Kelsey Waldon Debuts "You Can Have It"

Posted on July 22, 2016

The brightest country debut of 2014 might very well have beenKelsey Waldon’s The Goldmine, a record as sensitive as it was tough, with a few tunes like “High in Heels” written on a par with Merle and Townes. Now the Nashville singer from Monkey’s Eyebrow, Kentucky, is back with a much-awaited followup, I’ve Got a Way, due to be released on August 12. Today, she’s debuting her second single from the record, “You Can Have It.”

“While writing this album, I was going through many transitions in my life… as we usually are,” Waldon said over email. “I was reaching a place where I was very much over false pride, false confidence, and also just petty things.” I like the little line It takes a bigger person these days, which, coming from a singer with a clear reverence for the classics, doesn't feel like some kind of judgement on a broader past or wayward generation. It’s you or me that's changed; these days since the deal went sour, the kitchen plates were broken, somebody moved out on somebody.

“It's that moment in your life where the fear of missing out doesn't matter so much anymore, and the pressure of pleasing really starts to wear off,” she continued. “I tend to believe pure happiness starts when you step away from such a shallow mentality. Do what feels right to you and do it for the right reasons, and it's fine if it's not well received at first. Do it anyway.” Hell yeah.


I-D Premiere: Badbadnotgood, In Your Eyes ft. Charlotte Day Wilson

Posted on July 06, 2016

BADBADNOTGOOD dropping a new record is always a cause for celebration. Be it their solo work or their collaborations with the likes of Tyler, the Creator, MF Doom, Kanye, Drake, Rihanna, their blend of seductively crafted instrumental hip hop jazz has had us melting since they dropped their self released, self titled 2011 debut. Since then, the band have dropped two more albums and a collaboration with Wu-Tang's Ghostface Killah. Now, the Innovative Leisure homed group are back with their fourth studio album IV, which features collaborations with Mick Jenkins, Kaytranada and this cut featuring fellow resident of 'The 6', Charlotte Day Wilson. Getting its first spin from Benji B on BBC Radio 1, i-D are pleased to share In Your Eyes.

"'I can see it in your eyes'" said Leland Whitty as he popped his plug in the mouth, took the bag and ran… Our collab with Charlotte Day Wilson came together in the wondrous 'Studio 69'. We were booked to share the stage in Los Angeles for a Red Bull event and decided we should get in the lab and hang. I went to high school with Charlotte and at the time wasn't aware of her incredible singing and songwriting talent. She was playing sax sitting in the chair next to the drums and said to me "damn you got swag son". Ever since we've been making heat in the lab and are planning to get back and keep crafting hit rekkids!" - Alex Sowinski, BBNG.


Elmore Magazine Reviews William Bell & Catherine Russell Live At Brooklyn Academy of Music R&B Festival

Posted on June 23, 2016

William Bell, who wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” with Booker T. Jones (a tune first recorded by Albert King and made legend by Eric Clapton and Cream), performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s R&B Festival at MetroTech. The weather was perfect and the music was inspiring. The horn section showcased Stan Harrison on sax, Larry Etkin (the Uptown Horns), on trumpet and Rick Depofi, composer, arranger, music producer and recording engineer, on tenor sax.; Grammy Award-winning musician, producer, songwriter and the band leader John Leventhal played guitar; Dan Reiser sat in on drums, Andrew Hess (formerly of Gov’t Mule) on bass, and Eryn Roberts on keyboards.

Helping William Bell on vocals was Catherine Russell, who worked with David Bowie from 2002 through 2004, and was a backup singer for such artists as Steely Dan, Jackson Browne and Rosanne Cash (aka Mrs. John Leventhal).

The band played William’s 1961 debut song for Stax Records “You Don’t Miss Your Water (Until Your Well Runs Dry),” which became one of the label’s first major hits. As his career was taking flight William Bell was drafted and did a tour in the army, possibly sidelining his chances for bigger stardom..

The group also played some songs from the new album This Is Where I Live, including the title song and “The Three of Me,” “Poison In The Well,” “I Will Take Care Of You,” “Mississippi-Arkansas Bridge,” and “All Your Stories.” If the CD is anything like the live performance, this is an album that should definitely be in your collection.

—Stanley Abraham

William Bell's Soulful Return

Posted on June 23, 2016

Now that his voice is being heard once again, William Bell is being hailed as a soul titan. But for too many years, Bell was reduced to a shadow existence as a used-to-be. Bell first got some notice when he wrote and recorded “You Don't Miss Your Water” in '61, but Otis' version in '67 is the one everybody remembers. In '67, Bell co-wrote another memorable hit, “Born under A Bad Sign,” with keyboardist Booker T (Booker T and the MGs.) And once again, somebody else stole all the thunder. In this case it was Earl King and his Gibson Flying V that got the attention with it in '67, then Cream fired it up again the following year. Bell got some notice almost on his own the following year, teaming up with Judy Clay for the soul classic “Private Number.”

He had some sole success with '66's “Share What You Got (But Keep What You Need)” and 1968's "I Forgot to Be Your Lover." But once again, somebody else made the top of the charts with it, this time Billy Idol with a remake of the song in '86 as “To Be A Lover.”

Over the years Bell continued to record, adding his mellifluous soul croon to sessions with Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, Carla Thomas, and Mavis Staples, all on one record, '69's “Soul-A-Lujah.” He also put out singles with Staples and Thomas, and continued to put out albums on his own, recording his last one in '06.

But this time the spotlight is all on him. At 76, his voice hasn't diminished a bit, still the same mellow caress that makes his version of “Born Under A Bad Sign” a soulful lament rather than an electfried, bellicose announcement of badness.

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The Philadlephia Inquirer Reviews Van Morrison & William Bell's New Albums

Posted on June 23, 2016

Van Morrison
It's Too Late to Stop Now . . . Volumes II, III, IV & DVD
(Legacy ***1/2)

Like snowflakes, or the free-wheelin' jazz horn players he vocally emulates, no two Van Morrison concert performances are exactly alike. Reason this newly unearthed, four-disc collection of 1973 shows at the Troubadour in L.A., the Santa Monica Civic Center, and London's Rainbow Theatre - all with the roaring lion bouncing off the walloping 11-piece, horn- and string-rich Caledonia Soul Orchestra - are such a joy. Even multiple renderings of "Brown Eyed Girl," "Caravan," "Domino," and "Cypress Avenue" don't wear out their welcome. And equally fun are one-offs of Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell For You," Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul," Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'," and the Louis Prima hit "Buona Sera," offering a road map to the Celtic soulster's roots.

Credit the artist's personal catalog takeover and transfer for finally getting these gems out. And thank a top-notch Legacy engineering team for fine-tuning though never sweetening the tapes. The job's done so well you can differentiate performance spaces and track the band congealing in tightness and sass as the tour evolves. Try zeroing in first on drummer Daoud "David" Shaw, a longtime Philly guy.

I do wish there'd been some color correcting of the bathed-in-red video set, so typical of '70s concert shoots. Does put a glow on the "Moondance" man's pasty complexion, though!

- Jonathan Takiff

William Bell
This Is Where I Live
(Stax ***1/2)

On the verge of his 77th birthday and the 10th anniversary of the rejuvenated Stax label, Memphis' William Bell is heading home. "This is where I live / This is where I give / All my love, all my time / all my money, every dime," he sings in a cool, yet passionate howl on the title track of his new album. This is a record whose deep soul resonates with every funky element of his past - the molasses-thick Tennessee R&B and the raw, silken blues classics he's penned such as "You Don't Miss Your Water" and "Born Under a Bad Sign."

Bell's tenor voice was always on the sweet side of the rough Stax continuum (as opposed to the gruff Otis Redding), and his craft as a writer leaned on the hard art of the tortured romantic ballad. He uses that lovely, simmering tone best on his acknowledgment of failures and prayer for forgiveness, "The Three of Me," backed simply by a gritty horn chart and a humming Hammond organ. For a humble romancer, Bell is also a pragmatist as he calls out a potentially shipwrecked marriage with the line, "There's more rooms in a house . . . than the bedroom" on "More Rooms." It's when he revisits "Born Under a Bad Sign" - a treasure cowritten by Booker T. Jones for guitarist Albert King - that Bell shines, reconfiguring it into his own weary lament. Welcome back.

- A.D. Amorosi

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