SONG OF THE DAY Them Two – Am I A Good Man

tumblr_m28b767hr81qem6av_1334003373_coverToday’s supersonic soul song is linked to yesterday’s artist Freddie Joachim for he has also sampled this little gem in his (bursting-with-big-beats) Good Man track!

Also sampled by the likes of Ghostface Killah, 50 Cent and several other hip hop/r&b artists, Am I A Good Man was originally released in 1967.  Written and arranged by Clarence Reid and performed by Them Two, this is a glorious nugget of impassioned soul which I was happy to discover has recently been reissued!

them-two2It would be fair to say that Miami’s Deep City Records is not one of soul music’s best-known imprints as it only ever released a handful of records in the mid-to-late ’60s, but many of these have gone on to be considered as obscure, Southern soul classics…today’s song being one of them! Check it out above.

Picture of Them Two on right:featuring Larry Greene (left) and Larry Mobley (right)

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SONG OF THE DAY Freddie Joachim – Thrill Of Kills

wyscgiwoHaving featured the big sounds of California’s Freddie Joachim twice already (check out previous tracks, Good Man and Lately), I was delighted to find that he had yesterday shared another new song on Soundcloud.

Releasing via his own label Mellow Orange, Thrill Of Kills is his latest offering and begins with a soul sample that woefully exclaims, “I’ve got a feeling something’s wrong, whoever’s thrilling you is killing me,” before spinning off on a wave of giant beats and vibrant melodies; this sound is vast and always fills me with a sense space and purpose.  Listen above.


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SONG OF THE DAY The Defenders – Our Rights

r-4507638-1393080373-4192-jpegFive days ago UK reggae label, Pressure sounds released a fantastic compilation album titled, Every Mouth Must Be Fed.

 This collection of rarities focuses on the somewhat minor reggae/dub label, Mircon Music which was started in 1971 by Ronnie Burke and Michael Johnston who (were later joined by Pete Weston in 1972).  Micron’s name came from “Mic” for Michael and “-ron” for Ronnie and became extremely important, both as a label and a business, allowing many producers and artists a creative opening that would otherwise have been denied to them.

This compilation features cuts by such names as, King Tubby, Jah Stitch, I-Roy, and U-Roy and collects highlights from the label’s heyday.  With each track produced by either Lee Perry, Bunny Lee, or label co-owner Pete Weston, EVERY MOUTH is an essential overview to one Jamaican music’s hidden troves.

a0984886413_10Our Rights is a super rare track performed by The Defenders which was originally released via Micron Music in 1975.  Check it out above and order your copy of Every Mouth Must Be Fed from Pressure Sounds website here.


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SONG OF THE DAY Hannah Williams & The Affirmations – Dazed & Confused

I was fooled when I first heard this song, I thought it had been recorded a few decades ago, turns out it was only a few months ago! There are plenty of covers out there but it is hard to get it right, do you copy like-for-like, or do you completely change the whole sound…personally I’m a fan of the latter.  With this cover, however, the ‘original’ (or at least the version most people know – check out the real original below!) is not a far cry away and it works a treat…  Take one strong blues male voice and replace it with the relentlessly powerful vocals of a woman and what you get is a striking cover of Led Zeppelin’s, Dazed and Confused.  

This version still possesses the dirty bluesy elements of Led Zeppelins cover, but a generous dose of heavy soul has been injected into the mix, alongside a lively horn-section and a crisp, upbeat rhythm.   Not forgetting this voice, this is definitely a voice more than fit for this song and the lady behind these mighty, soulful vocals is UK artist, Hannah Williams.

After the success of her debut album, A Hill of Feathers in 2012, Hannah Williams and her band toured all over Europe, attracting a growing following along the way. Whilst touring they supported and gained a great deal of praise from, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Cat Power, Charles Bradley, Giles Peterson and Craig Charles; not to mention collecting over a million views on YouTube for their song Work It Out

The band released second album, Late Nights & Heartbreak in November last year and had Malcolm Catto of the Heliocentrics on production.  Malcolm Catto has produced great albums such as Inspiration Information by Mulatu Astatke, Jaiyede Afro by Orlando Julius and The Last Transmission‘ by Melvin Van Peebles.

Taken from this album is the mighty Dazed and Confused, a fantastic cover which you can check out above.  Order your copy of  Late Nights & Heartbreak from here.

Check out the original version of Dazed And Confused below:

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SONG OF THE DAY Jake Houlsby – Howl

2543867Newcastle-based Jake Houlsby is a singer-songwriter who has been writing and recording his own music for the last seven years, his sound heavily orientated around folk.

He released his debut EP ‘Yannina’ in the summer of 2015 and is now set to release a new EP titled Vondelpark, which should be out this Spring via Tipping Point Records.

Howl is the first single from this upcoming EP and everything about this song screams calm..if calm could ever erupt in a scream that is!  From the gentle beat mapped out by the rim-tap of a snare, to the hushed humming of layered backing vocals, the graceful melody of an acoustic guitar to the crescendoing patter of a ride cymbal, this song is built upon rich textures and, combined with Jake Houlsby’s tender vocals, it really gets into your head.

Jake Houlsby had this to say about the track:  “Ever since I was a child, I’ve had a natural tendency to get carried away and take things too far.  Sometimes I feel like I have two separate people inside of me because I go from extreme to extreme very quickly and easily. I wrote this song to myself, just as a way of trying to guide myself into the middle, sustainable ground.”

If you are not already familiar with Jake’s other work, check more out on his Soundcloud page here. 

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SONG OF THE DAY Shirley Ann Lee – There’s A Light

r-3509035-1407782270-2556-jpegToday’s song was originally recorded back in 1968 by the soulful gospel artist, Shirley Ann Lee and was released via the gospel label, Revival Records.

Shirley Ann Lee’s music has more recently been unearthed by The Numero Group, a fantastically eclectic archival record label founded in 2003 in Chicago, Illinois, by  Rob Sevier and Ken Shipley.  The main aim and focus of this label is to research and reserve obscure material recorded by artists who found little commercial success upon their material’s initial release.

If you have yet to discover the musical wonders being brought to light by the extensive, detailed and hard work of The Numero Group, I recommend you take a look.  This label offers an array of interesting and rare sounds from a variety of musical genres, releasing compilations of previously released music whilst also reissuing original albums; there’s a wealth of music to explore and discover here!

Check out the powerful rejoicing of Shirley Ann Lee in her great song,  There’s A Light, and discover lots more about her on The Numero Group’s webpage here.

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SONG OF THE DAY Bo Diddley – The Great Grandfather

02diddley3-500Now this song is an old favourite, I love a bit of Bo Diddley and I loved this song within a few seconds of hearing it, even more when I heard that funky bit of guitar near the end…if you know the song, you will know the bit I mean and if you don’t, you will hear the bit I mean minute you listen to it!

Defined by the jingling of a piano key and shuffling drum beat, this song has atmosphere, enhanced further by Bo Diddley’s deep, full-bodied vocals; The Great Grandfather is just superb and that guitar bit just sends a shivers every time I hear it…and yes, I know I’ve mentioned that bit already but it’s soooo good!

Today’s song was released in 1959 via Chess Records subsidiary label, Checker Records and was the B-side to the single Crackin’ Up.  Both tracks appear on Diddley’s second album,  Go Bo Diddley which came out that same year… Check out The Great Grandfather above.

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SONG OF THE DAY Della Reese – Solitary Woman

della-reeseI’ve had a good old soul session today so I’m all revved up with plenty of new discoveries and old favourites to share!…all will be revealed in time!

Today’s song is actually a cover (as I only discovered earlier!) and is so far removed from the original, it may as well be a completely different song! Originally written by Neil Diamond in 1966, Solitary Man was his debut single as a recording artist and, even casting aside the obvious man/woman perspective, it has a totally contrasting feel to the version that I’m featuring today.

That same year jazz and gospel singer Della Reese released this track, spicing up her rendition of Solitary Woman with some gorgeous hefty drums, deep-dark bass and powerful, soulful vocals.  The transformation is so notable that the track goes from Diamond’s sentimental woe to Reese’s fiery attack..  Listen above and check out the original below (which I have to admit is growing on me).

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SONG OF THE DAY Allah-Las – Autumn Dawn (Alternative Take)

a4054019970_10Released today comes this alternate version of the Allah-Las Autumn Dawn, which originally came out in September last year.  This punchier version emerged as the demo recording from Kyle Mullarky’s home studio in Topanga Canyon and is accompanied by an unreleased instrumental titled Hereafter.  

I like the slower tempo that starts and ends the song, it blends perfectly with the rest but you don’t expect the transition and it makes for an interesting quirk. The mid section adopts a quicker and more upbeat pace, meandering along on a willowy haze of sun drenched guitars and bright catchy vocals, it’s definitely a get-into-your-head kinda track! Listen above.

Grab your copy of Autumn Dawn/Hereafter from here 


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SONG OF THE DAY Adam Torres – Hatchet

adamtorres-852x550It’s one thing to have a way with words, but possessing the gift to express these beautifully assembled sentences in such an exquisite way is something that Adam Torres effortlessly accomplishes every time he puts pen to paper.  Add to this his heartfelt and haunting vocals and what you have is a piece of musical magic in every song, where every sentiment and sensation are conveyed with lingering effects, it gets under your skin.

Next week Adam Torres is due to return with his EP, I Came To Sing The Song,  a four track release which was recorded during the Pearls To Swine sessions.  According to the man himself, this collection of songs is about devoting your life to songwriting and the many ripple effects such a decision creates or, as I recently read Torres declare, “The idea behind the song and EP is finding purpose in one’s work, and having to adjust to the lightness and darkness of that search.”

Following on from the EP’s enchanting title-track comes another song from this forthcoming release which is titled, Hatchet.  I love way the song is built on delicate layers, each one adding a different dimension, each one almost playing an intricate part in depicting a feeling; from the bold sharpness of the drums to the delicate tenderness of the strings, each element plays a part…its another beautiful track!  Listen above.

Premiering on Goldflake Paint, Torres explained how, “Hatchet is a song about healing from seemingly irreconcilable conflicts and what else is a conflict besides the lack of understanding between two people or maybe two groups of people?”

I Came To Sing The Song releases 24.2.17 via Fat Possum Records.  Pre-order your copy from here.

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