey Rae-

Ahhh yes...Everybody was talking about her two years ago...Well..She hasn't gone anywhere... Fresh from the January release of The Love EP and with two albums to her credit (2006's Corinne Bailey Rae and 2010's The Sea), Corinne Bailey Rae continues to gain listeners with her sweet, folksy brand of soul singing and guitar playing.

Fan favorites from the multiracial singer-songwriter-guitarist from Leeds, England, include "Put Your Records On" and "Closer."Corrine Bailey Rae made headlines in 2008 when her husband, Jason Rae, died from an accidental drug-and-alcohol overdose.

3.Sharlene Hector

Not a household name in the states just yet...but I listen to a lot of Sattelite radio now...It's the only way I truly hear new music and get away from stations that rotate the same 30 or 40 songs every hour.

Fans of Bassment Jaxx and Reel People may recognize the name of vocalist Sharlene Hector, who has sung with both groups in addition to being featured on a British Coca-Cola commercial singing Nina Simone's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free." She's the U.K.'s answer to Ledisi -- Check out her song "Are You Listening?" for proof -- Hector independently released her debut EP, Expressions, in March of this year.


These guys are not new jacks...In fact, they've been around for years...Just under appreciated in the States..They had one hit that everybody should remember..."Deep Waters" .

In fact has been going strong for more than 30 years. Founded in 1979 by Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick, Incognito released their first album in 1981 and have remained one of the foremost bands on the British soul, funk and acid-jazz scenes, with a steady rotation of vocalists in the mix, including Maysa, Jocelyn Brown and Tony Momrelle.

They've released their 14th studio album, Transatlantic RPM, in 2010 and are still a hot ticket to catch live.

5. Jamiroquai

Here is another British Soul Act that is not new..  Led by charismatic and energetic frontman Jay Kay, Jamiroquai is nearing their 20th anniversary in the music industry.

The wildly popular acid-jazz and funk outfit, which also dabbles in pop, rock, electronica and house, has released seven albums in that span of time, most recently 2010's Rock Dust Light Star. Although the album has yet to get a proper U.S. release, fans of Jamiroquai who are willing to travel can catch them on their European tour this spring and summer.

6. Tony Momrelle

This guy, you probably have not heard of...but you may and soon...I was in a tony soul food cafe in Mt. Airy..
and they had a sattelite radio feed from San-Francisco playing through the loud speaker when I first heard this guy blow....I thought he was from California...I was told that he was from London. It's so rare to talk to anybody who follows the music scene the way I did when I was younger...and who knows what they are talking about...While you wait for your food.

With a sound reminiscent of both Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway,(If you can imagine that!) Tony Momrelle is one of the busiest men on the U.K. soul scene. He is one-half of the soulful house group Reel People, who just released their third album, Reel People Present Golden Lady; is the lead singer for the acid-jazz band Incognito; and is also a background vocalist for Sade -- another British R&B superstar. He can be heard on her song "Babyfather" from Soldier of Love. Catch Momrelle on tour with Sade this summer, and look out for a new solo release in the future.

 7. Omar

Last but not least....Don't sleep on this guy...Old Hip Hop heads from the 90's know who I'm talking about-

Described as the "Father of British neo-soul," Omar  has enjoyed international success since his debut album, There's Nothing Like This, was released in 1990. Twenty-one years and five additional albums later, he is still a popular figure and much-sought-after live performer. Omar's last record, Sing (if you want it) was released in 2006, and he recently lent his voice to the single "Special "produced by fellow Brit Maddslinky in 2010.

I'm still a yank and I still think that we do R& B , Soul and Funk a little better over here on this side of the pond..but these Brits are giving us a run for our money.....It's a good thing they aren't widely played on mainstream radio over here...They might just win the second revolution!


Arlene said...

Hey cousin, I'm back and it seems right on time for a music lesson! My horizon has been expanded from reading this. My favorite styles are R & B and soul. I've listened to and enjoyed Jamiroquai many, many times, and now I'm going to seek out Tony Momrelle. I'm a Stevie Wonder fan so I'll trust your word!!

Cali Sunkissed and Bloomed said... thats a name I havent heard in awhile. I totally dig Corinne Bailey Rae and I like what I have heard of Adele so far. Isnt Leona Lewis british?


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