The new CD project by singer/songwriter/producer Joe Leavy. A storyteller and lyricist with honey-smooth vocals, Joe is a self-proclaimed romantic with a high regard for love and a huge passion for music. Fortunately for the listener, he is combining the two.
Internationally influenced in his music, for more than 10 years, Joe worked overseas playing R&B, pop and jazz nightly in popular clubs and hot spots throughout Japan, in bands backing other artists. His time there was both financially and musically productive. Family led him to return the United States, taking his gifts to the Las Vegas market, where he once again, kept busy in the local music scene. Over time, the grind burned him out, and he moved to California, set his music aside and opened a construction company, creating a lifestyle more conducive to focusing on his wife and children.
As any true musician in love with his craft, he couldn’t completely put music aside. “ I have a studio in my home that I built myself. I would still go in there and tinker around as a means of expression” That ‘tinkering’ lead to the creation of a song in early 2012 called “It’s About Time”, dedicated to his wife, the tracks for “I Heart You” and the others that will be included on this project. “In my previous work, I never had the opportunity to perform my own creations. With the music industry being as it is today, with independent music being so prevalent, I can create music that appeals to me and others like me in my age group”.
“Love is where we live. It’s where we are as human beings. I believe we all want to share our lives with another person. I am a brother, son, father, husband, friend’. I believe that my music should express who I am in a way that is uplifting and redeeming. So much of music today is misogynistic. We have given women the idea that they need to show us everything – loins, legs, behinds and cleavage out everywhere. Nothing is left to the imagination. I don’t need to make it rain. I don’t need a woman to ‘drop it like it’s hot’. I am about real love and longevity in relationships, and the good and bad that comes with it. I am over 30, I have made my mistakes, and learned from and fixed them where possible. I have been happily married to my wife for 18 years. Mature love, enduring love and the wisdom gained in the process. That is what I express in my music”.
When asked about his musical influences he references greats such as Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett. “These guys are true professionals in regard to musicianship. Their interpretations, phrasing and delivery of songs is what made them popular” He sites other legendary ‘classic’, artists as major influences: Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn and Donny Hathaway. “They sang music that is timeless that we still listen to today”. “And when it comes to songwriting, one can’t forget Stevie (Wonder) and Marvin Gaye. They wrote music that people can connect with. I try to do the same with my music”.
“At the end of the day I am just a guy named Joe Leavy who believes in love. I am a simple man – I love God, my wife, my family, my friends, and music. I feel blessed that God has given me the gifts and opportunity to be able to express this in my musical offerings, and I hope to create music that resonates in the hearts and minds of people decades from now. Classics that people will never grow tired of!!
Release Date: Monday April 29th 2013
David Washington is a multi talented singer, songwriter producer and musician (bass guitarist) who was one of the founding members along with Michael Powell of the legendary Detroit Group Chapter 8. Chapter 8 went on to recorded three highly acclaimed albums for major labels Ariola (1979) entitled “Chapter 8”. The “This Love’s For Real” Beverley Glenn (1985) and the “Forever “ album Capitol (1988) these albums and their subsequent 45 and12” singles secured Chapter 8 a cult following not only in Europe but Japan where they toured for 6 months at a time for 3 consecutive years.
David Washington was also responsible for discovering Anita Baker whom he first heard singing with another local Detroit band “The Osmoses”. Following brief spells with female lead singers Carolyn Crawford and Barbara Love, Chapter 8 in 1978 were again in need of a new female vocalist and Baker fitted the bill. But Baker was to leave following the group being dropped by Ariola. When Anita Baker embarked on a solo career she did so under the tutelage of producer Michael Powell who enlisted David and other former Chapter 8 members to record on the Baker sessions, they also found success with Regina Bell, RJ’s latest Arrival, Marissa Rose and David Peaston, amongst others.
David Washington has also worked and travelled the world with the likes of the Detroit Emeralds, The Fantastic Four, Joe Simon, Sam and Dave and The Dells whom Chapter 8 backed on their Detroit and national concerts. This opportunity came about through Tin Alison as he was the cousin of Marvin Junior the Dells baritone lead singer.
Also, David, along with fellow Detroit musician Donny Lyle formed another group known as Quazer who also established a firm fan base in Japan. At one point Quazer looked to be close to signing a recording deal with CBS/Sony before a difference of opinion caused the group to split. Additionally, in 1999 David toured Europe with the British gospel singer Lavine Hudson.
David then turned his back on the road life of a professional musician. Firstly, he operated his own pest control business before entering college where he attained a degree in information technology. David went on to work as a network specialist with his wife, Jeannine, in Japan that was until the tsunami hit. Upon his return to his native Detroit David rediscovered the urge to perform and record music once again, his first effort being a solo rework of the Chapter 8 classic “Ready For Your Love”, which we at Soul Junction records have since picked up for release along with David’s own brand new interpretation of the song “Games” which David previously wrote for former Fee recording artist, Jimmy Scott.
Welcome back Mr Washington
C. Robert Walker
Something's Going On
Release Date: Monday 22nd April 2013
A voice that can flow from Jazz to Dance to Soul C Robert Walker is called the singer. His combination of melodic and catchy self penned melodies, heartfelt lyrics, seductive tone and stage presence to match, it is no wonder why his creative versatility is always in demand. A trained Multi instrumentalist and song writer, C Robert Walker has penned and sung hits for American vocal group “Men With Style”, European lounge group Gard Du Nord and a string of International Dance producers like Junior Jack, Syndicate of law, Rocco, Boddhi Satva, Modern soul group Cool Million and many more.
Robert’s work has been remixed by producers from all over but most notably the Grammy award winning Louie Vega and Disco Legend Tom Moulton. While in and out of recording studios Robert is called to perform in stage shows all over Europe from Belgium to Amsterdam.
Through the Jazz Fusion circuit Robert meets producer Paris Cesvette and after releasing another dance club hit with her they mutually agree that this is the time and combination to do C Robert Walker… THE ALBUM.
In doing so Roberts album will feature some of contemporary Jazz’s modern greats, Billboard Topping guitarist Peter White and double Grammy award winning producer Paul Brown to name just a few. As well as the Albums release expect to see features with the Jack 2 Jazz band and South Africa’s Room 806 and more.
Released April 29th 2013
The Gene Dudley Group represents an outpouring of deep soul and funk music from obscenely talented 27 year-old multi-instrumentalist residing in North London, Gene Dudley.
Both tracks on the debut release from this one-man band were recorded in Gene’s bedroom studio and feature him on trumpet, saxophone, drums, bass, guitar and piano.
Fans of labels like Truth & Soul and Daptone will relish these sonorous soulful offerings, and will no doubt be hotly anticipating the debut long-player, due for release this summer on Wah Wah 45s.
In the live arena, rather than trying to play all the instruments himself, Gene deploys a quartet of top notch young musicians to help him out (whilst Gene mixes it up between bass and keys throughout the set) as witnessed at the recent Hot 8 Brass Band gig in London, The Gene Dudley Group’s debut live show.
Lady: Nicole Wray and Terri Walker
Live at the Jazz Café 8th Feb 2013
Michael J Edwards
Photo: Courtesy of Stafford Tomlinson
Having already received major success and acclaim both critically and publicly via their previous artist, Mr Lee Fields, Brooklyn-based Truth & Soul records are back. This time they are unleashing both musical barrels upon us in the guise of the stunning vocal prowess and beauty of Nicole Wray and Terri Walker a.k.a. “Lady.” And if you think those names have a familiar ring to them then you’ll be right. Both these young ladies have previous! Terri has already released four hit albums to date in the UK, with her debut release being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. Atlanta born Nicole tasted success with her debut single “Make It Hot” being certified gold.
This Anglo-American friendship was forged back in New York City in 2009, when both parties realised the common denominator between them was their love of 60s pop; hip-hop and modern-day R&B. This being the case the natural progression was to form a duo and record an album that incorporated all three music genres. The result is their self titled debut album “Lady.” On February 8, 2013 Lady performed their debut live set at London’s prestigious Jazz Cafe venue.
Although they were last on during an evening where four or five bands were performing, they were well worth the wait. Entering stage right Nicole Wray and Terri Walker twinkle footed along to their respective microphones. Nicole enthused, “How y’all doing?” And Terri uttered “What’s up London?! After introducing themselves, Lady exploded straight into the infectious, chugging beats of “Hold On.” With its catchy and in-your-face chorus “Hold On” is definitely a future single in the waiting.
On the topic of singles, next up was the track that brought the name of “Lady” to many people’s consciousnesses toward the latter end of 2012. Their debut outing “Money” is definitely one for the independent ladies out there.Staying true to the Truth & Soul ethos of quality lyrics backed by quality musicianship; married with first-class vocal talent and passion “Money” embodies all the sassiness and attitude of the two ladies who performed it. Granted, it was a pity a large number of the audience didn’t know what they were witnessing given the incessant chatter during their set, but for the clued up and musically astute it was fabulous to see this song performed live, having heard it for so many weeks on various discerning radio shows such as Mark Merry’s Soul Sermon Mix-up on Star point radio and Mick O’Donnell’s Soul Discovery Show on Solar Radio, who have been championing this group from the outset.
Photo: Courtesy of Stafford Tomlinson
Next up was a track dedicated to all the wonderful mothers of the world, “Sweet Lady.” With its captivating lilt and positive, uplifting and edifying lyrics “Sweet Lady” is definitely an oh so sweet tune. The two ladies delivered it with panache and passion. The album showcase continued with a sterling rendition of “Habit” which has that deep down’n’dirty Southern soul mid tempo groove which causes one to instinctively head nod. Not to mention the enticing sing-a-long chorus.
With the audience still buzzing from the previous tune, four clicks of the drummer’s sticks signalled the intro to “Get Ready,” the second official single release by “Lady.” Have you ever had that feeling when you think you’ve heard a tune before but it’s a brand-new release? The tune of has such a fresh and crisp jaunty feel to it, yet because of the old school production and instrumentation it could have easily been recorded in1960s a Stax recording studio. Definitely a tune with that spring summer vibe to it, which is both club and radio friendly.
The ethereal vibes of Toby Pazner’s keyboard gave a homely and church like feel to the penultimate tune “Tell the Truth.” All that was missing was a couple of tambourines for the vocalists to tap against their thighs.
By this time also Terri and Nicole were revelling in the experience of performing live before a Jazz Cafe audience. They looked comfortable and at ease within their musical environment. Indeed this very professional, musically stimulating and commendable performance was brought to a close by the funky, up-tempo beats of “Good Lovin.” And we were treated to an impromptu funky dance and interaction between the two ladies to boot.
Having witnessed them live, “Lady” are indeed the real deal and with the heavyweight writing team and music power house of Truth & Soul Records fully behind them, i predict big things for these two young ladies. And that can only be good for ALL lovers of quality Soul music the world over. I’m already looking forward to their return visit.
“Lady” with Michael “The Dood” Edwards
Photo: Courtesy of Stafford Tomlinson
Lady (CD) (Truth & Soul Records 2013 Essential Singles: Money Get Ready
Michael “The Dood” Edwards & Soul Discovery
in association with
If you’re looking for a story that best summarizes the last year in the life of Charles Bradley, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one than the night he and his band showed up in Utopia, Texas to play an outdoor show in the middle of a thunderstorm. "It was just raining, raining, raining," Bradley recalls. "I walked out onstage, and there were about 800 people there – maybe more – all of them just standing out there in the rain and the mud." The band settled in and fought their hardest against the elements, but – for a moment, anyway – it seemed that nature was too much for even the mighty Charles Bradley. About halfway through the show, the power went out, leaving both the band and the drenched fans in total darkness.
At any other show, that would be understood as the meteorological signal for "Quittin' Time," but if there's one thing the last year of tireless touring before enrapt audiences has proven, it's that Charles Bradley does not put on typical shows. "I could hear them screaming, 'Charles Bradley! Charles Bradley we love you,'" Bradley smiles. "And so when the lights came back on, I said, 'If all of you can stand out there in the rain and get soaking wet because you want to see me perform – to see me do something that I love to do – then you know what? I'm gonna get wet, too.'" And with that, Bradley jumped off the stage and into the crowd. "They went completely crazy!" he laughs. "We were laughing. We were hugging. We were getting muddy. It was just love."
That's his whole persona in a single tiny scene: Charles Bradley, victim of love. Other artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. By now, his remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented – how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs – most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone's Gabriel Roth. The year following the release of his debut, No Time For Dreaming, was one triumph after another: a stunning performance at South By Southwest that earned unanimous raves; similarly-gripping appearances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Newport Folk Festival and Outside Lands (to name just a few); and spots on Year-End Best Lists from Rolling Stone, MOJO, GQ, Paste and more. Victim of Love, Bradley's second record, is a continuation of that story, moving past the 'heartache and pain' and closer to the promise of hope.
"The first record taps into maybe two or three feelings," explains Thomas Brenneck of Menahan Street Band, Bradley's producer, bandleader and co-writer. "But the range of emotion on this record is huge. The last record was written by a man living in the Brooklyn projects for 20 years. This record is more than just a poor man's cry from the ghetto. This time, he's grateful." Bradley agrees. "I was singing about all these hardships that I've been through. I wanted people to know my struggles first, but now I want them to know how much they have helped me grow."
Drop into any moment of Victim of Love at random and that message is immediately apparent. Where the last record opened with the apocalyptic "The World (is Going Up in Flames), Victim begins “Strictly Reserved For You,” a track that sees Bradley grabbing his girl, jumping in a car and hitting the highway for a romantic getaway. In "You Put The Flame on It," Bradley sings "My life is gold – you put the flame on it," backed by a horn chart that sounds like it was lifted from a lost Four Tops single. And on “Victim of Love,” the song that gives the album its name, Bradley sings, "I woke up this morning, I felt your love beside me," over the kind of gentle acoustic guitar that wouldn't sound out of place on a classic Neil Young album.
Which brings up another point: with the new subject matter comes a broader musical scope. Where Dreaming hewed close to the rough-and-ready R&B sound Daptone has become known for, Victim is stylistically more restless, edging closer into the kind of psychedelic soul The Temptations explored in the early '70s. "I've been calling it 'New Direction Daptone,'" enthuses Brenneck. "People are not going to expect this. There's a lot of psych influences on this record, a lot of fuzz guitar. I'm pushing the band & the arrangements further out, which in turns has to make Charles go further out."
That new direction is most apparent in "Confusion." Opening with the kind of echo-drenched vocal and charging rhythmic cadence that characterized Curtis Mayfield’s "(Don’t Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go," Bradley calls down fire on crooked businessmen and duplicitous leaders. "That song is about a lot of those big politicians who think they can make everybody's decisions for them," says Bradley. "The higher class think they can make up the rules for us. But a lot of those big wigs have never really been down to the harsh life. They don't know how it feels. So I'm trying to talk to people who are going through those hardships." As is typical of Bradley, the song comes off not as a roaring jeremiad, but as a deeply-felt note of sympathy for the oppressed and beaten-down.
But if the album has a summary statement, it's "Through the Storm." Over a deep gospel groove, Bradley expresses his gratitude – to his fans, his friends and to God – for their support, their dedication and their devotion. "When the world gives you love," he sings, "It frees your soul." This is the new message of Charles Bradley, the Bradley who has emerged from the heartache stronger and more confident, overflowing with love to share. This is Charles Bradley, victim of love -- gratefully returning the joy that has been given to him.
"It's all about what you give." Bradley says, leaning hard into that last word. "I don’t care how great a singer you are. I don't care how much talent you have. If you give, and if the people feel what you're giving, you're blessed."
"Charles is deeper than me and you put together," Brenneck says, "His message is, 'I've lived through this. I know what you're going through. And if I can make it, you can, too.' He gets offstage every night thinking he didn't give enough. I say, 'Charles, if you gave any more, you'd have a heart attack.'"
"All I've been trying to show the world is the love I have to give," says Bradley. "I hope that when you look at me, you're gonna see a person who walks this planet in a way that, when the Lord calls him home, He says, 'Well done, servant.' If God can see that I've loved all as He's loved us – that's all I can do. And that’s what I fight to do."