BRENDA HOLLOWAY - SPELLBOUND: RARE AND UNRELEASED MOTOWN GEMS
SoulMusic Records is releasing a sumptuous 33-track 2-CD set of classic recordings by the legendary Brenda Holloway drawn from Motown's vaults and recorded between 1963 and 19066. Spellbound has been compiled and produced by longtime Motown expert Paul Nixon, responsible for the successful "Cellarful Of Motown" series, who has carefully selected the tracks on this superb compilation by one of Motown's most soulful singers. Included here are nine previously unreleased tracks along with rare cuts that have only been available digitally. California-born Brenda Holloway became the first West Coast-based artist signed to Motown in 1963; within one year, she achieved US national success with the now-timeless classic, 'Every Little Bit Hurts'; Brenda's five further charted singles included 'When I'm Gone', 'Just Look What You've Done' and 'You've Made Me So Very Happy'. . Although Motown only issued one LP, Brenda recorded prolifically for the label, with literally dozens of tracks remaining in the vast Motown vaults until producer Nixon began including tracks on various reissues. Spellbound features two tracks cut in 1963, 23 in 1964 and eight in 1966. Notes by renowned UK Motown historian and writer Sharon Davis include 2017 quotes from Brenda along with an essay by producer Nixon.
SAM FLETCHER - SINGS
Though Sam Fletcher (1933-1984) began singing as a child in the churches of his native Memphis, Tennessee, it was only in 1959 that he made his recording debut with two singles for M-G-M s subsidiary, Metro. His big baritone voice found favour with critics and audiences and led to several more singles, first for Cub another M-G-M brand and then RCA Victor, and Warner Bros. Signing for Vee-Jay Records in 1964, he made his classic LP Sam Fletcher Sings, I Believe in You. By then, Sam and his family had moved to Los Angeles, and in 1967 he recorded his second and last album, The Look of Love The Sound of Soul, for Vault Records. An eclectic collection of standards and pop tunes arranged and conducted by Harry Betts, it was dramatic verification of Sam s versatility which included a new version of I Believe in You his signature song recorded for RCA in 1961. But in late 1967 he was arrested for heroin possession, and though he eventually cleaned up his act, his career was effectively over. His biggest fans included some of history s greatest vocalists, among them Nat King Cole, Aretha Franklin and Nancy Wilson, and he left behind a legacy of music and performing that recalls a bygone era of class and sophistication.
Soul Understated featuring Mavis "Swan" Poole is an exciting new neo,soul and funk group that melds elements of R&B, Jazz, Funk and Hip-Hop into a unique sound. Led by vocalist extraordinaire Mavis "Swan" Poole (Lauryn Hill, Prince, HBO's Vinyl), whose distinctive vocal sound recalls Eryakah Badu and Esther Phillips, and drummer Jeremy "Bean" Clemons (who has performed with Gregory Porter, Burning Spear, Jennifer Holliday and more), Soul Understated delivers a beautifully performed organic sound with stellar musicianship. 'Songs In The Key Of Grease', an E.P. featuring six original compositions, is Soul Understated's first nationally-distributed release. The material ranges from the infectious funk of "Wibble Wobble" to the slinky Badu-esque neo-soul of "The Way I See" to the beautiful balladry of "Fantasy."