Monday, April 22, 2024

New Music: Russell Thompkins, Jr., Lenny Williams, Alex Harris, Richard 'Dimples' Fields

Russell Thompkins, Jr. - Riding Solo

SoulMusic Records-Digital in association with Platinum Garage Recordings is very excited to present “Riding Solo,” a brand new album by the iconic Russell Thompkins, Jr.  whose distinctive vocal style graced such classic hits as” You Are Everything”, “Betcha By Golly Wow”and “People Make The World Go ‘Round” as the original lead singer of The Stylistics.  With primary production by Preston Glass and three tracks produced by The Steals Brothers & McKinley Jackson, “Riding Solo” is a powerful addition to Russell’s musical legacy. Songs include "Little Green Apples," "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love," among others.

Lenny Williams - Chill

Vocalist Lenny Williams joined Tower of Power in 1972 after releasing singles as a solo artist on Fantasy, Galaxy, and Atco Records. His first release with the band was their self-titled, third album, which went Gold. After two albums with the group, Williams returned to his solo career - releasing albums through to the end of the 1970's on Warner Bros. Motown, ABC and MCA Records. Material from those albums became a hotbed for sampling decades later by Kanye West, Mobb Deep, Scarface, Young Jeezy, and others. In 1986, Williams was recruited by award winning producer Preston Glass to sing lead vocals on a track by jazz artist Kenny G. The track, 'Don't Make Me Wait for Love', hit #15 on the pop charts, and the album, 'Duotones', went on to sell over five million copies in the US. Lenny would reconnect with Duotones producer Preston Glass in 1994 for a new album - 'Chill'.

Alex Harris - Back To Us

The timing couldn’t be better for the emergence of an exciting new soul star and Alex Harris delivers the goods with heart stopping emotion, a powerful voice and radiant good looks leading to rave reviews. From Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings to Durand Jones & The Indications and Leon Bridges, classic soul music has been a growing part of the contemporary music landscape. Alex’s debut album, ‘Back To Us’, is an impressive mix of original tunes and astute covers recorded with soulful funksters Monophonics in Nashville. Highlights include stunning versions of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” and Solomon Burke’s “Cry To Me,” Kevin Welch’s “Millionaire” and Alex’s co-written originals “Falling For You” and “Something’s Gotta Change.

Richard 'Dimples' Fields - The Albums 1980-1985

This package kicks off with ‘Dimples’ the first album he recorded after being signed to Boardwalk by Neil Bogart, who had previously run Casablanca Records, the home of Donna Summer and Parliament among others. Bogart had a lot of faith in his talent after spotting him on American Bandstand and his industry clout positioned Dimples to attract a wide, mainstream audience far beyond his previous cult independent LPs. The standout that looms large on ‘Dimples’ is ‘She’s Got Papers on Me’ which sounds much like a stock soul ballad of the day: lush and pretty, with swooning background vocals and a sincere lead, but Dimples isn’t serenading a love, instead, he’s complaining that he’d rather be with his mistress than with his wife who, unfortunately, holds that pesky marriage license (the “papers” in question). Ironically, it was never released as a single. ‘Dimples’ was followed with the ‘Mr Looks So Good’ album, the lead cut ‘If It Ain’t One Thing It’s Another’ was his breakthrough track, reaching #1 on the R&B Chart and cracking the Top 50 on the Billboard chart. The ‘Give Everybody Some’ album followed featuring the singles ‘People Treat You Funky (When Ya Ain’t Got No Money)’ and ‘Don’t Ever Stop Chasing Your Dreams’. After leaving Boardwalk, Dimples signed with RCA and recorded the album “MMM…” the label put its weight behind the glossy, uptempo, and double infidelity-themed ‘Your Wife Is Cheatin’ on Us’ which peaked at #32 in the R&B chart. On the follow up album ‘Dark Gable’ Fields simply became Dimples for the standout cut ‘Shake ‘Em Down’. Sadly Richard “Dimples” Fields died in January 2000 following a stroke.

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