James Hunter on an album photo

A week or two back JAMES HUNTER announced he's set to release a brand new album in the New Year. 'Whatever It Takes' , we were told, will be out on February 2nd and like James' last collection, 'Hold On', it will be released on the iconic Daptone label.

In the meantime James and his band (The fab "Six") have just issued the first single from the album – 'I Don't Wanna Be Without You'. Its typically James Hunter; typically Daptone. It's lazy, laconic, sweet and soulful and James says: "The song was inspired by my wife, I can't deny it. The sentiments apply to my love for her." Aah!

Updated on 07 December 2017 9:00 PM

LAWRENCE PRESTON is an America singer/songwriter who also plays bass. His roots are in Gospel and as young boy he was part of the Fantastic Four (No, not the Detroit group) who toured the San Francisco Gospel circuit.

Now, following the call of secular music, Lawrence is working on an album – 'Eclectic Soul', from which the first single has just been released.... 'Something For You'. The cut is an unashamedly romantic tune that evokes the best of 70s soul and it's already causing major interest Stateside.

Lawrence Preston: Something For You is currently available via all the major download portals.

Updated on 07 December 2017 9:00 PM

The sixties was the Golden Age of the Dance Craze and one of the most enduring of those novelty dances was (indeed is) The Boogaloo. Musicologists and people who worry about these kinds of things (yes, such people exist) can't agree on the origins of the dance – it roots, rhythms and tempos. Some claim it began in the Afro-American community; others say the dance is a Hispanic creation. But does that really matter? We think not.... Boogaloo music is a joyous celebration of life and love and to make that point Ace imprint BGP has just released a wonderful 24 tracker that pulls together the very best Boogaloo tunes from the sixties.

There are plenty of Latino flavours here – for starters Mongo Santamaria's 'Mongo's Boogaloo' and Charlie Palmieri's 'Bugulu' – while soul collectors will find treasures from some of their artists. Right now we're lovin the Capitols' 'We Got A Good Thing In The Groove' (essentially 'Cool Jerk' part II). Featured artists include Timmy Thomas, Chubby Checker (the man who knows more than most about dance crazes), the Bar Kays, Jimmy Castor, Lou Courtney and the Fantastic Johnny C, whose funky 'Boogaloo Down Broadway' is a Boogaloo classic – though there are plenty more here!

Updated on 08 December 2017 11:20 PM

Celebrated session bassist ROBERT "POPS" POPWELL died on Monday 27 November in Lebanon, Tennessee. He was aged 66.

Born in Florida in 1950, "Pops" Popwell will be most fondly remembered by soul fans for his work with the Crusaders, but in a garlanded career he worked with people like the Young Rascals, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Ron Wood, Al Jarreau, Bobby Womack, Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Smokey Robinson, Bette Midler, Greg Allman, Bob Dylan, B. B. King, and Randy Crawford.

Robert is survived by his wife and three children.

Updated on 08 December 2017 11:20 PM