Maker – Girl Quit Your Crying EP

MAKERMaker hail from Medway – home to the likes of The James Taylor Quartet, The Prisoners and Billy Childish.  But though their music has an undeniable 1960s and early 1970s taste, it is a much more rich, diverse and complex  than the back-to-basic 1960s garage more akin to the aforementioned local heroes, and commonly referred to as the ‘Medway Sound‘.

This week Maker release their second EP. The title track, ‘Girl Quit Your Crying’ is full of a hazy blues, after hours lock-in complete with feathered haircuts, Double Diamond pint jugs and a Rod & The Faces swagger. Alessandro Marinelli’s gravel-throated bluesy voice underlines only one of many influences present on this solid 5-track EP. But the Maker sound is much more versatile, complex and multi-layered than a shallow retro posture.  Somewhere between then and now,  Maker sound unique in these days of shortlived fashions, reality tv and throwaway pop.  They appear to take influence from an array of solid sounds, styles and grooves and run, run, run with it.  They are not simply retro and not exactly contemporary.

Similar to the previous single, ‘Move Your Feet’, there is a strong element of early 1970s soul, R ‘n’ B and rock ‘n’ roll running throughout the whole  EP.  ‘So Serene’ and ‘Are You Watching Me?’ are full to the brim of a white-faced soulful funky groove.  Think Sly & The Family Stone fused with  a steam-charged rhythm n blues of Mick Taylor era Rolling Stones, a good helping of The Faces and etched in the post house music influenced rhythms of Primal Scream and The Stone Roses. Great stuff!

Maker look good and sound great.  They are Alessandro Marinelli (Vocals), Andrew Donaldson (Guitar), Gavin Donaldson (Drums) & John Austin (Bass).  The ‘Girl Quit Your Crying’ EP succinctly captures their authentic rock n roll, psychedelic, bluesy soul sound.

‘Girl Quit Your Crying’, ‘So Serene’ and ‘are You Watching Me?’ were recorded at the famous Rockfield Studio & Leeders Farm. The EP also includes two demos, ‘Lose It On The Second Turn’ and Stop My Heart Dead’, recorded at Ranscombe Studios in Rochester.

Girl Quit Your Crying EP by Maker is available via Kidda Records.

Latin Music

Latin American music is in all truth an unsatisfactory term. A blanket term for music that comes from 22 countries in Latin America means the ‘genre’ definition is confused and confusing, incorporating sub genres of music such as salsa and tango, all defined by their spicy rhythmic character. Music of a range of styles like these can be booked from Centre Stage, jazz, latin, blues, soul bands and more for corporate and private events.

Centre Stage Booking Agency

The distinctive Spanish flavour to Latin American music comes from as far back as when the first European settlers arrived in the Americas; Spanish and Portuguese travellers, bringing with them the strong musical element of their cultural heritage making music just as important a part of life as it is in South America. Elements of African music can also be found in the melting pot of musical development at the time, given the rich settlers from Europe brought with them African slaves from West Africa, their spiritual and gospel music also incorporating rhythmic elements of Latin American music to form the very beginnings of jazz.

Latin jazz, is also a confused term, loosely meaning any jazz that incorporates the defining rhythmic elements of Latin American music, but is generally considered to point to a trend in the 60s and 70s, when jazz in general began to be influenced by other genres. Latin jazz is typically played with a straight ‘feel’ as opposed to bebop music as made famous by players like Charlie Parker.

Music has long been an important part of Latin American culture just as it is in Spanish culture. The upbeat nature of the music, and powerful rhythms, make it very danceable, going hand in hand with typically friendly and party centric Latino culture. Its cultural significance means it has long been a culturally uniting factor, especially in Latino communities who find themselves a minority in the society in which they live.

Latin, soul and funk music has long been coveted by record collectors and DJs over the world, DJs like Joey Negro and Kon digging deep into crates far and wide to find rare soul, disco and Latin records, and the likes of Red Gregg, Jeremy Underground and Floating Points slip dazzling rare vinyl grooves into sets on a regular basis.

The Nuyorican Soul project by DJs Louie Vega and Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez, created Latin influenced music in, including players such as Tito Puente, Roy Ayers and the Salsoul Orchestra. This orchestra was the backing band for the record label, Salsoul Records, but also released much music successfully under its own name, which has gone on to be sampled in various hip hop tunes, such as 50 Cent’s ‘Candy Shop’ and Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid in Full’.

Reflecting the wide variety of genres covered by the term ‘Latin American’ music, Centre Stage has just as wide a variety of acts to book for weddings, bar mitzvahs and more. Perhaps booking jazz and soul bands like the Latin Band Singapore or The Burrito Beato Band would be a good bet, or head on over to our musicians page to book bands and entertainment for your next coporate or private event. Get in touch with Centre Stage with any questions or to book any of the groups on 0800 179 9424 or info@centrestage-agency.com.

Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society – The Gentlemen’s Club 10” EP

The Gentlemen’s Club by Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society
The Gentlemen’s Club by Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society

I first saw Stuart Turner perform a solo acoustic support to The Spitfire Three at The Command House in Chatham, one of the Medway Towns, some years ago now.  The night also included singer-songwriter Kris Dolomore, also playing solo and acoustic.  All three performances played homage to the blues; and what struck me then about Stuart Turner was his use of chord structures – not a straight, obvious and somewhat tedious appreciation of the blues, but one with a less common, interesting twist.

That night he stole my attention.  And if to compliment his chord structures, Stuart sang with the deepest, gravel-infested sore and jagged voice I had ever heard sung live.  Think Howlin’ Wolf and Brian Blessed in a meat raffle. Got it?  Then consider how the most mild-mannered, quietly spoken individual can perform with such a deep, powerful voice without the need for throat lozenge sponsorship.

Stuart Turner has continued to impress and grow his audience over the past few years with the charmingly titled Flat Earth Society.  They play a lo-fi garage folk blues with dirt on its wheels and a monkey or two on its back. Not for the clean shaven or pseudo-folk fans of Mumford & Sons, this is down and gritty music for real men who drink real ale.

The Gentlemen’s Club is a four track 10” vinyl only release, their second EP, that was originally planned as an accompaniment to their recently released third album, The Art and Science of Phrenology. But for one reason and another it was delayed and now finds itself getting an official standalone release.

Stuart conducts, growls and plays guitar on all songs but ‘Pier Road’, which is written and sung by Rob Shepherd, while he also picks a beautiful sounding banjo and strums the mandolin. Bob Collins adds gusto and electric guitar. While Nick Rice (bass) and Steven Moore (drums) create a tight rhythm section.

Midlife Catharsis carries a country rock vibe, more uptempo than the others; and has me thinking of Captain Beefheart in an ‘Ice Cream For Crows’ moment. There’s an offbeat, wackiness about this that I love. Brilliant!  I really love this song. It has a great catchy tune, lovely twanging banjo that work perfectly with the guitars; and Stuart’s vocals pull the whole thing together perfectly.

Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society perform blues drenched country folk songs with deep-crusted feeling with meaningful and heartfelt stories that have them shine brightly with a distinctive sound all of their own.

The Gentlemen’s Club by Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society is available as a 10” vinyl only release on Vacilando ’68 recordings and is available from www.stfes.com & www.vacilando68.org.

Side 1:
Midlife Catharsis
Odyssey

Side 2:
Pier Road
Migratory

[ad#midlife-catharsis]

Pete Molinari – Theosophy, new album

Pete Molinari has released his latest album, Theosophy on Cherry Red Records.
Pete Molinari - Theosophy on Cherry Red Records

Pete Molinari has released his latest album, Theosophy on Cherry Red Records.

The 13-track album, featuring both the well known Dan Auerbach and Little Barrie from Primal Scream, was recorded at the Humbug Studio on the Isle of Wight, Toerag Studios in London & Giant Wafer Studios in Wales and was produced by Boe Weaver, with additional production from Andrew Weatherall, Tchad Blake and Liam Watson.

Theosophy is Pete Molinari’s fourth album, following Walking Off The Map (2006), A Virtual Landslide (2008) and Train Bound For Glory (2010).

The title is inspired by The Theosophical Society – an organization formed in 1875 “to promote an understanding of the Esoteric Teachings” and whose interest spans science, mysticism, religion and the arts.

Pete Molinari – Theosophy track listing:

1. Hang My Head In Shame
2. You Will Be Mine
3. Evangeline
4. I Got Mine
5. I Got It All Indeed
6. When Two Worlds Collide
7. What I Am I Am
8. Dear Marie
9. Mighty Son Of Abraham
10. So Long Gone
11. Easy Street
12. Winds Of Change
13. Love For Sale

Completed in early 2014, and recording most of the original album tracks on the Isle Of Wight, the talents of producer Liam Watson, acclaimed DJ/re-mixer Andrew Weatherall and Grammy award-winning producer/mixer Tchad Blake, who’s previous credits include the likes of Tom Waits and Al Green, were subsequently added to the mix.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNE-HUxNjds

Theosophy pushes lots of musical boundaries, and with a host of musical allies he was able to explore new creative fields not ventured on past albums. It’s been a journey that has brought Pete to a new level of songwriting, epitomized best by Tchad Blake. As Pete recalls, “Tchad told me he admired my sense of abandonment. I think going off and finding out what he meant by that really summed up the whole record. The sense I got was that I’m not inhibited by anything that’s going on at the moment, whether the present or the past. I just go about things my own way.”

Born into a large Maltese, Italian and Egyptian family in Kent, Pete became fascinated with the 1960s’ folk of Leadbelly, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. After reading the beat writings of Jack Kerouac Pete set off for New York where he honed his craft in the blues clubs of East Village, travelling to Memphis, New Orleans, San Francisco and Los Angeles before returning home to record his debut album, Walking Off The Map, in 2006 with the help of Billy Childish.

Recording his follow up album, A Virtual Landslide, at Toe Rag Studios in London, Pete began a working relationship with producer Liam Watson, which continues to this day.

2010’s critically acclaimed A Train Bound For Glory earned Pete an appearance on BBC’s Later With Jools Holland and a nomination for Best Newcomer at the MOJO Awards, while successful stints in the US brought acclaim from a host of songwriters and producers including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Ray Davies and Yoko Ono with whom he appeared on stage with last summer when she curated the 2013 Meltdown Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London. For the festival finale, Yoko and her band performed for the first time ever the John Lennon/Yoko Ono Double Fantasy album, in its entirety. Yoko handpicked Pete to sing the Lennon songs “Woman” and “(Just Like) Starting Over” along with her band.

Nine Below Zero remastered ‘Don’t Point Your Finger’ & ‘The Third Degree’

Following the remastered re-release of Nine Below Zero’s debut album  ‘Live At The Marquee’ in 2012, and ‘A to Zed – The Very Best of’ compilation on Zed Records in 2013, Universal has released remastered copies of Nine Below Zero’s first two studio albums ‘Don’t Point Your Finger’ and ‘Third Degree’.  Both releases come complete with a second disc of bonus material.

Nine Below Zero were formed in 1977 and over a couple of years built up a loyal following in and around London as they became known for their high tempo, energetic blues rock live performances. In 1979 they were signed to A&M Records and somewhat fell into the current wave of Mod Revival, with the likes of The Jam.

Capturing their raw, live energy, their debut album  ‘Live At The Marquee’ was released in 19980.  But it was with their first two studio albums that Nine Below Zero peaked both critically and commercially.

Don’t Point Your Finger (1981) was recorded in 12 days at Olympic Sound Studios in Barnes and produced by the legendary Glyn Johns.

Don’t Point Your Finger by Nine Below Zero
Don’t Point Your Finger by Nine Below Zero

Lead singer & guitarist Dennis Greaves says, “We were walking in the footsteps of some of the all-time greats. Led Zeppelin’s first album was recorded there, along with “Who’s Next” and “Beggars Banquet” by The Stones. It was the most inspiring experience”.

Nine Below Zero went on to support both The Who & The Rolling Stones.  The double CD release includes a live performance recorded for the BBC in 1981 at The Granary Club in Bristol.

The Third Degree by Nine Below Zero
The Third Degree by Nine Below Zero

The Third Degree was released in 1982 and included the single 11+11 which was performed on the first episode of cult TV show, The Young Ones. This was to be the bands final album with A&M and spent six weeks in the album chart. David Bailey, renowned photographer of The Beatles, The Stones and the Kray Twins (to name a few), took the photograph for the album front cover artwork.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZVYqrUfdHo

Nine Below Zero originally recorded the album with Glyn Johns, at his studio in Sussex. But A&M rejected the recording stating it was too raw. The band went on to re-record it with Simon Boswell.

Glyn Johns’ original recording is available here as a bonus disc, along with the original release of the album.

Dennis Greaves says “I think it will be interesting for fans to see how a series of songs can sound so different and how the production process affects the finished article”.

Don’t Point Your Finger’ and ‘The Third Degree’ by Nine Below Zero are released through Universal.