New Mavis & Tweedy

The Staple Singers’ member Mavis Staples released her last solo album You Are Not Alone in 2010. Produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, the album was praised by anyone into heartwarming Gospel, Rhythm & Blues or Soul. Meanwhile, word of a new album has been spreading. One True Vine, once more a Tweedy production, will be out June 25th. Tweedy and his son Spencer also played almost every instrument used on the recording. You can find the album’s track listing when you continue reading. The album includes  a cover of Low’s Holy Ghost, and a cover of Funkadelic’s Can You Get to That, which you can already preview here.

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ChesnuTT has landed

44 year old musician Cody “ChesnuTT” Chesnutt from Atlanta, Georgia, is no stranger to those who know what’s happening on the Hip-Hop scene. Chesnutt’s music fuses elements of Hip-Hop, Funk, and Blues, with a touch of Soul. He recently released a second full length album Landing On A Hundred.
After moving to Los Angeles, Chesnutt did some writing and producing for Death Row records and played in his (former) band, The Crosswalk. A first solo effort entitled The Headphone Masterpiece was released in 2002. Though not breaking the charts, the album was critically acclaimed all round. Chesnutt made the album available through his website and subsequently toured with Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, and The Roots to promote his music. The latter reworked track 7 from the album, The Seed, under the title The Seed (2.0), on their album Phrenology that same year, featuring  Chesnutt on guitar and vocals. Chesnutt also appeared in the music documentary Dave Chappelle’s Block Party. In 2010 he released an EP Black Skin No Value. A Live album entitled The Live Release remains unreleased as yet.
His second long player Landing On A Hundred was released in October of this year, garnering rave reviews, and the deserved press attention. A few weeks ago Chesnutt performed some tracks off his latest release on the BBC’s Later…with Jools Holland. Watch a rooftop acoustic session of the current single That’s Still Mama, and a clip from the phenomenal BBC performance. If you are into (Michael) Kiwanuka or older ChesnuTT work, you will dig these sounds.

Dayglo sees the light

June 12th is nearing, when Bobby Womack’s new and highly anticipated album The Bravest Man In The Universe will see the light of day. XL Recordings already let us have a look behind-the-scenes of the recording sessions, confirming rumors of a Lana Del Rey collaboration, with a snippet to tease.
This week the full version of Dayglo Reflection surfaced. Bobby’s soulful, grainy vocals and Lana’s warm voice laid over a contemporary RnB melody work darn well. Both this track and the lead single Please Forgive My Heart instigate the expectation, and believe, that this new album ensures a spectacular return for the Soul Legend.
July 14 Bobby is headlining Ghent Jazz Festival, together with D’Angelo. Yes, D’Angelo. If you are around, make sure you don’t miss out.

Return of the Womack

The brilliant collaboration between Gorillaz and Bobby Womack on Stylo seems to have instigated the need for more. June 12th the Soul Legend will be releasing his new album The Bravest Man in the Universe, the first in 13 years, via XL Recordings. Womack is working on 10 tracks (see tracklist below) with Gorillaz’ Damon Albarn and label owner Richard Russell as producers. Having been diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year does not seem to stop him in his tracks.
The new single Please Forgive My Heart was already revealed a few weeks ago. Now XL Recordings lets us in the recording studio for a sneak preview of the making of the album, with snippets of the tracks and the singer talking about the new project.
Judging by what we get to hear, this album will be another collectors item. Listen in closely, at the end of the video; sounds like the rumours of a Lana Del Rey collab get confirmed.

01 The Bravest Man In The Universe
02 Please Forgive My Heart
03 Deep River
04 Dayglo Reflection
05 Sweet Baby Mine
06 Stupid
07 If There Wasn’t Something There
08 Love Is Gonna Lift You Up
09 Nothin’ Can Save Ya
10 Jubilee

Broken Heart, Broken Land

While everyone’s eyes are on (Michael) Kiwanuka, Afro-soul singer Imany is quietly conquering territory and capturing hearts. Born in the French Comoros Islands, her stage name means “faith” in Swahili. Her deep vocal sound reminds a little of e.g. Tracy Chapman. The Shape Of A Broken Heart, the singer’s excellent debut was released last year, doing very well in France. The record tells an emotional, heartfelt tale, without turning into melancholia. You Will Never Know even made it to the top of the Greek charts. The video has over 3 million hits on YouTube. Press play to view a couple of tracks performed for an acoustic session for TV5, there’s more after the jump, and go buy the album straight after.

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Whole lotta love for Kiwanuka

We -like so many- are eagerly awaiting the release of Michael Kiwanuka’s debut album, just days away. The BBC Sound of 2012 winner has already been dubbed a new Bill Withers. Former winners include Adele and Mika. Needless to say this act is very promising. In a session he played at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios, Kiwanuka turns a guitar cruncher into a Soulful Funk-fest. Watch his cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. Whole lotta love!

2012: Michael Kiwanuka

One album release to look forward to this year is without a doubt the debut by British Soul-sensation Michael Kiwanuka. Home Again is scheduled for release March 26th. January 6th Michael was revealed as the winner of the BBC Sound of 2012 poll. Rightful winner indeed. The singles Tell Me A Tale and the title track are garnering extensive airplay and attention. Michael’s warm sultry voice take you right back to the sixties. His inspiration James Brown’s I’m black and I’m proud made him turn from Rock to Soul. Kiwanuka, a name to watch out for in 2012. Here’s why.