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Stevesilktulip

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  • A brief intro...
    Rock (aged 10), Soul, Funk, Northern (aged 12), New York Disco, Jazz Funk, Jazz, Reggae, Deep, Southern, Jazz Rock, Blues, Zappa, Beefheart, Tom Waites, Hendrix, Santana, C20th Classical. World, (some) Hip Hop.  With Alex Lowes and Searling, transformed Jazz Funk model of weekender to Soul Room model at Berwick, Fleetwood, Morecambe and Southport. Sam Dees asked for me by name when he arrived at Fleetwood for his first ever British date. Dramatic Ron Banks told me I have a good ear after I recognized Wee Gee on a recent comeback record (long since forgotten). Invented the term Deep and Sweet which seems to have become Sweet and Deep.

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  • Public Real Name
    Seedy Steve Tulip
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    North East
  • Top Soul Sound
    Impressions, People get ready

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  1. At Berwick, the soul rm wasn't open long and I doubt there was any northern played; I cerainly never heard any. The funk mob had Prestatyn years before Searling et al. I think it would be 88 when I went. The rm which became the northern rm played house (or whatever tag it had in 88). Chris Hill raised a banner in another rm saying Acid Free Zone and played one of the best sets I've ever heard. He looked thoroughly p!$$ed off.
  2. I'm surprised the first real soul weekenders didn't get more than a single mention of Southport. Stuart Cosgrave described them as northern soul although they were never that, beyond Mr Searling doing an hour in the jazz room on a saturday afternoon. How times have changed. These weekenders were critical as a stepping stone from Caister, Bognor and the original Prestatyn Weekenders and were responsible for launching all the weekenders that followed. I'm assured many still claim Fleetwood in particular was the greatest soul room ever, and Sam Dees' performace, even for a PA. was utterly extraordinary. Myself, Searling and others gradually drifted away and Mr Lowes eventually got the weekender he always wanted, but for a time it seemed that anything was possible.
  3. The CD sections are being neglected because of the so-called vinyls revival, which was something of a damp squib last year, though the record companies, backed by the media, are seriously stepping up their campaign this year. Somebody said to me recently, we won you lost. I thought he was a fanatical brexiteer and, as with brexit, we've all lost.
  4. Don't you just love lazy afternoons at work where you can just youtube choons. Been through the Hayley list and, while there's nothing I'd have sold a granny for (and my grannies came cheap) there's nothing terrible either. Would have appreciated them more in the mid-seventies when I was always on the lookout for stuff nobody was playing. Some great singing, especially Gilford and Scruggs, Delphs, Mancha and of course JJ. I'll no doubt have to buy all the albums on payday.
  5. I'm a Soul Fan (actually a Black Music fan verging on Music Fan), not a (northern) soul on vinyls fan. I buy a couple of dozen albums a month and discovered years ago that the Amazon basket (the worst company in the world but in a monopoly situation) will only hold 600 items, though I could always cheat it a bit. I've recently found out I can only cheat it by another 50 items meaning I have about 200 items on hand-written sheets. I'm not desperate for new stuff to arrive.
  6. Great to hear Curtis still adding guitar at this stage.
  7. Hi again again. I try to avoid Soul Source (too many Beatlemaniacs and punkrockers) so have just come across this. I'll (persuade the missus to let me) order part 2; to be honest I've been getting frustrated without it, but there's always music to buy which has to come first, though books can enhance music enormously. I've started putting a Soul Album on my facebook page (Christine Tulip) each day and you get the odd mention. A little slippage in Funk - perhaps the age difference - but I'd say 68-78 though I acknowledge a decline after 75. Despite maybe half a dozen essential tracks I think many of the bands who followed on from Sly improved on them. I'd have had Wild and Peaceful, All n All, 3+3 and some P at least in my top 100. 'Serious' Soul types always seem to struggle with P Funk, particularly poor old Bootsy; like Zappa, I believe it will have time on its side. Although I seldom listen to her these days, I think Anita's first 2 albums disprove any theory that the Soul Album disappeared once CD's outsold vinyls. As a singer I think she ranks with Aretha, Linda Jones, Betty Wright, Minnie Ripperton and Jean Carn(e), but I think the age slippage is in play here. Certainly I know many (and some would have been at Bilbao) who think she was a very big deal. For me, although I don't care much for Roy Ayers beyond odd ones, should have been there because, unlike say Herbie Hancock and Donald Byrd, he was never a big deal in 'Real Jazz'. However, I struggle with the omission of DB so perhaps I think vocals are an issue here. I certainly think Benson should have featured because he really stopped being a Jazz Artist at all and vocally was in the scope of Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, though - beyond his incredible Jazz Guitar playing, I don't care much for any of his music. Overall I think the Jazz-Funk issue was a minefield no two people would ever agree on, but debate in itself is good. Hopefully see you in Bilbao next year. Steven.
  8. My list has probably changed since the last post which had probably changed since the first post; note my comments on Sam Dees. You are in a privileged position of being able to put out a book and the nice people at Soul source allows us to put in our two penneth. Anything of this nature is only a starting point for an exchange of ideas, discussion and discourse and I'm always pleased to add a few more to my ever growing wants list (though Mrs Silk definitely isn't). Haven't seen the original VFTS for years which seems to be in a loft. I wonder if you have a copy of the list you could send me when I order vol 2. I know there were at least a couple on it I hadn't heard, and of course nowadays you can get virtually everything. It would be fascinating to see how your choice has changed over the years. Forgive me but it's also worth noting you're obviously a few years older than me, and that slippage goes a long way to explain many of our differences. However, this also highlights one major difference we have which is that I absolutely believe Soul Music is an artform, which would suggest it should be timeless. Only time will tell. Applying modern cultural theory, classical music (or even jazz) does not have to be used as a model, but unfortunately, Soul Music hangs on binary oppositions of grain and something along the lines of 'if I have to explain, you wouldn't understand'. Obviously hadn't read/ retained your 82 cut-off and I think her first two albums perhaps warrants a rethink. I was still involved in weekenders ten years later and soul fans at least, were still preoccupied with vinyls (too many still are). But I'd have also wanted to include Angie Stone, the only Soul Artist to emerge in the last twenty years, to stand with the greats. The funk jazz/ funk divide is a real toughy, not only because of James Brown, Isleys and Maze, but also Curtis, Marvin, Willie Hutch and countless others. I suspect you're not all that keen on funk, at least after JB, and I'll hazard a stab you're also big on Sly, but that's more or less it. As somebody who has gone through the ninety year history of jazz, most jazz people think jazz funk is smooth jazz is universally dreadful. I like jazz-funk (though not smooth jazz) but I tend to put it with soul/funk rather than jazz. Having made the decision (or accepted the inevitability) to include funk, Roy Ayers is probably one you should have included, though - again - I suspect it's not your thing. Finally, didn't know you were playing in Bilbao or I'd have gone - no pressure than.
  9. Just come across the top 100 at the end. I remember many years ago reading Lady Soul is the best Soul Album ever, and while I've never been able to split them, I'm surprised he had her so high. Id probably have them both - in consecutive positions - much further down the list and wouldn't have a third, but if I did, it wouldn't be YG and B. I understand him not wanting Whats Going On in pole position but wouldn't have gone Aretha. Surely he doesn't have Otis Blue in vol 2. Paul Kelly has slipped down since Voices from the Shadows and, while I never had it on vinyls, Hooked Hogtied and Collared has been in my basket for a couple years, it's just been promoted. A cheap Best Of is as much as I could ever be interested in by Etta James and the Don Covay is new to me so need to investigate. Not a great singer in my view (Nor Syl Johnson). I'd have at least 4 Al Green albums ahead of Gets Next to you - 3 of which he has - but probably only 2 in the top 100. I used to have Sam Dees on a parr with Marvin, then second only to, then best album not by Marvin, but may now have best not by Marvin, Curtis/Impressions or Luther Ingram. Probably about eighth. I get why he has these particular JB album so high, but most of the albums I've bought have been unheard and that's how I like it. Prior to CDs, which makes it much easier to trawl through piles and piles of albums, James was probably best heard on compilations, of which there are loads. The 3 volumes of Soul Classics were the ones for me. I'd probably have Dells albums but maybe not these ones and I'd definitely have Chilites albums but definitely not these ones. I'd have People get Ready as the top Impressions album (perhaps not surprisingly) with Young Mods second, My Country third with the debut fourth, and maybe all 4 in top 100. As a blues fan, Two steps by Bobby Bland album is much over-rated by pop nerds trying to talk about Soul. Johnny Adams is a fantastic choice. l'd probably agree with his choice of Luther Ingram though I'd have the other two masterpieces as well; possibly all top 20, but no room for Stealaway Hideaway. Garland Green absolutely, though I'd have JR Bailey and Anthony White ahead of Lou Courtney. While I love Ashford and Simpson, Come as you Are and Is it Still Good to You are the only totally succesful albums, neither of which are the 2 he's selected. Sandra Feva absolutely. John Edwards is a highly rated album, and while it's good, there's much wrong with it and I may prefer the one on Cotillion. His choice of Isleys makes me think he maybe should have tried to find a way to not include Funk, though the JBs is a monster. I don't think Phases of Reality is particularly William Bells best though I was the first person I ever heard play Man in the Streets. Bizzarely I don't know this particular Tyrone Davis album which shall be rectified soon, though I'll be surprised if I have it top 100. Which brings us back to Marvin. Lets Get it On and the sixties hits are the reason it took me so long to get into him - yes I was one of those who, in 74/75/76, thought JJ was better. I love Keep Getting it On and a couple others, but the first live album has the best version of Distant Lover. The album hasn't aged well and some of it's pretty crap. I'd have Here my Dear, In Our Lifetime and I Want You, maybe as high as top 20, but I'm not sure LGIO would make the list at all. No problems with Millie Jackson, James Carr, Jerry Butler, Blue Magic, Linda Jones, Shirley Brown, Ike Hayes (though not that album), Otis Clay and Walter Jackson. Wouldn't have Doris Duke, Mitty Collier, Solomon Burke, Tops (as an album band), Gladys Knight (doing so well), (that) Donny Hathaway, Clarence Carter, Ray Charles, Sam Cook or Ace Spectrum. Would have GC Cameron, Lamont, Facts of Life, Michael Henderson, ZZ Hill, Willie Hutch, Charles Jackson and some funk. Most bizarre exclusion, which seems inexplicable and may be an oversight, though I suspect not, is Anita Baker, who, as far as I have read, is excluded entirely as a solo artist. Songstress would certainly make this list and possibly Rapture too. Still the best book on Soul in the known galaxy, though part 2 is still battling it out with 600 CDs in my basket.
  10. We put a Soul Night on here circa 89. Me, Jonathan Allen, Tony Boyce and Alex Lowes DJd. A few came from Teeside if I remember correctly. I remember I played Margie Joseph - Ridin High, Randy Brown - I'm Here, Tyrone Davis - Aint Nothin I can Do, Backstabbers; nobody knew any of them at the time. Alex nailed it with Terry Callier - Don't Want to See Myself, Jesse James and Sidney Joe Qualls. The rest of his set was crap but he just blew the roof with the three biggest records around at that time. Good venue and I'll try to make it if I'm not at work.
  11. It occurs to me, I wonder whether I would have been accused of being blinkered if I'd said I don't like the Beegees, Wham or Simply Red; glam-rock, new romantics or boy/girl bands; graphites or eight tracks. We know from the media that the Beatles, punk-rock and vinyls are diferrent, and as Soul Fans we know that everything the media says is 'the truth'. Fraid from where I'm standing they're all the same, except that the Gibb brothers were better/ more mature songwriters than Lemon and McCartney, punk-rock was the worst of all pop music fads, and for real surface noise it has to be graphites rather than the lightweight crap, kackle and plop of vinyls.
  12. I hadn't planned to write about Leroy's latest UK show so apologies for no photos, but check out my review of his dec gig at Camden Jazz Café on Bebop Spoken Here. At the time the editor asked me about nominating him for the Jazz FM award for top Soul Act and, not having initially put him forward, I agreed and he secured a nomination. Maybe down to us, maybe not. I'd waited almost thirty years, through two cancellations, for a proper Leroy gig and I told my editor afterwards that he'd be back, but hadn't expected it to be so soon. Nevertheless, the contrast between the two venues meant I didn't dare miss it. It was the same British band who again opened with Cool Out, but this time continued with another instrumental I can't identify without checking. He arrived on stage to Lovers Holiday which had done me in at the Caff, but the horns weren't quite on it tonight. It's Different (if I remember correctly) was followed by All Because of You, which finished me off in dec. I can still remember the first time I heard the album version - and I liked the seven - at a club in London, courtesy Scottish jock Tom Jackson, but tonight it seemed a bit messy, unable to decide whether it was the single or album version. Incidentally, the most I ever paid for a vinyls was £56 for Hutson in the early nineties (not long (enough) before it came out on a twelve with Lucky Fellow), though I've paid more for CDs. Having been a massive Curtis fan from the mid seventies, it's inexplicable that I didn't get into Leroy, but the albums, each having one or two extraordinary tracks, aren't great in the sense of being good from start to finish, so I let them pass me by before Modern Soul. By my reckoning there are seven tracks which are up with the greatest music ever, about the same again slightly behind, quite a few which are perfectly good, and a few stinkers. In dec he played four out of the seven and I'd hoped he'd add at least another tonight. Sadly, while he added Love the Feeling, complete with band run-through and a brief audience participation he conceded he wouldn't have joined in with, he omitted Think I'm Falling in Love which he'd played in dec. Once again his female backing singer took Cashing In and Trying to get Next to You, he wrote for Voices of East Harlem and Arnold Blair respectively, and he finished with Lucky Fellow, proving the high-spot of the night (as it was at Southport all those years ago), and the encore was a new single which actually sounded pretty good. In his early seventies, he looks and sounds terrific, my junior jazz genius firstborn observing he sounds better than on record., but these days artists are commonly told which ones to play. Chatting with the chap running the merch store, I claimed that the Modern scene had broken him (with Colin Curtis the main player) but his perspective was that it was the rare groove scene, and giving it consideration, I think it was both. Over-simplification alert, but rare groove comes more from a funk thing, which doesn't necessarily do justice to Leroy. Nevertheless, I'm sure Get to This must have had spins in London and the South, and Love oh Love, having featured on Curtis in Chicago, must have been heard by more people than any other track he's ever recorded. The chap told me Leroy's back at the Caff this dec and I considered introducing myself to him as one of the people instrumental in bringing him over the first time, and slipping him a note with those two tracks written on it, together with his own achingly beautiful version of Heaven Right Here on Earth he wrote for the Natural Four. Instead I just said hello and introduced him to my Curtom T shirt many had admired. I hope, by writing this, it may get to him and he'll work out the best possible set from his illustrious, though relatively sparse, back catalogue. I'm sure the gig was great and many said it was, but for me it was up against the history and emotion of seven months earlier. On this occasion I was upstairs and some venues generate greater atmosphere downstairs (ie Newcastle City Hall), but I've been to the Barbican many times, and seen great concerts from both, so this may or may not have been a factor. It remains to be seen whether I make it this dec. My long-suffering, hard-up Soul and Real Music widow will no doubt have something to say about it (though she loves him and was there last dec). But I was in London the previous weekend for Angie Stone and the P Funk mob, in the spring for the Jazz FM Awards, I'm back in aug for reggae legend Johnny Osbourne and in nov for jazz/ fusion bass king Stanley Clarke at least. I'm at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival on sunday for Zakir Hussain, Dave Holland and Chris Potter (google each of them) who I missed in London last year because I was in Chicago for jazz/ rock/ fusion maestro John McLaughlin's farewell tour. Plus I was at the Cheltenham Jazz festival for lots of people including Tower of Power and Kamasi Washington. This apart from all the gigs I go to in the North East every week: mostly Soul, Jazz, Blues, Rock and (proper) Rock, but also Asian Music, African Music, Classical Music, hip-hop, folk, country and western and even the occasional popstars. And of course my eldest son's quartet are touring the North East and Cumbria through the summer. Not bad for someone blinkered because I don't like or believe stories about a pop group who - give or take your take on other religions - are more over-rated than anything else in the history of mankind, or twenty seconds of pop music from the mid/ late seventies which makes up another of the holy trinity of biggest lies in modern music journalism - the third is that music lovers prefer vinyls; vinyls lovers prefer vinyls. Trust the self proclaimed wordsmiths are managing to keep up. Last Friday I was in Darlo for a real live Chicago Bluesman. He asked the audience whether we wanted him to keep on playing the blues or a Stones cover he's recorded, presumably to take something back and make some money, To my horror, lots of people wanted the Stones and only I wanted blues, even though there'll have been cover bands in pubs in Darlo that night playing stuff by bands like the Stones. Last year Leroy sold out two nights at the Jazz Caff right after Christmas and before New Year. This year there'll no doubt be covers bands in pubs in Camden the same night playing a selection of pop records by bands who like to tell the media how rebellious they are, like the Beatles, Stones and punk-rock groups. Anyone who can't decide should probably save the entrance fee to the Caff.
  13. Is this just another cynical ploy to keep the event in sight?
    I've already posted a couple of comments. The main room was northern soul and ticked all those boxes for all those people. The second room was of more interest to me, with a mixture before I took over at eight and played more or less a Modern Soul greatest hits set (see setlist in comments), which I prefer to playing lots of northern, but isn't really why I do it. Having said that, I just love this type of thing. It reminds me of the weekenders, but without the head crushing hangovers, and if the music ain't as good and the soulies aren't as serious, the crack tends to be better, with people you've known since you were kids. A word up to Chantelle, who may or may not be a digester of this site, but played Joe Simon's Step by Step, which got some mentions on another blog. Organiser Mobbsy also played this type of stuff in the second room and I believe Colin Bussey did too, though I shamefully missed his set completely. Incidentally, I had Walking Down Lonely Street lined up to play next when I was told to wrap it up. Well done Mobbsy and everybody who helped make it a memorable day.
  14. In April I attended the Jazz FM Awards Ceremony, having been asked for proposals for the best blues and best soul artists categories. The only blues artist I could reasonably put forward was Lucky Peterson, who had an album out last year (a tribute to Jimmy Smith) and played a storming set at Sage Gateshead. He received a nomination but it was won by Robert Cray, who my brother had grudgingly suggested. In the Soul category I had no hesitation in proposing William Bell, who played triumphant sets at the London Jazz and SummerTyne Americana Festivals - why don't Soul Fans like William Bell? - and his latest album is one of the best 'real' soul albums of recent times. My other choices were Tasha (daughter of Johnnie) Taylor as one to watch, and Angie Stone as the greatest Soul Artist of the last quarter century. Following my review of Leroy Hutson at Camden Jazz Festival just after Christmas, my editor put a question mark next to him and I enthusiastically concurred, with two sell out gigs and a full reissue programme for 2018. He received a nomination along with Moonchild and Jordan Rakei. We received a copy of the Moonchild album in our party bags and I'm not sure what it is beyond it isn't very good. I still haven't heard Rakei, though I understand he's a white Australian, which of course has form in northern soul. He was presented to the Cheltenham Jazz Festival by Giles Peterson, the jazz end of the Funk Mafia, a collection of DJs who dominated the Black Music scene in London and the South (also Caister, Bognor Regis (where he shared a pirate radio show with Colin Curtis) and Prestatyn (when the big room was full of ravers) in the eighties and nineties but, in amongst Tower of Power, Kamasi Washington, Nigel Kennedy doing Hendrix, Christian McBride and Rob Luft, I decided to give it a miss. During the ceremony, one of the comperes claimed we have healthy scenes in jazz, blues and soul, illustrating how northern soul isn't the only show in town. I have a suggestion; if the contemporary DJs swap with the northern DJs and play vinyls, since we're told daily that vinyls are back, and the northern DJs start using CDs and/or computers as well, they will be able to play whatever they want, without being restricted to these fantastic vinyls collections which, for the most part, don't exist.

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